The Best Used Cars to Buy for Short Commutes

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection
Service Area

$99.00

Upfront, Transparent Price
Average rating from 4,365 customers who received a Pre-purchase Car Inspection.

If you’re lucky enough to have a short commute to work, then you need to consider different factors when buying a used car than someone with a lengthier drive (or more time stuck in traffic). Chances are good that while fuel economy matters, it’s not that important. You’re probably more concerned with size, handling and the like. We’ve assembled a list of the top five cars for short commutes below.

  • Toyota Prius: The undisputed champ of the hybrid category, the Toyota Prius manages to combine good looks with outstanding fuel economy and decent handling. You’ll get 51 mpg in town, which means you might only have to fill the tank once every couple of weeks. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor also produce a respectable 134 hp, so it’s quicker than you might assume. Of course, it’s small, so getting in and out of city traffic is no big deal.

  • Honda Insight: The Insight has actually been on the market longer than the Prius, but it hasn’t gained quite the same widespread adoption by drivers. It offers 48 mpg in the city and 58 mpg on the road, and it’s pretty nimble as well. The small size also makes it a great choice for tight urban roadways and parking spaces.

  • Buick Encore: The Encore is a super-compact SUV that measures even smaller than the Ford Escape. It’s actually only a few inches longer than the Versa Note, and manages to deliver 23/25 mpg. There’s a decent amount of cargo space so urban road warriors can carry their luggage or gear with ease, too. The high seating position also means that you get a commanding view of your surroundings.

  • Scion iQ: Looking for something small, compact and yet very drivable? The Scion iQ might be the answer. It shares the boxy style of other Scion models, combined with Toyota’s legendary reliability. It also delivers an average 36 mpg and can take very tight turns, making it one of the best-suited cars to be your in-town runabout.

  • Smart Fortwo: Yes, the Fortwo has been around for a while and it’s racked up both praise and criticism. It still makes a decent car for anyone with a short commute, particularly if you don’t need to carry any passengers. It offers 33/41 mpg, and it’s one of the nimblest little cars on this list, making turns and parking in urban environments a cinch.

Whether you need an SUV or an ultra-compact model, there’s a used car out there perfect for your needs.


Next Step

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Pre-purchase Car Inspection. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Pre-purchase Car Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Pre-purchase Car Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

4,365

Rating Summary
4,059
168
34
34
70
4,059
168
34
34
70

Damian

10 years of experience
416 reviews
Damian
10 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Merritt Island, Florida
On time and found this car to be a very good buy. Suggested that I have a front end brake job, and the dealer is doing that for me as part of the deal. I am very pleased with the inspection Damian has provided and will call again in the future.
Toyota Corolla - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Melbourne, Florida
Honest and personable, and knowledgeable. Good experience having Damian look over a vehicle I am considering.

Willie

23 years of experience
25 reviews
Willie
23 years of experience
Dodge Avenger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Long Beach, California
Willie is a hard and reliable worker. Fixed the problem. 3rd experience with him I think. Very satisfied
Kia Spectra - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Gate, California
Thanks Willie, for your professional and personal service with this inspection and following up with me by phone! I really appreciate your efforts. You found things that I did not find when I test drove the car and as a result, I decided NOT to buy that car. I informed the dealership contact that I had regarding why I did not buy that car and gave them feedback on improving their own service for the future. I feel the money for the inspection was well spent as I could have made a big mistake and might have bought that car. Thanks to you, I avoided that potential problem. I have since gotten another car and feel good about. You helped me a lot and I thank you again! It is not fun to have one's own car totalled through no fault of your own and HAVE to buy a used car to replace in a short time, like I had to do. So again, thank you, thank you, thank you! ....Roseann

Benji

21 years of experience
94 reviews
Benji
21 years of experience
Ford Thunderbird - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Phoenix, Arizona
This is the second time this week that Benji has inspected a car for me before purchase. His reports are clear and thorough, saving me a lot of money from buying a lemon. He is dependable and honest. Even after the inspections, I kept contacting him with question after question. He answers them all and even sends me additional information. I totally recommend him!
Ford Thunderbird - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Mesa, Arizona
Benji went through a flooding situation to inspect my car. His inspection was thorough and professional. I emailed him numerous times, and he answered each and every one of them. He even has a good sense of humor. Thanks to his hard work and thorough inspection, I was saved from buying a potential lemon. Thanks, Benji.

Attila

18 years of experience
490 reviews
Attila
18 years of experience
Subaru WRX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Elmwood Park, New Jersey
It was once of the best experience I've had buying a car. I felt more confident then nervous and I would 100% recommend this
Volkswagen CC - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Little Ferry, New Jersey
Attila was absolutely amazing! Very knowledgeable and went over and beyond to give me clarity regarding a vehicle I am planning to purchase. He was very competent and did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for a VW CC. Excellent people-skills!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE