Used car for Senior Citizen



I bought a new VW Beetle convertible in 1978 hoping it would be my last car purchase. Now at age 73 it’s a race between car rust and my own aging process. Not sure who is going to win and I need a plan. Can you recommend the best brand, model, and oldest used car I can buy with a good probability of lasting another 10 to 15 years?


Well, if you are driving a VW Beetle convertible, you certainly don’t want a “geezer” car. You are still too young for that. The Mazda Miata has a very good repair record and would be in keeping with what appears to be your automotive tastes.

You’ll get a flood of responses suggesting Hondas, Toyotas, Ford Crown Victorias, etc. Ignore them. They are recommending cars for geezers. Even though the reliability is apparently not the greatest, how about a VW New Beetle convertible?


Scion tC with dual sunroof…the stand by. Why not new. They’re cheap enough.


If you still want a sporty car, I would look for a good used Toyota Solara convertible. One with low mileage.

It’s more comfortable and roomier than the 1978 bug, and repairs are easy and inexpensive to come by. A fellow down the street bought one for his wife (he drives a truck) and she looks just great driving it with the top down.

A friend of mine your age bought a Mazda Miata, and promptly sold it. Too difficult to get in and out of. Try it for yourself.

If you don’t need a convertible, I would look at a Hundai Accent Hatchback in your favorite color. It is about the same size as your Beetle, but with more room inside, and better performance. I’s very easy on gas and cheap to run. The rustproofing will be light years better than that on your bug. And it’s more fun to drive than your Beetle. Price starts at UNDER $10,000 well equipped.


A budget would be a good place to start. You looking for a similar vehicle to the Beetle, or something with a bit more room?
Honda Del Sol and Ford Mustang come to mind


I bought an '03 Honda Civic new with the idea it would be my last new car purchase. It has 92K miles now and I expect it will hold up for another 10 to 15 years. I’d recommend a used Civic. Mine is a stick and I think the manual trans holds up longer than the auto.


The Miata would probably work best for you.


How much trouble do you have getting into and out of the VW with the roof up? If your joints are becoming a bother, you might consider a small SUV with power seats. I know two people with knee or back issues that found that the Honda CR-V fit just right.


I second that. My Civic is already 12 years old and has almost 189,000 miles. I expect to keep it until it turns over 300,000 miles, which could take another ten years.