The Best Cars for New Drivers Going Back to School

At the start of every school year, there is an influx of new drivers out on the roads, families shuttling their children to school and yellow buses flooding the streets.

As teenagers get their driver’s licenses and are able to drive themselves and their siblings to school, parents begin thinking about getting another car. After all, with another person in the house who will be doing a fair amount of driving, having a second or third car is often necessary just to get everyone to school, sports or recitals on time.

On the other hand, buying a new car for a new driver may not be the wisest option for you or your family, and it certainly won’t be the most financially practical. Many parents buy their children used cars when the school year starts back up so they can make use of their new driver’s license. This also keeps parents from worrying about getting the children to school on time.

Some used cars are perennial favorites as back to school vehicles, repeatedly chosen by parents for their safety features, durability, and affordable price. We’ve listed the top 5 best cars to get you you or your children back to school this year:

  • Toyota Corolla: This car is subcompact and affordable and gets good gas mileage. If it has been well cared for by previous owners and you continue to do so, a Corolla can be passed down to the younger sibling.


  • Honda Accord: One of the best cars to purchase used, the Accord has been a solid choice for car owners for decades. A used model from as old as 1998 can provide years of continued enjoyment and reliability. Accords are spacious, affordable, and a great deal at any age as long as they have been properly maintained.


  • Ford Focus: These cars are a good option new and used; of course, used is much more affordable. Available in multiple styles, including hatchback and wagon, they offer good fuel economy and space and pleases the drivers who prefer to drive American.


  • Mazda Miata: While not the typical back to school used car, being a convertible, they offer a far better driving experience at a reasonable price than many other cars. Of course, some parents may be hesitant about putting their newly licensed child in a convertible, but the Miata has topped many “best of” lists and may be a good option as a college car.

2007 Mazda MX-5

  • Honda CR-V: The only crossover or SUV on this list, this car is a great option for drivers who may need more space. Affordable and with reasonable fuel economy, the Honda CR-V may be a great car for teenagers who need the space for driving teammates and siblings to sports events.


Are you buying your teenager or college-goer a vehicle before they head back to school?


  1 Comment

  1. Michael   •  

    As the owner of Toyota vehicles for the first 12 years of driving, I can say that you’ve got an accurate article here. Camry is another one that deserves a mention. A little bigger, but similar gas mileage if you get the 4 banger, and they run forever.

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