Buying a used car for senior citizen

Hi everyone. I’m looking to buy a used car for my 82-year old father. I wanted to buy him a brand new car, but sadly I simply don’t have the money. My dad is suffering from arthritis and his mobility is not what it used to be. I have no idea how much longer he plans on driving. I would prefer he doesn’t drive at all, but you know how dads are!

I really don’t know what to take into consideration for senior citizens when looking for a good used car. Obviously it must be mechanically reliable. He is not going to drive long distances. He is not tech savvy. The fewer bells and whistles it has the better. I would think a car that is easy to get in and out, along with comfortable seating would be important. We live in suburban Chicago, so perhaps AWD or 4WD for the winter? I don’t know what else to think about for him.

I don’t have a lot of money. Is there anything good for under $10K?

I would appreciate any recommendations, especially from anyone has been (or is currently) in a similar situation.

Thank you!

to be honest the used car market is insane right now. everything is way overpriced. if you can it would be better to wait to the used car market goes back to normal. just my opinion. you can teach him how to use UBER in the mean time.


This is the wrong time to be looking at a used vehicle because the prices are just ridiculous . Only your dad can tell if a car is easy to get in and out of . As for AWD you don’t want that in a cheap used vehicle because of the repair expense . When it is needed he can just stay home and actually have food delivered .

I would take whatever funds you were going to use for buying a car and put into a joint checking account for you and your father. Get a debit card for that account. Open an Uber account for your father and use that debit card to pay the account when he uses it. I’m also elderly and live in a suburb of a big city. I’ve never had to wait more than 7 minutes for an uber ride.


I don’t know how leases are going these days, but you might consider a 3 year lease my guess 2 to 300 q month, and if still good in 3 years do another.

One more vote for Uber, Lyft and Taxis. Also look into senior transportation that might be a available in the area. 10k will buy a lot of rides. Set dad up with a simple phone set up for voice commands so he can just ask for a ride.

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Agree 110%. New and used prices are insane right now.


A good example of unreal used prices - Carmax has a 2011 Ford Ranger XLT with low miles for 26000.00 . That thing sold new for about 21000.00 .


I think you answered your own question. My advice is to be a loving chauffeur to your father so he doesn’t need a car.

Consumer Reports had an article on cars for seniors a couple years back. IIRC the Subaru Forester was among the most highly recommended.

That said, the uber/lyft/taxi/bus/light rail options make a lot of sense in some places. If you accompany him his first such forays, you’ll both probably become comfortable with it.

  1. An Uber Gift Card for $1,000 - Good for trips and meal deliveries - Can buy online
  2. If he doesn’t already have one, an inexpensive, basic cell phone - Walmart has them with with inexpensive phone and decent plans for about $150 a year.
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This why folks are encouraging Uber, etc. The death rate for drivers over 80 is higher than any other group, even new drivers:

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On the other hand, many of the newer safety features are genuinely useful for a senior with limited mobility.


Lion is correct. Many of those bells and whistles are a benefit . Place Backup Camera high on the list , followed by parking sensors and Blind Spot Monitors .

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As a general rule though, never buy a dog or a car for someone else. Especially big dogs or little dogs that bark and run around all the time.

Once you determine if it should be a sedan, compact, SUV type etc., might want to look for a four year old lease return or something, but again in these crazy times, cars are hard to come by. Dealers have been spreading their cars out on the lot just to make it look like they have more than they have.


About the same as moms in my experience. Mine won’t stop driving, though she absolutely should. I just have to hope she doesn’t kill someone.

The difference between you and me is that mom can afford to buy her own new car whenever she wants, so I can’t act as a gatekeeper as long as she is mentally capable of making her own (bad) decisions. You’re in a better spot; if your dad is an unsafe driver, you can choose not to enable his driving by not providing him with a car.

I agree with the many others. Get him set up with Uber/Lyft and keep him, and everyone around him, safe.


My dad is 78 and just bought a Dodge Challenger with a Hemi V8. They’re close in age, so maybe he’d like something similar! I’m kidding, of course.

I don’t have anything of value to ad, really. I don’t know if your dad should still be driving. If he’s still able to drive and get around, why not take him car shopping and see what he likes?

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you can always have him take some sort of drivers safety road course to see if he can pass.


or you can get this little guy to help him. LOL

Driving lessons? Offer to put him in a retirement home on his birthday.
Gran Torino

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