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Is A Minivan A Good First Car? (Why It Matters)

Minivans sure are great options for road trips and also short trips to nearby spots. But are they a good choice for a person’s first car? We are all probably aware of how important first experiences are. So if there is young person who just got their driving license, would a minivan be a good choice for a very first car? 

Minivans are a good choice for a first car simply because they don’t go as fast and certainly aren’t very sporty which means the new driver will be much less likely to try and show off while driving a minivan. They might even try to hide the fact that they are driving one! 

There are however some cons to having a minivan as a first car. 

The first one is that you can pack a lot of people inside of one. While this is a plus for people with families when you consider a teen or young adult packing all of their friends inside that adds a lot of extra distractions. Those distractions can easily turn into the driver not paying attention which can lead to an accident. 

However, a normal car can hold 5 people which could be quite distracting as well so I personally don’t feel like this is a fair argument against a minivan as a first car. 

The second con of having a minivan as a first vehicle is that they are considerably larger than many other vehicles. Although minivans aren’t really that hard to drive, when you are first learning then the extra size of a minivan could be scary or cause issues. Many minivans now have blind spot warning systems and backup cameras so if your minivan comes equipped with those two items then a minivan should be too hard to maneuver that a novice driver couldn’t handle it. 

If you are giving a first time driving a choice they will rarely want to get a minivan but that exact sustain for minivans is what really helps make them a good choice in my opinion! 

In the rest of this article I will go into more detail about why choosing a minivan for a first car is likely the best decision as well as some tips when choosing a minivan for a driver that is a beginner. 

Why is the first experience when driving  so important? 

First experiences are always important. No matter what you are talking about, you need to have a good first run to stick to the activity or to simply enjoy it more. 

In the case of vehicles, these experiences become much more important. 

You can learn how to be more responsible and take responsibility for things that you do wrong. For instance, you need to be more careful about the vehicles approaching you, and be more cautious while paying attention to your surroundings. 

You would obviously need a car that will let you practice your hand on the wheel as well as have some elements of fun in it too. There could be no better option for a new driver than a van or a minivan. Minivans would certainly be the best choice for a person who has just started to drive in my opinion because they can learn at their own pace and aren’t immediately expected to drive a fast or sporty vehicle.

If you are worried about whether you should buy a minivan as everyone has a different preference, you do not need to worry as safety and ease of use is much more important in a first car then just how it looks or what other people think about it. 

What kind of minivan should you get for a first car?

If you are thinking about what kind of a van you should go for as your first car, then I have some guidelines for you that could help you out. They are pretty basic things, but they should help you out in deciding on a minivan for your first vehicle. 

These guidelines should also prove to be quite effective when you are going to buy or rent a minivan online as then you would already be aware of the qualities that you should search for and filter your search results accordingly. 

  1. Don’t worry about if the minivan is scratched or dented in some way. As it’s going to be someone’s first car they are likely to accidentally scrape it up or even dent it so if the minivan already has some superficial damage it shouldn’t be a big deal and will also save some money on the purchase. 
  1. Check that all of the parts of the car are in proper shape. You would not want to buy or even rent a minivan that will make you run about for extra parts in all directions or constantly be fixing it. A good reliable minivan can last a long time but you need to make sure to get it checked out before buying it.
  2. Make sure the van you are buying was not someplace where it was exposed to flooding or even too much salt content on the roads during the winter and has started to rust out. Minivans already aren’t the best looking vehicles on the road and when you add in some rust they are much worse. 
  1. Check for rusted parts. Battling with rust is never a road you want to take, especially not as a part of your first experience with a first car. If you live someplace with harsh winters that get a lot of snow and ice you will likely have to buy a minivan that is not much older than 7-10 years to ensure the parts aren’t getting too rusted out.
  2. Try to go for a low mileage minivan. It will help you have many hazard-free miles on the road later on in the future. Ideally you want a minivan that is 5-10 years old with as low of mileage as possible.

Why is a minivan a good choice for a first car?

As would be a general notion, people who have just gotten their driving license would always have a need for speed. A minivan would be the last thing on their mind and quite naturally so. But quite contradictory to this general notion and desire, minivans would be a great choice for first-time drivers. 

This may sound a bit confusing and not at all worth it as minivans are styled in ways that many people can’t stand  and not at all a popular choice among teenagers or young adults, but here is why I believe that it would be a good choice for a first car. 

They are moderately heavy

Minivans are pretty big and equally heavy as well. They weigh almost 50% more than a small car would. However, this is a good thing rather than a bad one as it’s heavier weight would not let it get turned over easily by another vehicle. 

This would in turn keep it safe from more serious road accidents as well and since it’s a heavier vehicle the occupants are less likely to be injured in the event of an accident. 

Minivans keep their drivers comfortable

If you are new at driving then minivans would be a very cozy vehicle to drive. With smaller and lighter vehicles it might be difficult for you to handle the speed of the vehicle. You need to maintain a minimum speed to avoid accidents but with the build of a minivan, you can just focus on your driving and not have to worry about accidents or even being uncomfortable while you drive. 

Minivans have broader wheels

Broader wheels again help the driver to keep the car properly balanced. They reduce the chances of road accidents but you should keep in mind to check the tires before going on longer trips so that you do not face any unwanted dilemmas on the road that would turn your trip into a nightmare. 

They provide privacy

If you are a young driver there are chances that you still live with your parents. This could mean a reduced amount of privacy a lot of the time. However, in your minivan, you can spend a lot of private hours either reclining the seats or even lounging in the back. They are spacious and cozy enough for you to enjoy some space there doing things you enjoy by yourself or with friends. 

You can even fold down or remove all the rear seats of a minivan and easily turn it into a private place to hang out at. 


If you are still not convinced about the idea of getting a minivan for your first car then I would recommend you give it a try. You do not need to purchase the vehicle to try it as you can easily rent one for a few days as well. 

Once you realize all of the pros listed above as well as many other things that are good about a minivan you might realize that it can certainly be a great first car.