So, your teenager has finally received their driving license and is eager to start driving their own car. Or they might have graduated from high school and need a car for their daily commute to college. Or they’ve decided to take a gap year to indulge in a bit of traveling and soul searching.
Whatever be the reason, if you’ve got a teenage kid at home, they’ve likely been pestering you for their own car. As a parent, it’s only natural that you’re skeptical about handing over a brand new car to your teen who’s barely had any real-life driving experience.
Nevertheless, the first car you ever own is always going to be special and memorable, irrespective of how many luxury cars you lay your hands on after that. That’s why buying a used car for your kid is a suitable compromise to grant their wish without being extravagant.
The rise of online car trading platforms and subscription services has made it easier than ever to purchase a used car. However, the wide variety of new and used car models available in the market will leave you spoilt for choice.
In this blog, we’ve handpicked the best used cars you can consider purchasing for your teenager. But let’s first outline a few tips to handhold you through the process of buying a used car.
Nifty Tips for Buying a Used Car
If you’re skeptical about buying a used car, the good news is that you aren’t alone. Whether you’re buying it for your teenage kid or for yourself, it’s crucial to keep a few things in mind when scouring for reliable used cars.
1. Weigh Aesthetics and Safety
While your image-conscious teen might be on the lookout for an Instagram-worthy ride, you need to also prioritize safety. Look for a car that offers advanced safety features, such as blind stop warning, limited acceleration, airbags, and automatic safety braking. It’s always a better idea to splurge for enhanced safety instead of spending your money on a fancy sports car.
2. List Must-Have Features
Engage in a transparent discussion with your kid for a better idea of what features they want in the car. However, this doesn’t mean you have to cater to all whimsical demands, such as owning a spectacular sedan with a sunroof. Instead, pay attention to essential features, such as Bluetooth and GPS connectivity, defogger, parking sensor, etc.
3. Set Your Budget
Now that you have a better idea of what type of car your teen wants, the next thing you need to do is figure out how much you can afford to spend. This is also a good time to look for financing options if you can’t pay the entire amount in one go.
4. Get the Car Inspected by a Mechanic
Whether you’re buying a used car from a local dealer or through an online trading service, it’s crucial to inspect the car to weed out any issues with the braking system, engine, batteries, and other components.
If you don’t have a thorough knowledge of automobiles, it’s a good idea to ask a reliable and experienced mechanic to inspect the car before you decide to purchase it.
5. Don’t Skip the Test Drive
Ultimately, the decision to purchase a car comes down to how well your teen can drive it. That’s why you need to take the vehicle out for a test ride and let your kid control the steering. The key is to ensure that they’re comfortable maneuvering the vehicle and its advanced features.
Top Used Cars for Teens
Now that you’re all set to purchase your teen’s first car, let’s take a look at some of the top used cars that fit the bill.
1. Ford Fusion
If you’re looking for a crossover car that combines spacious interiors with outstanding infotainment features, Ford Fusion is the right choice. It offers standard features, such as voice control, alloy wheels, and automatic headlamps, that you’d expect from a vehicle manufactured by Forbes.
2. Subaru Impreza
If safety is of the utmost importance when you’re looking for a used car for your teen, Subaru Impreza would be a great choice. Available in both sedan and hatchback variants, the Impreza is a compact and fuel-efficient car with a sleek and elegant exterior.
The newest model also offers optional adaptive safety tech features. Having been in sale for a quarter of a decade, the Impreza is one of the most reliable and sturdiest used cars you’ll find for your teenage kid.
3. Honda Accord
If your kid has a penchant for sleek and swanky sedans, Honda Accord will surely impress them. Apart from the spectacular exteriors, the Accord is known for its seamless driveability and excellent mileage.
Also, it offers tech-savvy features, including smartphone integration and a rearview camera. It is, however, worth mentioning that the Accord is more exorbitantly priced than other sedans offering similar features.
4. Lincoln MKZ
Lincoln isn’t a manufacturer you’d typically select for a teenager. Nevertheless, the Lincoln MKZ combines affordability with reliability and safety, making it one of the most ideal used cars for your teen. You can choose between the bigger 3.5-liter V-6 MKZ and the four-cylinder engine-powered MKZ Hybrid.
5. Volkswagen Jetta
Widely known as Volkswagen’s smallest sedan, the Jetta is also one of the brand’s most popular models. The cabin is fairly spacious despite the compact size. Also, the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine remains fuel-efficient while preventing your teen from accelerating to extreme speeds.
Have you considered any other car manufacturers and models for your teenager? Share your recommendations in the comments section below.