Is a Mercedes-Benz a good first car?

I’m considering gifting my niece a car for her birthday since she now has her license. I want to give her something that’s nice, but still practical for a young driver. Is a Mercedes-Benz a good first car?

Melanie Mergen · Answered on Dec 21, 2022
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
How generous of you! It’s quite possible that a Mercedes-Benz could make a good first car, but it depends on whether it’s the right fit for the driver.
Generally speaking, the ideal first car for most young drivers is going to be something that’s safe, reliable, and affordable.
While your niece might not be paying for this purchase outright, you still want to give her something that’s affordable in the long run. Depending on where she lives, the value of her car may affect recurring tax or registration expenses, and she’ll need to be able to cover the vehicle’s repair and maintenance costs (unless you’re arranging to cover those as well).
RepairPal gives Mercedes-Benz, as a brand overall, an average reliability rating of 3/5, and it ranks repair costs as average, too. Of course, that can vary by make and model year, so it’s best to do research on the particular Mercedes-Benz you have in mind.
A good number of Mercedes-Benz vehicles are ranked as Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) from year to year, which is always a plus for any driver.
Whether it’s a Mercedes-Benz or something else, here are some more factors worth paying attention to as you search for the right first car for your niece:
  • Sale price
  • Current condition
  • Average car insurance costs
  • Gas mileage and estimated fuel costs
  • Passenger space
  • Cargo space
  • Comfort and convenience features
  • Performance capabilities
  • Additional ownership costs, like registration fees and repairs/maintenance
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