The Best Used Cars to Buy for Occasional Drivers

Not everyone relies on their car on a daily basis. Maybe you aren’t the type that deals with a daily commute, and running from here to there constantly. If that’s the case, you may be looking for a car meant for occasional drivers. Here’s a list of things to consider when shopping, and some cars that might fit the bill.

Must-haves

  • The car must be reliable when it comes to starting, even if it has sat for a few days
  • The car must hold up well over time since you won’t be putting much mileage on it
  • The car should be “user-friendly” so you don’t need to refer to the user’s manual just to work the bells and whistles
  • It should be budget-friendly
  • Affordable when it comes to car insurance
  • Excellent fuel economy

Top five list

Here’s a list of cars that either meets some or all of the above mentioned criteria:

  • Mazda3: The Mazda3 has gotten attention over the years due to its sports like look, superior handling and performance, and its compact design. This particular model is Mazda's best-selling model in their entire lineup, according to Kelley Blue Book. Expect fuel economy that is above average, and enough cargo space for all your shopping.

  • Pontiac Vibe: This one was only available until 2010 in a four and five door hatchback. When it was first released it was heralded for its fuel economy, although you can find better nowadays. During its time, it sold well and created quite the buzz. It should be noted there have been recalls on this model over the years.

  • Subaru Forester: The Forester rates high in a number of areas including exterior design, comfort, reliability, performance, and interior design. These are all factors worth considering if you’re an occasional driver. There is the option of manual or automatic, it comes with standard AWD, and offers the four-cylinder turbocharged or regular engine.

  • Acura MDX: Kelley Blue Book has plenty of positives to point out with this model, such as its good use of space, smooth handling, and the fact it's highly responsive on the road. This midsize SUV is ideal for anyone that is looking for a vehicle that is reliable and consistent.

  • Hyundai Sonata: Since you are an occasional driver you likely don't want to replace your vehicle every couple of years. The Hyundai Sonata is in it for the long haul, and depending on the year you look at, you may still have warranty left on it. This one is comparable to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in quality, yet it is a more affordable option.

Final thoughts

Being an occasional driver doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality, looks, or performance as the cars on this list have proven.


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Caz

17 years of experience
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Caz
17 years of experience
Honda Insight - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Acworth, Georgia
Patient, thorough, professional and takes his time to explain things. This is the second time I have used Caz's services, and he consistently delivers. Look forward to working with him again.
Volvo XC90 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Alpharetta, Georgia
My husband and I are looking for a reliable used car for our teenage drivers. We had two that we were considering and wanted to have them inspected prior to purchasing. Caz did a thorough inspection of both vehicles and recommended we walk away from both. We really appreciated his transparency and knowledge. We will definitely use Caz again.

Chris

22 years of experience
2001 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Porsche Macan - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Irvine, California
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Casey

19 years of experience
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Casey
19 years of experience
Hyundai Santa Fe - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Katy, Texas
Casey is awesome. Helped me fully understand the health of the used vehicle I was buying for my mother in law. Great service and very knowledgeable for sure. Casey found only one issue we needed to deal with and was able to book the repair just a few days later.

Colby

14 years of experience
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Colby
14 years of experience
Ford Ranger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Longmont, Colorado
Colby called to notify me he was in route to the inspection--to ease my mind and to ask if there was anything in particular/extra I wanted him to check out. He was going to do a pre-purchase inspection of a 2002 Ford Ranger. He assured me that I hired the right guy since he'd worked for Ford for 13 years. An hour or so later, he called me while he was driving home to discuss his inspection. I could ask him everything I wanted as we dialogued. That was so helpful! And way more personable and real than just reading the report he emailed. The report was thorough and included a test drive. He had recommendations for some work to be immediately done; rotors & brake pads. Then, included the cost for him to do that work should I choose. The price was fair and not crazy expensive. I'm still deliberating on whether to have that done or to wait for my mechanic to do it once I have the truck. Thank you again Colby.

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