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Top Used Cars for New Drivers

The journey of a new driver can be exciting yet intimidating, as the world of driving presents countless options for vehicles. Choosing the right car is crucial for the safety and comfort of a new driver, and opting for a used car can be an economical decision. This article aims to provide guidance on reliable and safe used cars suitable for new drivers and discuss the role of CarVertical in researching these vehicles.

Honda Civic

A staple in the compact car segment, the Honda Civic has been a favorite among new drivers for years. Known for its excellent fuel economy, comfortable ride, and user-friendly technology, the Civic offers an ideal blend of practicality and reliability. Opting for a used Honda Civic from 2016 or newer ensures the vehicle comes equipped with advanced safety features such as the Honda Sensing Suite, which includes lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and collision mitigation braking.

Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is another excellent choice for new drivers seeking a reliable and fuel-efficient vehicle. With its reputation for dependability and low cost of ownership, the Corolla is a smart choice for those on a budget. Opt for a used Corolla from 2017 or later to benefit from Toyota Safety Sense technology, which includes features like pre-collision braking, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams.


Mazda3 combines style, performance, and safety in a compact package, making it an attractive option for new drivers. With a reputation for responsive handling and engaging driving dynamics, the Mazda3 is enjoyable to drive without sacrificing fuel efficiency. A used Mazda3 from 2014 or later will include the i-Activsense suite of advanced safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.

Subaru Impreza

For new drivers in areas with challenging weather conditions or rugged terrain, the Subaru Impreza is a worthy consideration. Its standard all-wheel-drive system provides superior traction and stability, while its spacious cabin offers ample room for passengers and cargo. A used Impreza from 2017 onwards will come equipped with the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and pre-collision braking.

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is an affordable and versatile option for new drivers, available in both sedan and hatchback body styles. Its compact size and nimble handling make it easy to maneuver in tight spaces, while its efficient engine keeps fuel costs low. Opt for a used Fiesta from 2014 or later to benefit from Ford’s MyKey system, allowing parents to set limits on speed and audio volume for added safety.

Chevrolet Cruze

The Chevrolet Cruze is a well-rounded compact car that offers a comfortable ride, a spacious interior, and an impressive list of standard features. Its fuel-efficient engine and smooth handling make it an excellent choice for new drivers. A used Cruze from 2016 or later will feature the Teen Driver system, which allows parents to monitor driving habits, set speed limits, and mute the audio system if seatbelts are not fastened.

Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra is a value-packed compact car with a stylish design, a comfortable cabin, and a host of standard features. Its smooth ride and user-friendly infotainment system make it an appealing choice for new drivers. Consider a used Elantra from 2017 or later to take advantage of Hyundai’s SmartSense safety package, which includes forward collision-avoidance assist, lane-keep assist, and driver attention warning.

Kia Forte

The Kia Forte offers a balance of style, comfort, and safety features, making it a suitable option for new drivers. Its efficient engine, intuitive infotainment system, and spacious interior provide an enjoyable driving experience without compromising on practicality. Opt for a used Forte from 2019 or later to benefit from the Kia Drive Wise suite of advanced safety technologies, including forward collision-avoidance assist, lane departure warning, and driver attention warning.

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is a versatile and fun-to-drive hatchback that offers a comfortable ride, a well-appointed interior, and engaging handling. Its compact size makes it easy to park and navigate through congested city streets, while its fuel-efficient engine keeps running costs low. A used Golf from 2016 or later will come equipped with advanced safety features such as forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring.

Nissan Sentra

The Nissan Sentra is a reliable and comfortable compact sedan with a spacious cabin and user-friendly technology. Its smooth ride and fuel-efficient engine make it an excellent choice for new drivers looking for an affordable and practical vehicle. Consider a used Sentra from 2016 or later to take advantage of Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite, which includes features like automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot warning.

Now that we have covered some of the best used car options for new drivers, let’s discuss how CarVertical can help buyers research these vehicles. CarVertical is a vehicle history reporting service that provides comprehensive information about a car’s history, including accident records, theft history, mileage, and more. This information is crucial when considering a used car, as it can help buyers make informed decisions and avoid potential issues down the road.

CarVertical gathers data from various sources, including national registries, insurance companies, and repair shops, to create a detailed vehicle history report. By entering the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), buyers can access valuable information about the vehicle’s past, such as:

  1. Accident history: CarVertical’s reports include information about any accidents the vehicle has been involved in, along with the extent of the damage sustained. This helps buyers avoid cars with hidden damage that may compromise their safety and require expensive repairs.
  2. Mileage discrepancies: CarVertical can detect mileage rollbacks, which are a common issue with used cars. Knowing the vehicle’s accurate mileage helps buyers assess the car’s true value and avoid potential mechanical issues related to high mileage.
  3. Theft history: CarVertical’s reports provide information about any theft incidents involving the vehicle, helping buyers avoid purchasing a stolen car that could lead to legal troubles and financial loss.
  4. Maintenance history: CarVertical includes information about the vehicle’s maintenance history, helping buyers determine whether the car has been well-maintained and identify any potential issues that may arise in the future.
  5. Recall information: CarVertical’s reports provide information about any recalls issued for the vehicle, allowing buyers to ensure that any necessary repairs have been made and avoid potential safety hazards.


In conclusion, choosing a reliable and safe used car is an important decision for new drivers. The vehicles discussed in this article offer a combination of reliability, safety features, and affordability that make them suitable options for new drivers. CarVertical’s comprehensive vehicle history reports can help buyers research these vehicles and make informed decisions, ensuring they find a car that meets their needs and provides a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

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