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Best Used Car 7000 and under for 19-yr old male

My son is in need of a different car. He is 19, so insurance cost is a big factor since he is in the high risk bracket. Also wants something a little sporty and under $7000. Any suggestions?

Honda Civic. 5 spd stick is sporty enough if you can find one.

A compact from worth looking at. The car can be sporty in looks only if you want to keep the insurance costs down. I"d look at a used Mazda or Civic.

Mazda Miata – sporty
Hyundai Sonata – cheaper to insure

Unless he’s paying, you get to pick. And forget ‘a little sporty’, 4-doors all the way. Look at the safety ratings here:
And Consumer Reports is coming out with their 2011 buyers guide, worth a look.
As for insurance cost, talk to your agent.

You ARE the man on this post !!!

Don’t spend $7k on your son’s first car.
Just don’t do it.

Keep the price under $3k, and budget the rest of the money for needed repairs, and insurance costs.

And make sure he has a job to pay for the insurance and the gas, and up keep.
If you foot the entire bill, he won’t appreciate the vehicle, and will wind up needing a replacement soon, and you will have to fork out the cash for that one, too.


Saving on insurance should be at the top of your list. First, register the car in your mane; he will be the primary driver. Then, check over this list to mind the cars with the lowest insurance payout:

You can check other types and sizes of vehicles using the menus. You can also check other year groups, too. Use Edmunds, KBB, or NADA to check approximate prices. I’d go with a full size car, since insurance is going to be much less. How do I know? The reference I gave you shows overall insurance payout (and categories) from virtually all the US auto insurers. This is the data they use to categorize the car. They they add your son’s age and past driving experience. Start with a boring, low-payout car like your grandmother drives and go from there.

Thanks for all the replys. Just to be clear…I’m helping my son find a car. I’m not paying for it, nor am I paying the insurance or gas!!! Just trying to help him make a smart buy with more opinions than just Dad’s ('cause you know Dad can’t possibly know anything, right?)

Great site, thanks very much!

The best thing to do is have him write up a list of cars he’d like to have. You can search Ebay, edmunds, KBB or to search in the price range, maybe even get a few VINs, to get a feel for whats available; maybe throw in a couple boring sedans for variety. Next, call up his insurance agent and have them run the VINs or do a general quote for him for all the vehicles on his list.

You might be surprised at how rates can vary on even a sister car to what you’re looking at(Ford Fusion vs Mercury Milan for example)

“Dad can’t possibly know anything, right?”

Absolutely correct - for a son. My daughters think their mom is dumb as a brick and half as useful, but I’m OK. I think that gender has a lot to do with it. That is, sons think less of fathers ans daughters think less of moms than the other parent. It’s a breaking away thing.

I think $7k is reasonable if you don’t want a call n the middle of the night to bail out your son and friends (not actually the middle of the night) because their $3k clunker broke down. I know 4k extra is no guarantee, but IMO it buys a little more security. When I turned the keys over to my kids, it was for an inexpensive but reliable well attired compact. I drove the clunker because I had more confidence in myself to deal with problems.

As the adage goes, your options are cheap, sporty, and reliable. Pick 2. Personally, I would advise to ditch sporty.

In my area you can get an 05 corolla with 90k for 6,500. That sounds like a great price for a car with lots of useful life left.