What is a good car for a senior driver?
Safety, comfort, and ease of access are priorities for older drivers. Seniors should look for cars with good visibility, plenty of safety options, and adjustable power seats. An older driver might also prefer a car that has the latest safety features, which can alert them to dangers on the road.
Finding the best cars for a senior
For older drivers with mobility concerns, look for cars that are not just easy to drive but easy to get in and out of. Certain models are better suited for older drivers due to their design and safety features.
- Adjustable power seats: Power seats can be adjusted higher, which often helps when entering and exiting the vehicle. Telescoping steering wheels are another nice feature that allows drivers to adjust for the most comfortable setting.
- Rearview or backup camera: Turning around to check blind spots can be difficult for older drivers. Cameras provide a live view behind the vehicle, ensuring that you can see obstacles or dangers even if they're in the blind spot directly behind the car.
- Forward collision warning: Forward collision warnings can provide an audible alert if the vehicle detects an impending crash, giving the driver more time to hit the brakes and avoid a disaster. Some cars also come with automatic brakes that trigger when the forward collision warning alerts.
- Blind-spot monitor: This feature alerts drivers when another vehicle is beside them. These monitors are helpful in traffic, particularly for drivers who might have neck or back issues that prevent them from turning and checking blind spots.
- Parking assist and rear cross-traffic alert: Navigating parking lots while backing up can be difficult for even the best drivers. A parking assist system can prevent you from bumping into a parking structure or other car, while a rear cross-traffic alert system will warn you if a vehicle is approaching from either direction.
- Size of car: Larger SUVs might be too high off the ground, while small sports cars can be too low to the ground, making both difficult to get in and out. An older driver might prefer a vehicle that sits slightly higher on the road, such as a mid-sized SUV. A better field of view with greater visibility makes driving easier.
Safety features can help keep you safe on the road, but driving safely can help you lower your car insurance rate. Learn more about car insurance for seniors and how Progressive's Snapshot Program rewards you for safe driving.
Car-buying tips for seniors
Shopping for a new car can be a stressful experience at any age, especially if it's been a while. Some universal tips to keep in mind:
Research before going to a dealer
Some dealers may try to charge higher-than-market prices on vehicles. Take the time to research car makes and models you may be interested in before you commit to buying. If you know the true value, it's harder for a dealership to convince you to pay thousands of dollars extra. Check out our tips for buying a new car to help you get started.
Get preapproved for a loan
While a dealership might offer financing, you can often score a better deal and lower interest rates if you go through a bank or a credit union. Try and secure financing to purchase a car before going to the dealership. Doing this eliminates the pressure a dealer can put on buyers with promises of limited-time offers.
Take your time
Many dealerships make promises and employ high-pressure sales tactics to convince buyers to make a purchase that day. But remember, when shopping for a vehicle, you have the power. Take your time browsing different models and deciding which one best fits you. If a dealer says that an offer is only good that day, remember that it isn't true. Dealers want you to purchase before you leave because they know you might not return if you walk off the lot.
Let that work in your favor. Be willing to walk away from a deal. You can often negotiate for lower rates and better deals just with a willingness to walk away. Learn more about Progressive's Car Shopping Services.
You can likely find multiple dealerships in the area with the same model car. Shop around and get quotes from each dealership. Competition favors the consumer, and if you come to a dealership with the knowledge that you can get the same model for a lower price just up the street, you can use this knowledge to negotiate a lower price for the one you want. Learn more about how to negotiate the best deal when buying a new car.