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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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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