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Top car picks for empty nesters

Your choice of car may have been determined by your family life for many years, with space, practicality and budget being your top criteria. 

But when your children fly the nest, your driving needs (and wants) may be very different. It may be that a much smaller car would suit your lifestyle now. Perhaps you want to travel more and need a car that can take you on your new adventures. Or maybe you want to indulge yourself a little and buy the sort of sporty model you wouldn’t have dreamt of a few years ago.  

Whatever your priorities, here are some top car choices for empty nesters: 

For downsizing: Ford Fiesta hatchback 

£16,115 - £23,295: source Carbuyer[1] 

If you’re looking for something smaller, consider Carbuyer’s 2019 car of the year: a Ford Fiesta.  

Carbuyer praises this best-seller[2] for its looks, interior space, safety kit and optional features, such as autonomous driving technology. They say it’s also a fun car to drive. 

For Baby Boomer luxury: Jaguar XJ 

From £54,145: source Autocar 

The luxurious Jaguar XJ is the most popular car among Baby Boomers[3], according to research by YouGov.  

Reviewers praise it for its styling, driving experience and quality cabin[4].  

However, a new Jaguar XJ doesn’t come cheap, so it’s certainly an option for empty nesters with deeper pockets. 

For safety: Mercedes-Benz CLA 

From £32,201: source What Car? 

If your focus is on choosing the safest car possible, then consider a Mercedes-Benz CLA. The hatchback was crowned the winner in 2019’ ratings of the safest cars by Euro NCAP[5].  

As well as its safety, reviewers also praise its stylish looks, comfort and array of technology, including high-tech driver assistance systems[6]

For more travelling: Skoda Kodiaq 

From £22,106: source Carwow[7] 

Now the kids are doing their own thing, you may be able to indulge in some of those adventures that you had shelved for so long.  

If you plan to load up and hit the road, then you’ll need the right set of wheels. Jardine Motors suggests that travellers requiring more space consider the Skoda Kodiaq[8].  

While you might not need to seat seven people - which it can - you’ll certainly appreciate all that space for long trips. It’s also well-equipped and sensibly priced, reviewers say[9]

For value: Kia Picanto 

£12,000-£14,000: source What Car?[10] 

You may no longer have to feed and clothe your children; you may even have rented out their room to a lodger. But even so, your costs could be higher than before, especially if you’re helping fund university fees or if your grown-up children are tapping into the Bank of Mum and Dad for housing costs. 

If this is the case, then you may be focusing on affordability when shopping around for your next car. The new car with the best value in 2020 is the Kia Picanto, according to What Car?, which praises its “winning recipe of space, performance, comfort”, as well as its value for money.  

For throwing practicality out the window: Porsche Cayman 

From £44,790: source Porsche[11] 

If you have the money and desire to go a little wild once the children are gone, you may be ready to splash out on something a bit more fun to shake off that empty nest syndrome.  

If so, Carshop’s recommendations for empty nesters include the Porsche Cayman[12]. It describes it as the most affordable way to own a Porsche and, although it’s not as powerful as a 911, the Cayman still has plenty of power and style. 

No matter what car you decide to go for, there’s plenty to choose from to enjoy the rest of your life in style. 

Rias are here to help across all stages of your life. We provide comprehensive cover for a wide range of cars, so start your quote today and see what we could do for you.