Top 5 Best Used Cars for Teenagers

Jun 16, 2022 | Car Reviews

While purchasing a brand-new fancy car is the dream for many Australian teenagers, the reality is new cars are expensive and often out of budget. On top of this, Australian teenage drivers with a provisional licence under the age of 25 have restrictions in the types of cars they are allowed to drive. Currently, teenagers cannot legally drive a vehicle with engines of eight or more cylinders, cars with turbocharged or supercharged engines, high-performance vehicles or modified vehicles. This means the daydream of driving a high-powered sports car may have to wait until adulthood.

So, what is a realistic option for teenagers looking to get their first car?

As a provisional driver, the more valuable your vehicle is the more your insurance will cost to drive it. With new cars falling under a higher price bracket than used cars, it will cost considerably more to keep a new car insured. Because of this, used cars for teenagers are an affordable option for any young driver wanting to invest in a vehicle without breaking the bank.

Before rushing into purchasing a used vehicle, it is important to consider what vehicle features and factors should be included in your teen’s vehicle. At Cars Brisbane, we believe a first used car should have a good safety rating and features to protect the driver and passengers in the case of an accident. The used car should also be a reliable make and model you can count to get you from point A to point B.

Finally, a smaller used car is also a great option for teenage drivers, as the lower centre of gravity is easier to control when learning. Not only this but smaller cars offer greater fuel economy and manoeuvrability when parking, especially in the city or urban areas.

Below we have compiled our top 5 recommendations of the best used cars for teenagers:

1. Hyundai i30

A red Hyundai i30 parked near a weathered building
A red Hyundai i30.

A classic car and one of Australia’s top-selling vehicles, the Hyundai i30 is a great used car option for teenagers. The base hatch model has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating in models from 2018 onwards complete with safety features including electronic stability control (ESC), traction control system, anti lock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist system, and vehicle stability management. All standard models also come with a rear-view camera and parking sensors to assist with safely parking the vehicle.

Regarding in-car entertainment systems, all base models have an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. As well as six-speakers for the best sound system stereo acoustics. The Hyundai i30 is a great used car for teenagers with the abundance of safety features and tech inclusions.

2. Suzuki Swift

A dark blue Suzuki Swift Sport
A sporty blue Suzuki Swift.

The Suzuki Swift is another popular first car choice for teenagers across Australia. Known for its reliability, quality steering and suspension, the Swift is an affordable car option with great features. The base model has a 4-star ANCAP rating for models from 2017 onwards, while all other variants have a 5-star ANCAP rating.

A base model Suzuki Swift has a 1.2L engine and contains safety features including 6 airbags, an electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist. While newer Swift’s contain rear parking sensors, dual sensor brake support, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and weaving alert.

The lane departure warning is a great safety feature for new drivers who may be inexperienced with long trips or multi-lane freeways. This feature will alert the driver if the car begins to stray from the lane by monitoring road markings.

The Swift also features a 7-inch multimedia Apple CarPlay screen to ensure safety when driving and removing the risk of your teen touching their phone while in the car. As it is such a popular car model, the Swift is also easy to locate spare parts when needed. A Suzuki Swift is a great used car for teenagers, offering reliability and cost-effectiveness.

3. Mazda CX-3

A snowy Mazda CX-3
A crimson Mazda CX-3 with a healthy dusting of snow.

A slightly larger vehicle than the Swift or the Hyundai, the Mazda CX-3 is another great used car for teenagers. The CX-3 has a 5-star ANCAP rating in models from 2015 onwards and is complete with a 2 litre petrol engine and six-speed automatic transmission.

One of the best safety features offered as a standard inclusion across the newer models in the range is Mazda’s smart city brake support (SCBS). This monitors the vehicle in front of you when driving up to 80km an hour to assess the likelihood of collision. If the car detects a high risk, the system can alert the drive and brake automatically when needed. Other standard safety features include the emergency stop signal, hill launch assist, electronic brake-force distribution and advanced seat-belt reminders.

The CX-3 also features a 7-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay for safe entertainment and phone-free driving. As it’s also such a popular car, finding new car parts is simple and stress-free. With a sporty car style, the Mazda CX-3 is a favourite among first-time drivers and beyond.

4. Toyota Corolla

Close up of back side of a Toyota Corolla
The finer details of a white Toyota Corolla.

After the model was first released in 1966, the Toyota Corolla is a car well-known and well-regarded by Australians. It makes for a great used car for teenagers due to its safety features, reliability, and infotainment technology. The Corolla has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating in models from 2018 onwards with a 2-litre petrol engine and 1.8 litre hybrid powertrain.

Even in the standard base model, the Corolla is equipped with impressive features including 7 airbags, stability control, reversing camera, rear-parking sensors, autonomous pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Infotainment tech also includes an 8-inch colour touchscreen integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

A classic and award-winning car, the Toyota Corolla is a great used car for teenagers to start their driving journey.

5. Volkswagen Golf

A Volkswagen Golf in a parking garage
A Volkswagen Golf darting around a tight corner.

German-made, the Volkswagen Golf is another car you can often spot driving down the highways across Australia. Beloved for its sleek look, reliability and low maintenance, the Golf is a great option for a first used car for teenagers.

The Golf has a 5-star ANCAP rating in models from 2017 to 2021 and is jam-packed with safety features such as six airbags, automatic emergency braking, manual speed limiting, secondary collision avoidance, emergency signal system, fatigue reminders, hill launch assist, reversing collision avoidance and secondary collision brake assist.

In terms of infotainment, the Golf has a 10-inch central entertainment screen making it easy to see when driving, to ensure your eyes are kept on the road.

So, there you have it, the Cars Brisbane guide to the best used cars for teenagers! If you’re looking to sell your used car, whether it is one of these car models or not, be sure to contact our team of car specialists for a valuation today.

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