When it comes to buying a used car, there can be the temptation to purchase whatever cheap model is being advertised in your neighborhood, as well as securing a hand-me-down car for your particular needs. However, choosing the best used cars for teens warrants a bit more strategy. Budget is a huge family concern when buying a car for a teen, especially with future college costs and the realization that the car may lead a tough service life. Within that budget, we recommend buying the safest, most reliable model possible.

Key Safety Equipment

We strongly advise you to buy a car with electronic stability control (ESC). ESC istechnology that helps the driver maintain control and greatly decreases the risk of a crash. It is helpful for anyone, especially for those drivers with little experience. Other benefits include:

  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Multi-stage advanced front air bags, plus side and head- protection curtain air bags for the ultimate vehicle safety

The lifesaving potential assistance that ESC can provide is worth every penny in an emergency situation.

For young, relatively inexperienced drivers, steer clear of pickups as they are more prone to roll over than other vehicles. Sports cars and coupes increase the risk of speeding and have a higher rate of accidents, along with extremely higher insurance premiums for new drivers. Look for a small or midsized sedan which is highly rated for safety, controllability, visibility, and affordability.

Top 5 Used and Safe Cars for Teens

  • Subaru Impreza (non-turbo, 2009 or later)
  • Ford Focus (2009-2011)
  • Mazda3 (2011 or later)
  • Hyundai Elantra (2008 or later)

Know What Your Buying

The older a car gets, the more its upkeep and maintenance history will affect its overall performance and reliability. Keep in mind that every used car gets treated differently. Make sure to have the specific car you are considering purchasing thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic before you make the purchase. Good luck and drive safe!