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Choosing the right first used car for your teen driver is a huge responsibility. Teen drivers who are learning to drive need vehicles that are reliable. Spending a lot of money on your teen’s first car could prove to be a costly mistake. Even used cars can be extremely pricey these days. Here are three great used cars that are perfect for your teen’s first ride.

The Honda Civic: A legendary first car

A blue Honda Civic.
The Honda Civic | Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Honda Civics were once the most popular compact sedans in America. Why? The Civic has been affordable and reliable for decades. The Honda Civic is a great first car for your teen because it is fast enough to avoid being boring without being dangerous. The Civic is a staple in car culture.

Japanese automaker Honda has a reputation for producing long-lasting vehicles with affordable parts. If your teen does happen to bang up their Civic, it’ll be much cheaper to fix than cars from automakers like BMW. A used Honda Civic purchase with decent mileage won’t break the bank either. The Civic is truly an awesome gateway into driving and car ownership. According to iSeeCars, the average used Civic from its last three model years usually costs under $20,000.

Lexus ES 350: Best first car for your teen auto enthusiast

Interior of a Lexus ES 350.
Interior of a Lexus ES 350 | Lexus

Buying a first car can be especially challenging when your teenager knows a thing or two about cars. When they’ve been good and insist on something with some decent performance specs, it’s time to pull out the big guns. Lexus, the performance wing of Toyota, has a great lineup if you want to put your teen in something a little more luxurious.

The Lexus ES 350 is an amazing used car. It provides a smooth, quiet ride, and all used models released within the last five years will make at least 268 horsepower. The Lexus ES 350 also has a luxurious interior. Lexus models tend to be reliable, thanks to their parent company. You can find used Lexus ES 350s from 2018 for under $30,000 with decent mileage. This may seem like a lot of money to spend on a first car, but the ES 350 is a highly-rated luxury car with a powerful V6 engine.

Honda Accord: The best of both worlds

A silver 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L driving, the 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid is the best used hybrid under $20,000
2015 Honda Accord Hybrid EX-L | Honda

Honda appears twice on this list because the Japanese automaker knows how to build a great driver-centric car. The Honda Accord is the best of both worlds if you are looking for a reliable, nice used car for your teen that is also affordable. The Accord is one of the best used first cars for your teen because it is a step up from the Honda Civic without being overpriced.

The Honda Accord isn’t the Lexus ES 350, but it has more zip to it than many vehicles in its vehicle class. Honda Accords that were released in the last five years all make at least 185 horsepower. Accords come in a variety of great trims that offer more comfort and speed. Used Honda Accords released within the last three years can be purchased for under $24,000 with decent mileage.

First cars are memorable, and the memories associated with them aren’t always happy ones. Do your kids a favor and help them make great memories with their first car by choosing something that you are both happy with. You don’t have to forego luxury and performance because of a tight budget if you know the types of used cars that offer great value.


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