The Best Used Cars to Buy For a Graduation Gift

Your little bundle of joy has grown up and on the cusp of entering adulthood. Graduating is a milestone, and you want to reward their hard work and show how proud you are. Buying a used car is a great idea but you’ll need to know the best used cars to buy for a graduation gift. Here’s a quick look at some of the top options available to you.

  • 2005 Ford Focus: The Focus is fun (at least the coupe version is) and surprisingly quick on the road for a four-cylinder. It’s also economical and not sporty enough that your grad might decide to drag race on the weekends. It’s basic, with few frills, but it definitely gets an important job –getting from point A to point B safely – done.

  • 2011 Honda Civic: Looking for reliability and fuel economy in a fun package? The 2011 Honda Civic might be the right fit. It’s available in both two and four-door formats, and the four-cylinder engine delivers more than enough performance for daily driving needs. The optional stability control system is a “must have” as well for additional safety on the road.

  • 2011 Honda Element: The second Honda to make this list, the Element isn’t in production anymore, but the final year of production (2011) makes a great graduation gift for anyone with a need for hauling space and good interior room. The 2.4-liter engine is the same one found in the Civic and the CR-V, as well.

  • 2005 Dodge Neon: Looking for something a little older but with good style? The 2005 Dodge Neon is a great choice. It offers fuel economy of 25/32 mpg and while it’s not a sports car, it has that certain stance that makes it stand out.

  • 2005 GMC Sierra: Does your grad need the ability to haul and tow? If so, the 2005 GMC Sierra is a good choice. The step sides are attractive, and the bed is long enough to accommodate a decent amount of cargo. Opt for the standard cab and you’ll save a little cash at the dealership as well.

There are plenty of other options out there that might be a good fit for your grad depending on whether he or she is going immediately to college and needs to get back and forth to home, or is starting a job right way. Regardless, a certified mobile mechanic from YourMechanic can provide a pre-purchase inspection on any used car you might be interested in.


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Adam

17 years of experience
158 reviews
Adam
17 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler L6-4.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - West Palm Beach, Florida
Adam arrived on time for my sight unseen vehicle purchase pre-inspection and called me right after he was done to talk about the issues in the comments I left for him prior to his arrival. He was articulate, well spoken, and explained things to a tech geek in a way I could wrap my head around. Will definitely be requesting him in the future if I have anymore jobs in FL.
Lexus GX470 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - West Palm Beach, Florida
very thorough on his inspection. responds to all of my messages. very pleasant to talk to. highly recommended

Miguel

21 years of experience
184 reviews
Miguel
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper L4-2.0L Turbo - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Teterboro, New Jersey
I booked a pre-purchase inspection through YourMechanic.com and Miguel Medina did the inspection. Miguel was very thorough and professional and answered all of my specific questions promptly and completely. I am completely satisfied with Miguel's service and advice and with the YourMechanic.com service.
Infiniti G35 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Totowa, New Jersey
Miguel is professional he arrived to the appointment early and did a through inspection of the vehicle we are interested in purchasing.

Jeffrey

16 years of experience
85 reviews
Jeffrey
16 years of experience
Chevrolet Express 2500 V8-4.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Pinellas Park, Florida
Super cool guy. Did a very thorough inspection! I felt confident with my purchase after he checked it out. Seemed to be very knowledgeable and gave his honest opinion about the vehicle.
BMW 328xi - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Largo, Florida
Great Communications, and thorough assessment and evaluation of the vehicle. He clearly communicated the immediate needs of the car and also noted the items working well. Thanks for a great report, it definitely helps me make a decision!

Christopher

20 years of experience
271 reviews
Christopher
20 years of experience
Lexus RX350 V6-3.5L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tampa, Florida
I hired Christopher to do a follow-up pre-purchase inspection to take a look at the dealership service repairs for issues he previously found and he was able to verify their work and even find a couple of new issues the dealership also addressed. He saved in several hundred of dollars of work and his reports were very detailed and thorough.
Lexus RX350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tampa, Florida
Christopher provided a very detailed report for my Pre-Purchase Inspection. He helped catch some issues my dealership later agreed to fix to close out the deal.

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