Close up of a teenager wearing glasses showing the thumb up hand gesture and happy through car window, after buying used car

As parents, it goes without saying that you want to get the best car for your teen. However, choosing the right one becomes a difficult decision when you don’t want to spend a small fortune or compromise their safety. After all, driving is a huge life change, but it doesn’t come without its own set of responsibilities.

The best solution is to get your teen a reliable second-hand vehicle. Used car dealers in Auckland will recommend a range of secondhand cars that are highly reliable, safe, and affordable. Here are some tips on making your choice and our recommended list of best used cars, perfect for first-time teen drivers!

Important things to keep in mind

It’s important to keep these things in mind when purchasing your teen’s first car:

  • Check for safety features – Make sure your choice has the basic safety features found in a typical vehicle. Check if it is complete with curtain airbags, electronic stability controls, and fully functioning seatbelts. If you have more wiggle room in your budget, you may want to consider models that offer advanced safety features, e.g. forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems. These are worth every penny in an emergency.
  • Forgo sports cars – Other than the fact that these vehicles have higher insurance premiums, sports cars and other larger vehicles with more powerful engines can tempt teens to drive faster in wider roads. This could increase their risks of getting into accidents so it might not be the best idea to get them!
  • Weigh reliability over aesthetic – While it’s important to look into your teen’s request, make sure to choose a model that will last and not one that’s only appealing for your image-conscious teens. Check the maintenance history of the used car you’re eyeing on to ensure it’s still in great working condition.

The best used car models for teens

  1. Toyota Aqua
    Hybrid cars are becoming more popular, especially with younger generations as they’re generally more environmentally conscious. As a hybrid, the Toyota Aqua boasts great fuel consumption and produces significantly less CO2 emissions on roads. Powered by a dual-engine, teens can conserve energy and achieve better gas mileage when driving.
  2. Mazda Axela / Mazda 3
    The Mazda Axela boasts an overall cool look with elegant lines and robust body. Equipped with upgraded technologies, teens will surely benefit from its dependable navigation system, great sound system, and well-designed aerodynamics. The 1.5 and 2.0 litter models are very popular as they can drive well and offer good gas mileage. This means your teen spends less cash at the pump!
  3. Subaru Legacy Sedan / Wagon
    The Subaru Legacy, available as a sedan or as a wagon, has a history of great reliability and a list of safety features. The wagon variant is an ideal option for teens who are into all sorts of adventure such as surfing and snowboarding as it comes with 4WD options. Finally, it provides a smooth yet powerful ride, and has spacious seats perfect for long drives.
  4. Mazda CX-5
    A small SUV, the Mazda CX-5 is a highly recommended vehicle for teen drivers as it offers the most safety and security. The CX-5 features ABS brakes, which can sense when a tire has stopped rotating under extreme braking. It will then modulate the brake pressure, allowing the tire to rotate and increasing the vehicle’s ability to turn while braking. The CX-5 also has stability control features, which helps the driver maintain control of the vehicle on slippery roads.
  5. Subaru Impreza
    The Subaru Impreza makes a good vehicle selection, especially in New Zealand because of its all-wheel-drive for all-weather safety. And since the Subaru Impreza is a heavier and bulkier type of vehicle, it can protect drivers better in a possible collision. The all-around structural integrity of an Impreza makes a great for first-time teen drivers because it’s safe and its engine strays from unnecessary high driving speeds.
  6. Bonus Cars: Honda Accord Euro R & Mazda MPS
    Both cars are popular models for young people, especially if the recipient prefers to drive stick. The Honda Accord Euro R boasts a 6-speed transmission and great handling to match its power. First-generation Mazda MPS, on the other hand, carries an attractive turbocharged inline-four gasoline engine as well as 6-speed manual transmission, balancing good performance and cost.

The best first car for your teen can be found in Motor Co!

When choosing their first car, make sure it’s more than just good looking. Whatever the price tag, safety should be your priority. Japanese import cars have made tremendous strides in both safety and affordability and that’s why they make great options for your teens. Motor Co offers a wide selection of import cars down at our Penrose and East Tamaki locations. Call us today to help you get started!