The Best First Cars for Teenagers (Less than $5,000)

Your first car means a lot to you when you get it since you’ve been so excited to get one. You may know how to drive already or you’re going to learn with yours but it’s very exciting knowing this one belongs to you. But a lot of decision-making does go into buying your first car and a lot of things need to be considered. Most times you’re on a budget so factors like initial prices are important. But this doesn’t end there as future factors like maintenance, fuel consumption and reliability come into play. So here’s a list of the best first cars for teenagers, you or anyone. Links to these cars are also listed below.


For new drivers who are just getting started with driving you may need a small car that doesn’t take up too much space and is easy to maneuver. The Honda Fit is designed exactly for this purpose. It’s a compact car aimed at younger drivers with a small budget and fits almost anywhere just in case parking is limited. Prices for these models go well under $6,000. Gas mileage on these cars is great at 34MPG on the highway.

Standard safety features include front and side airbags and antilock brakes. Now, this all sounds boring as you want your first car to be fun but the Honda fit is surprisingly a fun little car. It’s slow no doubt but its small, light body means you can toss it around as much as you want without harming yourself as long as you do it safely. And finally, Honda is known for reliability and this means if you get a nice one you’ll almost never visit the shop.


When buying your first car storage can be a big consideration for certain activities. Camping and road trips are just a few to mention and the Subaru outback delivers in that aspect. This wagon is a great one other than an SUV that can be used for so many different activities while still being comfortable and carrying lots of luggage. It has good ground clearance for some light off-roading, enough space in the cabin for 5, and large boot space for all your gears and luggage for you and some friends.  Features include heated seats, de-icing windshields, all-wheel drive, airbags, and disc brakes all around.  They can be gotten for right around $6,000 with good gas mileage of around 27MPG on the highway.


No longer being produced anymore but the Scion TC is a good car for your first car. Scion is a brand under Toyota that was created to appeal to younger car buyers, so we know reliability is great. This car is an inexpensive car on this already inexpensive list and in my opinion, it’s a beautiful car too. The TC is a 2 door compact car perfect for teen/first-time drivers. It’s really affordable, easy to drive and maintain, has a lot of safety features (7 airbags), and also available with a manual transmission.  With a stylish and sleek exterior, it would definitely make you look good driving around in it. These cars can be gotten for under $5,000.


Yes, a Kia made it onto this list but I bet you knew it would. The soul looks boxy with round edges and may appeal to an older audience but it is a perfect first car. The design makes this car easy to get in and get out from any angle/direction while being spacious on the inside. It by far has some of the best tech features on this list with Bluetooth coming as standard with a touchscreen with voice activation. Just like some modern sports cars it has 3 different driving modes: Normal, Comfort, and Sport depending on your driving mood.


Popularly known as the people’s car the golf has served for generations and is still serving today and is an ideal first car. It’s affordable, great to drive, and surprisingly spacious for its small looks. It’s by far the car with the best engine performance here with 170HP from its 4 cylinders paired with a 6-speed auto and quick steering, it’s a fun car to drive. Volkswagen and the Germans, in general, are known for safety and the Golf doesn’t fall short. It has an intelligent crash response system that unlocks all doors, cuts off engine power, and puts on the hazards in case of an accident.

6. MAZDA 3

A bit better than the golf in terms of looks this is a good first car. It’s by far one of the most fuel-efficient cars available with Mazda’s skyactiv technology 40MPG on the highway is guaranteed. This saves you some extra cash as you use up less gas. Handling in this car is also better with a great suspension offering a smooth ride with less body roll making the car balanced. Crash and safety ratings on this car are very high which is definitely a plus. Spend around $6,000 and this all-around good car could be yours.


I personally know a lot of people who use this car and I must say I’m impressed with it. Available in both a sedan and hatchback version it carries Hyundai’s design elements very well. It is underpowered but makes up for it with good gas mileage and reliability. Safety is also great with antilock brakes, traction control, airbags, and active front head restraints. It looks really good for an affordable first car and can be gotten for around $4,500.


Saving the obvious for last the Prius is also the most expensive on this list but with a catch. You get the best gas mileage on this list with 48MPG. So you may end up spending a little extra but you’ll visit the pump less. And with Toyota, it’s also reliable with Toyota’s well-known safety features. A lot of Uber drivers use this car because of these features and you can too as your first car.

Thank you for taking out time to read and if there’s any car not mentioned please let me know below. Please leave your comments and future video suggestions below.

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