Finding the best used cars for first-time drivers can be stressful. Driver safety is the priority, so we all want a vehicle to protect them and their passengers as they learn the ropes. For most of us, affordability will likely be the next feature we look for in a used car. How much is a used car for a teenager? Used car prices vary greatly, but there are many late-model, low-mileage cars you can find for around $20,000.
Safety and affordability top the list of must-haves for a teen’s first car but a model’s reliability ratings are important too. Even if you find a great deal on a safe used car, it’s not much of a deal if it only lasts a couple of years. Fortunately, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports have teamed up to reveal the best used cars for teenagers in 2023. Plus, most top picks can be found at established car dealerships and have enough style to appeal to young drivers!
5 Safest Used Cars for Teens
The research is based on criteria such as vehicle weight, reliability, emergency handling, and specific safety ratings. The list of best used cars for teens features affordable options that come with electronic stability control and other ADAS features. Driveability, handling, and overall driving comfort are also requirements.
1. Toyota Prius
One of the first and still popular hybrids, the Toyota Prius features a 5-Star safety rating, stability control, plenty of airbags, and many other ADAS features. The legendary 48 mpg combined fuel economy and affordability make the Prius a top value. A Prius handles like a conventional mid-sized car, has plenty of legroom, and is quiet and comfortable. Because the Prius is price-competitive with other vehicles in its category, it will be hard to find a more well-rounded car for a new driver.
2. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is one of the best-selling cars ever because of its modest price point, attractive styling, and industry-leading safety features. The Civic gets a 10 out of 10 for safety, partly thanks to the forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and other high-level ADAS components. Like most Hondas, the Civic provides a comfortable, stable ride, excellent fuel economy, and well-designed controls. The Civic is also one of the best used cars for new drivers because the performance and style mean they won’t outgrow it too soon.
3. Toyota Camry
The Camry has a Five-Star Safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is a Top Safety Pick+ by the IIHS. Toyota also packs plenty of advanced safety features into the Camry for a surprisingly affordable price. Standard equipment includes forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and other ADAS features. The Camry also offers a controlled ride, responsive handling, and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Hyundai Elantra offers plenty of safety features, including a steel frame with front and rear crumple zones. The latest ADAS is a must-have, but it’s good to know there’s some good old-fashioned crash protection underneath. This old-school and new-school safety combo helped make the Elantra a Top Safety Pick+ in IIHS tests. Plus, the Elantra gets above-average reliability ratings. New drivers will benefit from the high level of visibility and the supportive seats and the infotainment system is designed to keep hands on the wheel!
5. Kia Forte
The Kia Forte comes with standard forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance, and a driver attention monitoring system. If those features sound ideal for a new driver, you’re not alone. The Kia offers some of the most comprehensive ADAS on the market and performs well in IIHS crash tests. It also handles well, offers a comfortable ride, and gets great gas mileage. When shopping for the best used cars for 16 year olds, the Forte’s sporty exterior and well-designed infotainment system are a big plus.
The best used cars for teens always put safety first, but knowing you don’t have to compromise to get it is a welcome relief. Each vehicle on the list is safe, affordable, reliable, and easy to handle for new drivers. If you want peace of mind and plenty of value, you can’t go wrong with these hand-picked used cars.
Best Used Cars For Teenagers At Car Time Supercenter
Used cars offer tremendous value compared to new ones, and when you have the inside scoop on the features that matter most, you can find even more value. When you’re ready to pick out one of the best used cars for teenage drivers, call or stop by our used car lot in Tucson. We offer a large selection of safe and dependable used cars with affordable prices, flexible financing, and hometown service from a local, family-owned business.
There are good reasons people will buy their next used car in Tucson from Car Time Supercenter. But I think we are one of the most trusted used car dealerships mainly because we treat everyone like family. My family has provided quality, dependable local used cars to Tucson customers since 1984, and I’m proud to be a part of our continued success.
Like many family-owned businesses, I grew up going to work with my dad. Falling in love with cars was natural because of my father’s passion, and eventually, I came to love the car business just like him. I officially joined the Car Time Supercenter team in 2012, starting in the finance department. Over the past decade, I’ve learned the used car business and how to treat customers from my family and industry resources.
Today, I oversee marketing, social media, inventory, and reconditioning, so I play an essential role in delivering local Tucson used car buyers the best experience possible. I also help our family business keep up with the times while providing old-fashioned customer service. From attending NADA classes to becoming Allstate certified for back-end products, I continue to learn and add skills to serve our customers better.