Safest Used Cars for Teen Drives Under $10,000

Safest used cars under $10,000 for teen drivers.

All parents want the best for their children. Once they become a teen driver, you want them to be safe and protected while driving out in the world.

When buying a car, you’ll want to ensure you get all the latest safety technology to protect your teen driver, but for most parents, buying a new car for their teenager is out of reach.

Who Did the Study?

Many secondhand automobiles, which are far less expensive, come with some of the necessary safety features to safeguard your teen driver.

Car and Driver researched the most critical safety features to consider when purchasing a used car. After completing the investigation, they produced the following list to assist you in finding a safe and trustworthy vehicle to safeguard your adolescent.

What Makes a Vehicle Safe for a Teenage Driver?

  • Front, Side, and Curtain Airbags – Front airbags became mandatory in 1999. Side and curtain airbags are critical safety items during a side collision. Not only do they protect passengers from impact and flying glass, but they can also help keep the passengers from being ejected from the vehicle during an accident.
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) – ESC is a computerized technology that improves a vehicle’s stability by detecting and reducing loss of traction. Vehicles equipped with ESC will also have antilock brakes and, most likely, traction control. At the beginning of 2012, ESC was standard equipment, but most manufacturers included it earlier.
  • Vehicle Size and Weight – The rumor is that “the-bigger-the-better.” However, you don’t want to go too big. Size and weight play a significant role in safety. The recommended vehicle size is a midsize or larger sedan. These are better for teens than large SUVs or pickup trucks because the center of gravity is lower and gives them better stability for handling emergency maneuvers.
  • Handles Well – The vehicle must not be too fast or slow, have a reasonable stopping distance, and handle well in emergency driving conditions.

Instead of letting your teen driver borrow your car this weekend, give yourself peace of mind knowing they’re driving one of the recommended vehicles off this list.

Safe and Reliable Cars You Can Buy Under $10,000

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) data show that these vehicles are the safest and most reliable for teenagers and first-time drivers.

Year RangeVehicleStarting Price
2011 or 2014Ford TaurusStarting around $7,000
2013 or NewerHonda AccordStarting Under $10,000
2012 - 2015Honda CivicStarting Under $10,000
2012Hyundai TucsonStarting Under $10,000
2011 or NewerMazda 3Starting Around $5,000
2014 or NewerMazda CX-5Starting About $8,000
2013 or NewerSubaru Legacy / OutbackStarting around $7,500
2012 or NewerToyota CamryStarting Under $10,000
2009 - 2015Toyota VenzaStarting Under $10,000 w/high miles
2011 or NewerToyota PriusStarting at $7,700

Shopping for a Used Car?

If you’re considering the purchase of a pre-owned vehicle for your teen driver, I recommend using free online referral services such as Ryde Shopper and Motor Trend. These services will tell you what others are paying for the vehicle you’re considering in your local area and which dealers give the most significant discounts.

About the author
Carlton Wolf is the author and founder of Auto Cheat Sheet.My name is Carlton Wolf, and I’ve been in the car business since 1994, both retail and wholesale. I created the Auto Cheat Sheet to better educate buyers about the deceptive sales practices used by many dealerships throughout the country. Please understand that not all car dealers are dishonest. However, you never know who you’ll be dealing with, though. I’m willing to share my knowledge and experience with anyone who listens. Keep in mind that I’m a car guy, not a writer.