Best used car for first time drivers

When I was buying my first car, I was mostly interested in buying something like a BMW 3-Series with a 6-cylinder engine or even the Ford Mustang GT but was faced with two big issues. The first one was that I didn’t have enough money to buy either of them, and the second one was the fact that these cost way too much to ensure for a young driver like me.

After thinking for a while, I settled for a small economy-level hatchback that helped me understand what it takes to own a car and if I am even ready for such a commitment. Let’s face it, cars tend to break down and we aren’t all that thrilled about spending lots of money on repairing them. It is much easier to start with something small and safe and later go for something better if that is truly what interests you.

As such, if you are a first time driver, you’ve come to the right place as we are going to list the best used car for first time drivers and tell you why you should be sensible. The first car we are going to mention is the Honda Civic because it is affordable, safe, reliable, and cheap to run. You can also go for an Accord if you fancy something a bit larger and more coherent.

SUV lovers with appreciate the Hyundai Tucson or the Mazda CX-5 as both are reliable, safe, and affordable. Finally, if you want something a bit more adventurous, be sure to check out the Subaru Outback.

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2012-2015 Honda Civic

The 2012-2015 Honda Civic is going to set you back for around $10,000 or even less which is the perfect starting point for a young driver. The base 140hp model is good for around 40MPG combined which is great for those who want to save money on more important things in life. At this price point, finding a low-mileage well-kept example is easy.

You can go for a more powerful 201hp Civic SI which is going to cost a bit more to buy and to run which is not perfect as 140hp is more than plenty for a new driver. You also get to choose between a manual or an automatic transmission.

2013-2015 Honda Accord

If the Civic is a bit too small for you and you want a car that has lots of space for your friends, the 2013-2015 Honda Accord is also a really good choice. The Accord has long been one of the best-selling cars in the US which means that there are plenty of them to choose from, and many are still well under 60,000 miles or so.

For a price right around $10,000, you are getting a spacious car with four seats that is also efficient, reliable, and holds its value really well. Moreover, it is also safe and well-equipped, and the 185hp four-cylinder engine with a CVT transmission is as easy to drive as cars get.


2012-2014 Hyundai Tucson

Let’s face it, most people these days want to buy SUVs because SUVs are spacious, capable, and safe. With its higher driving position, the Tucson offers you great all-around visibility which makes parking and maneuverability a breeze. It also costs less than $10,000 and is one of the most reliable cars in its class.

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It may not be a through-and-through off-roader, but the Tucson is capable of going through terrain most cars these days simply can’t fathom. With its 176hp, AWD, and smooth automatic gearbox, the Tucson is one of the most popular used SUVs on sale.

2014 Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 is a relatively new crossover that immediately became popular thanks to its stylish looks and a more engaging driving experience when compared to most similar cars out there. With a starting price of around $10,000, the CX-5 is safe, comfortable, cheap to run, and dependable.

It also offers lots of space for you, your friends, and all of your stuff which makes it a perfect car to do long-distance driving in. You should go for a 2.5L 4-cylinder model with an automatic gearbox as these offer around 184hp which is more than plenty, especially if you go for an AWD model.

2013-2015 Subaru Outback

The most capable car on this list is undoubtedly the Subaru Outback, and getting a 2013-2015 Outback is going to cost you less than $8,000. However, don’t go thinking that this price is not going to give you much, because the Outback offers the best-in-class AWD system and a really bulletproof experience.

With 173hp under your right foot, you can go anywhere with the Outback as it truly is an adventurous car for those who like spending time outdoors.

FAQ Section

Why do young drivers pay more for insurance?

Due to a general lack of experience behind the wheel, younger drivers end up causing accidents more often. This is why young drivers pay higher premiums for insurance as they are a higher risk category compared to most experienced (older) drivers out there.

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If you pair that with an expensive and powerful car, you are getting a recipe for high insurance premiums which is not something most young drivers can afford. This perfectly sums up why young drivers should not go for something expensive and powerful, even though they can afford it.


Are electric cars good for young drivers?                             

They are, but it’s always going to be better for a younger driver to learn about combustion engine cars before switching to an EV. The idea behind this is to familiarize yourself with how most cars out there work which will help you better understand the flow of traffic and why some things are the way they are.

EVs are much easier to live with and to drive, but as long as most cars out there are equipped with a combustion engine, it’s better to start off with those.

 What are the most popular cars for young drivers?

The top three most popular cars for young drivers are the Honda Civic, the Honda Accord, and the Ford Mustang. However, the Mustang is going to cost you a lot more money to live with which is why going for a Mustang as your first car isn’t going to be the best option.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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