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What would be a good first car for a teen driver?

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I'm 17 and I am getting my permit next week. I have looked nearby me and found several cars that fit within my price range but I am unsure which one I should get. They are all $1000 and under. Some of them have cosmetic issues but they don't have anything mechanically wrong listed about them.

I don't need anything fancy, just something to learn in and get used to driving with. The choices are: 2000 Hyundai Elantra with 168k miles, 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis with 170k miles, 2004 Dodge Neon with 198k miles, 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 200k miles, 2001 Nissan Maxima with 184k miles, 2003 Hyundai Sonata with 180k miles, and a 2002 Ford Explorer with 200k miles.

Are any of these good deals or should I keep looking? Any suggestions for a teen first car? Thanks for your help!

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asked Jul 27, 2017 in Cars and Transportation by Cleo

3 Answers

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Your major expense is not going to be the cost of the car or the gas it uses. For an inexperienced driver, the major expense will be the cost of insurance. That can be lowered slightly by using a sedan that is an older model and has a standard engine. Anything with only 2 doors would be considered a sports car and anything with a high performance engine would also run up the insurance cost. A modestly powered 4 door sedan will hold the insurance down as much as possible.

This will be true until you pass the age of 25 if you are a good driver. If you get lots of tickets, the high insurance costs could continue.
answered Jul 27, 2017 by Grandpa
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It doesn't really matter. You're buying at the bottom of the market (nothing wrong with that), so of course they're all going to have high mileage and cosmetic issues. And while some or all of them might meet safety and emissions standards today, none of them are going to come with a warranty attached. You're going to be replacing worn out parts on whatever you buy, because that's just part of owning an old high-mileage vehicle.

One of the things you want to look at is fuel economy, because gas costs a lot. A bigger vehicle with a more powerful engine (like the Mercury or the SUVs) can easily cost twice as much in fuel as a small sedan. The other thing you definitely want to look at is the cost of insurance. Even with an old beater like you're buying, insurance costs are absolutely insane for your age group.
answered Jul 27, 2017 by Obi Wan Knievel
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A small car would be perfect for a first time driver since the body of the car is smaller than vans or trucks. It will be easier to control when driving.
answered Jul 27, 2017 by Josephine

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