30 Best Choices for a Used First Car

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Which Used Cars are Best for First Time Buyers?

Each person’s idea of a perfect used first car will differ. Some people get their first car at the age of 16, likely as a gift from their parents. Others wait to buy their own first car until after they graduate from high school or even during their college days.

While your budget and lifestyle will help determine what type of car to look for, there are also questions to consider. Which class interests you? What’s the best brand? How much space do you need? Do you prioritize performance, utility, or practicality?

No matter how you answer these questions, a vehicle’s blend of quality and value is a top consideration. It’s critical to make sure you’re getting lots of car for your money and it’s reliable enough that it’s not going to cost a ton to maintain.

There are many great used cars available, but finding the right one is no easy task. To assist with the process, we’ve ranked our best used first car choices based on a combination of each vehicle’s minimum average transaction price, costs of ownership, J.D. Power predicted reliability rating, and overall U.S. News score. Regardless of your situation and priorities, there should be a car on this list for you.

Keep in mind that U.S. News scores change often as new data and expert reviews become available. This means that the scores in our articles may not precisely match the scores in other areas of our site.

Read on to learn more about today’s best choices for a used first car.

If you would rather see new cars that are great for first-time buyers, click here.