Best cars for seniors

The best cars for seniors are affordable and have great safety features, visibility, comfortability, and aren’t expensive to insure.

Rachael Brennan headshotAndrew Hurst

By

Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

&Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

Updated|3 min read

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When shopping for a vehicle, older drivers can find the best cars for seniors by considering safety, visibility, and comfortability. The best cars for seniors are also affordable and are cheap to insure.

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It’s essential to plan ahead before you shop for the best car for older drivers, so you can pick a car that’s best for your needs.

Key takeaways

  • Seniors should consider safety, visibility, comfortability, and the insurance costs when buying a car.

  • According to the IIHS, the cheapest and safest car for seniors is the Mazda 3, which has an MSRP of $20,800.

  • The car for seniors that has the cheapest insurance is the Subaru Outback, which costs an average of $1,744 per year to insure.

What are the best cars for seniors?

The best cars for seniors drivers are safe, comfortable, and affordable. Comfort and affordability are a matter of personal preference and budget, but what about safety?

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which measures cars on both their ability to avoid crashes and on how well they fare in collisions, these are some of the safest cars on the market [1] :

A bar graph showing the cost of the best, safest, and cheapest cars for seniors.

The IIHS determines its list of safest vehicles by rating headlight quality, front crash prevention, roof strength, head restraint, and other safety features.

The IIHS’s rankings are a useful way to find the best cars for seniors because its list is broken down by vehicle type and size.

Rank

Car

MSRP

1

Mazda 3

$20,800

2

Honda Civic

$22,350

3

Subaru Crosstrek

$22,645

4

Nissan Altima

$24,750

5

Toyota Camry

$25,395

6

Honda Accord

$26,120

7

Subaru Outback

$27,145

8

Ford Explorer

$33,745

9

Toyota Highlander

$35,405

10

Volvo XC60

$45,650

11

Tesla Y

$59,990

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What should seniors look for when buying a car?

The best car for most seniors may not be the best for you, depending on your needs. That said, there are some general categories to consider when looking for the best cars for older drivers.

1. Safety features

Many of the best new cars for seniors come with warning systems to help prevent accidents, like lane departure warning and forward collision warning alarms. These features tell older drivers when something dangerous is happening, like drifting between lanes or approaching the car in front of you too quickly.

2. Visibility

Senior drivers should make good visibility a priority when buying a new car and double check all these features before purchase. The best cars for older drivers will have wide windshields that you can easily see out of, plus mirrors, blindspot detection, and a backup camera.

3. Comfort

The best cars for seniors are comfortable. This means that older drivers should be able to get into and out of their vehicles easily. The best cars should also provide lumbar support and the ability to control your vehicle’s interior temperature.

4. Features for drivers with disabilities

Some seniors may need cars with special features that make driving easier. The best and safest cars for these senior drivers will have tools like hand and foot controls, adaptive cruise control, or pedal extensions that make it easier for older drivers or those with disabilities to use their cars.

5. Average cost of car insurance

Older drivers should also keep car insurance costs in mind while shopping. The best cars for seniors are cheap to insure, along with being affordable and safe. 

We found that the best car for seniors when it comes to safety and car insurance affordability is the Subaru Outback. The Outback costs $1,744 per year (or $145 per month) for seniors to insure.

Vehicle

Annual cost

Monthly cost

Subaru Outback

$1,744

$145

Toyota Highlander

$1,818

$152

Ford Explorer

$1,822

$152

Honda Civic

$1,925

$160

Toyota Camry

$1,949

$162

Honda Accord

$1,990

$166

Tesla Model Y

$2,884

$240

Average costs for seniors to insure the safest cars.

Insurance rates may be more (or less) expensive depending on factors that are specific to you. 

These include your address, credit score, and driving history.You should compare rates to ensure you find the cheapest insurance for your vehicle.

Compare rates and shop affordable car insurance today

We don't sell your information to third parties.

Frequently asked questions

What car should seniors buy?

There are several makes and models that are good for seniors, including Subaru Outback, Kia Forte, Toyota Rav4, and Toyota Camry. But these aren’t the only cars you should consider — any car that meets your needs when it comes to safety, visibility, cost, and comfort is a good choice.

Which car is the cheapest for seniors?

The cheapest car that also has high safety ratings is the Mazda 3, which has a MSRP starting at $20,800. The Honda Civic is another good choice for older drivers. The car costs $22,350 and costs $160 per month to insure.

How much does it cost to modify a car for a wheelchair user?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that the cost of modifying a car for a wheelchair costs anywhere from $50 to $80,000, depending on the modifications you need. You may be able to contact your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation or another appropriate agency to help pay for some (or all) of your modifications.

Methodology

Policygenius analyzed the cost of car insurance for seniors using rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. These rates were for a sample driver in every ZIP code across all states, including the District of Columbia.

Our sample driver carried a policy with the following limits:

  • Bodily injury liability: $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident

  • Property damage liability: $50,000 per accident 

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of insurance costs. Your actual quotes may differ.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

    . "

    2022 Top Safety Picks

    ." Accessed March 22, 2022.

Authors

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

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Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Andrew Hurst

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

gray linkedin icon link

Andrew Hurst is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, NPR, Mic, Insurance Business Magazine, ValuePenguin, and Property Casualty 360.

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