Tim Shults
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Life after Parenting: Finding the Right Cars for Empty Nesters

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 Right Cars for Empty Nesters Couple driving sunshine road

The children have moved away and now it’s time for an empty nest…and a new car!
Photo: SplitShire

Congratulations! You’ve successfully raised your children, pushed them through school, and married them off to their soul mates. Now you notice that minivan in the garage is on its last leg and you’re done spending money on other people. You are ready for a new car!

Before you go and celebrate your freedom with the sports coupe you’ve always wanted (though we won’t stop you if you do), you have to consider how the market and your own life has changed since you last went car shopping.

Although numerous vehicles are available all across town, pleading for your business, there are some cars for empty nesters that are simply better options.


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Considerations for Fun but Suitable Cars for Empty Nesters

When you consider what car suits you, evaluate your current needs–not the ones you had when you were raising children:

Visibility: Minivans are a pain to see out of, so why put yourself through that again? Find a vehicle you don’t have to strain your neck in and won’t feel boxed in.

Safety: You’re a little more fragile than you used to be, and safety features have greatly improved in the past five years. Take advantage of the sensors and cameras offered nowadays, like on Hyundai models. Collision avoidance can save your life.

Technology: GPS in your infotainment system would be incredibly helpful when you get lost, but you might not want to load up on all the latest tech that could distract you.

Less Space: You don’t have to drive a tank anymore to shuttle sports teams and equipment, but you don’t want a tiny compact car either. Small SUVs and crossovers could be up your alley, as their versatility doesn’t compromise on engine power. Consider a Jeep!

Convenience: Services like General Motors’ OnStar will let you do anything from remotely start your car to call for assistance. You’ll control you vehicle in new ways.

Luxury: You probably didn’t have the money to spend on luxury vehicles when your children were yanking your finances in every direction. Now that your expenses are under control, it might be the time to find a small, entry-level luxury sedan around $35,000. Audi or Mercedes Benz might be worth a look for their high quality.

Fuel Economy: With the kids living elsewhere, you’ll have more time for travelling (and for visiting them). With the improved gas mileage many midsize sedans offer, consider a Toyota or Honda.

Hopefully considering these factors will bring you to ideal cars for empty nesters like you. Just make sure you get something you enjoy driving–you deserve it!


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