Best Used Cars to Buy for a Teenager
One safety feature that we insist on, cost notwithstanding, is electronic stability control.
Though it hasn't been around that long, limiting its availability on older vehicles, studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that ESC could be the most important safety feature since the safety belt, saving as many as 10,000 lives per year if all vehicles were so equipped.
Our advice: Buy your teen driver the safest, most reliable, and newest vehicle you can.
Remember, the $10,000 necessary to buy a good used vehicle with ESC, curtain air bags, and other safety gear that might save your kid's life isn't cheap. But it's cheaper than even one day in a hospital.
Here are the top car picks for teens:
|2000-2003 BMW 323i/325i||$6,600-$9,450|
|2000-2003 BMW 528i/525i||$6,100-$8,400|
|2006 Hyundai Sonata||$8,450-$10,000|
|2007 Kia Rondo (5-pass. version)||$10,000|
|2002 Lexus ES 300||$9,600|
|2005 Saab 9-3 Linear||$9,150|
|2008 Saturn Aura XE||$12,825|
The cars listed below take some more careful shopping, as ESC was optional. In the case of the Camry and Optima, it often required a higher trim level. Curtain air bags were also optional in the Camry in some years.
|2002-2004 Toyota Camry||$8,250-$10,900|
|2006-2007 Kia Optima EX||$7,500-$9,850|
|2007 Volkswagen Rabbit||$12,000|
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid