The Best Used Cars to Buy for Occasional Drivers

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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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Attila

18 years of experience
573 reviews
Attila
18 years of experience
Volvo XC90 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Passaic, New Jersey
Excellent, knowledgeable, hands-on, and experienced mechanic. Polite, helpful, focused and answers any questions. Examines everything thoroughly and explains what he is doing and offers immediate insight. Great energy, hard-working and provides great support for pre-purchase inspection. I'm a professor and do my own research but wanted the added confidence of a good mechanic who could see and inspect every detail that mattered. This is the guy I want to be working with as far as cars are concerned. I'll be hiring him to do all my inspections, until I get my car. Then I'll hire him as the mechanic for my car. Then I'll repeat when its time for my daughter's car etc. When he found a problem, he showed me, and explained, and then had me test it out. Then he would show me the variations. At the same time, he was efficient. He did his job well and moved from task to task, and didn't linger over random discussion, and conscientiously moved from one inspection to the next in a timely manner. He was looking for everything that might be wrong and made a good remark when something was right and showed me what he meant. When we went for a test-drive he felt out the entire set of behaviors that should matter to a person interested in a good engine, in good performance, and in safety. At the end of the day, people who love their work do it extremely well. I would say Atilla represents that kind of person and he was a pleasure to work with.
Volvo XC70 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Plainfield, New Jersey
Attila was very throughrout with the inspection of the car and confirmed my suspicions about the breaks

Michael

15 years of experience
554 reviews
Michael
15 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Decatur, Georgia
Wonderful experience with Mike! He was punctual, thorough, and professional. Would definitely choose to work with him again!
Lincoln Mark V - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Alpharetta, Georgia
Mike was very professional . His inspection was detailed and to the point. I avoided a major headache. Thank You!

William

18 years of experience
45 reviews
William
18 years of experience
Toyota Tacoma - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Scottsdale, Arizona
Very detailed, honest and knowledgeable mechanic. Saved me from buying a lemon. Will be returning to Your Mechanic to hire William in the future.
Infiniti FX35 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tempe, Arizona
William was excellent and really helpful as we were buying from away. We highly recommend him. Thanks

Jason

14 years of experience
130 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
I recommend Jason. I know little about cars and needed him to check out a car for me. Jason did a pre purchase car inspection for me. He explained what looked good and what looked to be of concern about the car. If it was a concern, he explained what needed to be done to get the car in good shape before the purchase. He had all the equipment to check out the car. I would book him again for any other services as he knows what he's doing and is friendly.
Kia Rio - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Brooklyn, New York
Jason did a thorough job inspecting a car I was considering buying and answered all my questions after the inspection

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