Best cars for older people

Best cars for older drivers

Last updated February 9th, 2024

According to UK Government data, there are now more than 5 million drivers over the age of 70 on the roads, accounting for around 14% of the total motoring population.

If you are among them and exploring options for your next car purchase, it’s important to choose a model that will suit your requirements. For instance, safety, user-friendliness, comfort and reliability are often high priorities among the older motoring cohort.

To take the hassle out of your decision, we’ve collated a list of the 10 best cars for older drivers, including a variety of economical, spacious, family-friendly and wheelchair-adaptable models.

The cars that made our list are not only well-suited to the older driver, they’re also among the best in their classes and therefore worthy of consideration by car buyers of all ages!

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What car types are most suitable for older drivers?

Automatic cars are great for older drivers (who may also have limited mobility) because many repetitive actions such as clutch control and gear changes are eliminated. Furthermore, the process of adapting an automatic car for mobility is usually simpler than with a manual model, as the controls are simpler.

A driver with limited mobility may opt for an adaptation such as hand controls or a semi-automatic clutch, which enables them to use a manual gearbox without clutch pedals.

Many older drivers also prioritise safety (as they want their car to provide maximum protection in the event of a collision) – and comfort (as they want to minimise aches and pains whilst on the road). Therefore, models with a high Euro NCAP safety rating and a good level of comfort are often popular among the older crowd.

SEAT Ibiza

Despite its relatively small size, the SEAT Ibiza offers a generous amount of interior space and much-improved build quality (thanks to its 2021 midlife facelift). What’s more, the Ibiza’s favourable fuel economy makes it a winner among many pension-age drivers.

Most importantly, the driving position is comfortable, even if you’re a taller driver. There’s also ample passenger space in the back. The Ibiza is broader than most of its rivals, so passengers shouldn’t struggle for shoulder room. Therefore, it’s a great option for family adventures!

Standard safety features include lane assist, tyre pressure monitoring, a tiredness recognition system and front assist (forward collision warning) emergency braking.

The Ibiza is available in several trim levels including:

  • SE (starting at £19,265).
  • SE Technology (starting at £20,335).
  • FR (starting £21,565).
  • FR Sport (starting £22,480).
  • XCELLENCE (starting £22,310).

Learn more about the SEAT Ibiza on the manufacturer’s website.


Toyota Corolla

If you want to spend quality time with your grandchildren, the Toyota Corolla is a great choice. It offers a comfortable ride and a great deal of practicality, thanks to its spacious cabin and large boot. This self-charging hybrid may help you to save on running costs and car tax.

The Corolla comes equipped with clever safety features such as emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring. It also earned the maximum five-star rating from Euro NCAP.

Other standard features include 16" silver metallic alloy wheels, Toyota Safety Sense (with over-the-air updates) and a wireless mobile phone charger.

The Toyota Corolla comes in a variety of trims including:

  • Hatchback Icon (starting at £30,495).
  • Hatchback Design (starting at £32,130).
  • Hatchback GR SPORT (starting at £33,395).
  • Hatchback Excel (starting at £34,230).

Learn more about the Toyota Corolla on the manufacturer’s website.


The Volvo XC60

The Volvo XC60 is a great car for elderly drivers, as it prioritises comfort and space without sacrificing practicality. The smart interior with Volvo’s trademark Scandinavian styling is also bound to impress.

Of course, the XC60 also offers generous levels of head, leg and shoulder room, providing a comfortable ride for all. The lightweight steering will help to make manoeuvring easier for many older drivers.

Volvo is renowned for its safety record and the XC60 doesn’t disappoint in this arena either. Standard safety features include front collision warning, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, cruise control and a speed limiter.

The Volvo XC60 comes in the following trims:

  • Core (starting at £46,200).
  • Plus (starting at £52,295).
  • Ultimate (starting at £61,565).

Learn more about the Volvo XC60 on the manufacturer’s website.


Kia Soul

If you’re after a car with a spacious interior and clear visibility, then the Kia Soul fits the bill perfectly.

The higher roofline provides ample headroom and affords a clear view of the road ahead. There’s also a surround-view monitor and remote smart parking assistance to make things even simpler!

The large boot provides lots of space for luggage, shopping and mobility aids. If you’re used to medium-to-heavy steering, it just might take a little time to get used to the Soul’s ultra-light handling.

The Kia Soul is available in the following trims:

  • Urban (starting at £39,075).
  • Explore (starting at £32,875).

Learn more about the Kia Soul on the manufacturer’s website.

Kia soul

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is an excellent option for the older driver thanks to its ample cabin space and comfortable interior.

Ford Sync 3.2 allows you to control everything from the interior climate to phone calls and text messages by voice command.

There’s also a high-definition 12.3" digital instrument cluster with clear and intuitive navigation. The Bang & Olufsen sound system delivers superlative audio quality thanks to the premium 10-speaker setup designed exclusively for Ford by B&O engineers. The central phone storage and wireless smartphone charging facility makes it easy to stay connected.

