Safest Used Cars for Teens Under $10,000

February 2nd, 2016 by




Having a new teenage driver in your house can be stressful. Constantly worrying about where they are, what they are doing, who they are with – the list goes on and on. One thing that you shouldn’t have to worry about, is if the car they are driving is reliable and safe. Adding a teenage driver to your insurance is costly, and if sharing your family car with them isn’t not a feasible option, then making a new car purchase can also set you back financially. A common misconception is that older cars are not as safe as new vehicles. While new safety technology is being introduced constantly, there are plenty of safe options for affordable used cars in Lexington, KY

No parent should ever have to choose between the safety of their teenage driver, and money. It is possible to find a used car that is both safe and affordable. Thanks to safety institutions and other resources, there is a lot of information available on this very subject. We have taken the time to sift through piles of data to narrow down this extensive field to ten of the safest cars for teenagers under $10,000.


Vehicle Safety Must-Haves




Before we get to the specific makes and models, let’s take a look at some important safety factors to take into consideration when buying a used car for your teen.

  • Electronic Stability Control: This technology was first invented back in 1983, but has recently been incorporated into a vast majority of automobiles. It is considered one of the most important vehicle safety advancements since the seatbelt, and helps the driver stay in control of the vehicle in the event that traction is lost, or skidding takes place. Automatic braking is applied to individual wheels, which helps the vehicle stay in control.
  • Good Overall Safety Scores: Especially in emergency maneuver tests, the car you choose for your teen driver should have a good stopping distance, and be able to quickly get around a potential hazard on the road.
  • Size and Weight: This is an important factor to consider when choosing a vehicle for your teen driver. Larger vehicles such as SUVs have a higher center of gravity, and can tip more easily than a sedan or coupe.
  • Hands Free Connectivity: Regardless of how many times you remind them not to text or talk while driving, teenagers inevitably pick up the phone while behind the wheel. Finding a used vehicle with Bluetooth connectivity will help reduce distraction, allowing your teen to keep their hands on the wheel, and eyes on the road when the phone rings.


10 Safest Used Cars Under $10,000

chevy malibu 2012

  1. 2009-2012 Chevy Malibu: This four door sedan used typically starts right around $8,000, and is comfortable, quiet, and safe. The steering wheel and foot pedals can be adjusted to the correct height for your teen driver, with plenty of room for those upcoming growth spurts. The Malibu has responsive handling, and gets a combined rating of 25 miles per gallon.
  2. 2009-2011 Ford Focus: This smaller sedan starts used around $6,000, and despite being classified as a compact car, features plenty of interior cabin space. If you find a used version with Ford’s SYNC technology, your teen can talk on the phone hands free, as well as control their music, send text messages, and receive turn-by-turn directions.
  3. 2009-2014 Volkswagen Rabbit/Golf: Both the Golf and Rabbit have been best-selling cars around the world for plenty of years, making the a great choice for your teen. You can expect to pay around $7,000 for this car used, and the hatchback rear trunk gives it a roomier feel than other cars in the same segment.
  4. 2010-2011 Kia Soul: This uniquely boxy crossover is fun to drive, and has plenty of safety features standard. The used Soul comes in around $8,000, and the impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy will help with continued savings down the road. Kia’s UVO connection system allows for hands-free connectivity with a smart phone, keeping your teenage driver’s eyes on the road.
  5. 2006-2014 Hyundai Sonata: The midsize Sonata brings an element of luxury to our list, with a soft and quiet ride, comfortable interior, and plenty of room for passengers. You can expect to pay around $5,000 for the Sonata used, which makes it one of the most affordable on our list. A combined fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon is impressive, as well as its responsive handling.
  6. 2010-2012 Ford Fusion: This used sedan starts around $8,000, and features a larger body than the smaller Focus. Ford’s SYNC system can be found on some used versions of this car, which allow for hands-free connectivity on the road. SYNC also gives drivers a vehicle history report, and will automatically dial 911 when a collision occurs in which the airbags are deployed.
  7. 2011-2013 Mazda3 i: This used sedan tops our list as far as price, which is expected to be right under the $10,000 mark. Known for its safety, reliability, and powerful engine, the Mazda3 is spacious, and fun to drive. Finding a used model with extra amenities like leather seating, heated seats, and a navigation system should be easy.
  8. 2004-2012 Toyota RAV4: This used compact crossover starts around $7,000, and has the extra space for your teen’s unique hobbies. With the back seats folded down, the RAV4 can haul some serious cargo, which makes it even more appealing. Bluetooth hands-free connectivity became available on the RAV4 starting with the 2006 model year.
  9. 2009-2010 Volkswagen Jetta: This small, yet sporty sedan has great handling, and a smooth ride. Starting used around $7,000, the Jetta features intuitive controls, a spacious trunk, and a more luxurious interior than others on our list. The Jetta is well known for its reliability and quality.
  10. 2009-2013 Mazda6 i: You can expect to pay right around $8,000 for this sedan used. The Mazda6 i features exceptionally responsive steering, a four-cylinder engine, and a telescoping steering wheel. Used versions are available with blind spot monitoring, more interior amenities, and rear backup cameras.


Dan Cummins Can Help!


Dan Cummins Chevrolet


This list is a great starting off point when searching for a vehicle for your new teen driver. The entire process can be overwhelming, which is why it is important to be informed, and go into a dealership with a general idea of what you are looking for.

Here at Dan Cummins, our knowledgeable and friendly sales staff can help you find the perfect vehicle for your teen driver. We understand that safety is your number one priority, and that getting a great deal on a great car is your goal. Our extensive inventory of used cars, trucks, and SUVs, will help ensure that you have the best selection to choose from for your teenager.

Come by Dan Cummins Used dealership to check out our inventory and speak with our sales team, today! You can also check out our entire inventory online, which is constantly changing to better serve our customers. If you don’t see what you are looking for online, give us a call, and we will work hard to help you find the car you are looking for.

Finding a safe vehicle for your teenager shouldn’t be taken lightly. At Dan Cummins, we will listen to your concerns and desires for your vehicle, and help you find the perfect fit. We look forward to helping you!