You can opt for the ‘Ecoboost’ petrol or mild hybrid powertrain.

The Ford Fiesta is available in a variety of trims including:

  • Trend.
  • Titanium.
  • Titanium X.
  • Active.
  • ST-Line.
  • ST-Line X.
  • ST-3.

Whilst production of the Ford Fiesta was discontinued in July 2023, showroom stock is still available. Pricing starts at £19,060.

Visit the manufacturer’s website to learn more.


Vauxhall Meriva

Vauxhall’s Meriva is a practical, comfortable car that’s equipped for family outings and offers a good level of fuel efficiency. The dashboard is solid, the cabin is airy and spacious - and the FlexSeat system provides a high level of passenger comfort.

Whilst the Meriva has a slightly unusual backwards-opening rear door, there is ample storage space for a wheelchair or mobility aid. It’s also a great option if you require mobility adaptations.

When it comes to space, the Meriva is hot on the heels of rivals such as the Ford C-Max, whilst occupying a lower price point. Although the Vauxhall Meriva is no longer in production, used models are readily available – and prices range from around £1,850 - £9,100.

Four trim levels were produced:

  • Club.
  • Tech Line.
  • SE.
  • Life.

Learn more about the Meriva on the manufacturer’s website.


Honda Jazz

If you’re looking for a smaller car that doesn’t sacrifice practicality, the Honda Jazz is worthy of your consideration.

There’s a lot to like about the Jazz: it’s affordable, well built and surprisingly roomy given its small size. It offers smooth acceleration and a relaxing ride, whilst handling safely and predictably. The steering is pleasingly light and precise, meaning no extra pressure will be put on your joints.

The petrol hybrid powertrain deftly toggles between petrol and electric power to deliver impressive fuel economy. There are two electric motors (with a compact battery), which work in unison with an efficient 1.6-litre petrol engine.

Key safety features include parking sensors, a speed warning system and autonomous emergency braking.

The Jazz is available in several trim levels including:

  • Elegance (£26,395).
  • Advance (£27,550).
  • Crosstar Advance (£28,550).
  • Advance Sport (£28,695).

Learn more about the Honda Jazz on the manufacturer’s website.


Renault Captur

If you’re an older driver and in the market for a reliable small SUV, the Renault Captur ticks many of the right boxes.

The comfortable interior has more than enough space for most family trips. The interior finish is classy throughout; highlights include the E-Tech engineered leather/suede upholstery, the gold detailing on the door panel, dash and steering wheel – and the dark grey roof lining.

The ride is smooth for the most part, although it can be slightly bumpy at slower speeds. For optimal riding comfort, we recommend choosing the smaller alloy wheels.

The Captur also offers emergency braking and crash protection features for added peace of mind. This model is available in the following trims:

  • Evolution (starting from £21,495).
  • Techno (starting from £22,995).
  • E-tech engineered (starting from £28,395).

Learn more about the Captur on the manufacturer’s website.


Volkswagen up!

If you need a simple, reliable car that gets you from A to B without a fuss, consider taking a test drive in a Volkswagen up!

Acceleration requires very little energy - and the up!’s small size translates to easy handling and manoeuvrability. This cleverly designed city car is also surprisingly spacious on the inside. Its short bonnet and vertical rear boot lid provide good visibility. Parking sensors are available as an optional extra.

The up! is available in several trims including:

  • Up.
  • White Edition.
  • Black Edition.
  • Beats.
  • R-Line.
  • GTI.

Volkswagen discontinued the up! at the end of 2023, after 12 years. However, used models are available at affordable prices.

  • Used prices for the older entry-level Take up! range from £1,900-£4,345.
  • Prices for the range-topping GTI 1.0 TSI 115PS S/S 5d model vary from £8,580-£19,715.

Learn more about the Up! on the Volkswagen website.


Skoda ENYAQ iV

The Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech automaker’s first fully electric car. However, you’ll be pleased to learn that it retains many of the ‘simply clever’ Skoda features that we know and love.

The build quality is reassuringly solid, there’s plenty of usable space – and the safety features are first-class. Not only did the ENYAQ iV achieve a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating, but it was also named ‘best in class' by the safety assessment programme when it was tested in 2021!

The entry level ‘60’ trim has a 58kWh battery that delivers a respectable range of around 250 miles. However, the slightly pricier ‘80’ trim is well worth the price of admission, given that its 77kWh battery is capable of nearly 340 miles on a single charge (comparable to its far costlier rival, the Tesla Model Y).

The ENYAQ iV is available in several trims, including:

  • Base (from £38,305).
  • Edition (from £39,920).
  • Sportline Plus (from £47,940).
  • L&K (from £50,675).
  • vRS (from £53,120).

Learn more on the manufacturer’s website.


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