We slice and dice the list of safest new minicars and small cars for those consumers with less than perfect credit

Buying a Safe Car with Poor Credit

Safest New Cars with Problem Credit

Here at Auto Credit Express we can understand why many car buyers with bad credit are more concerned with their monthly payment than how the safety of the car they're buying compares with similar models.

And since subprime car loans come with higher than average interest rates, it's also a good idea that shoppers with poor credit scores, especially if they're approved for a new vehicle, consider an affordable subcompact or compact sedan.

But the "to-do" list shouldn't end there, and we were reminded of this earlier this week when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its latest test results for small cars, with fully half of the vehicles tested receiving marginal or poor scores on the small overlap front crash test rating ("acceptable" and "good" are the other two scores).

IIHS Best Small and Minicars

Since, because of their affordability, consumers with credit issues that have received a loan approval for a new car should be looking at the subcompact and compact categories, we thought this would be an ideal time to list what the IIHS considers to be the safest vehicles in these categories.

The top two categories are "Top Safety Pick+" and "Top Safety Pick." In order to be considered for the plus category, vehicles must first meet the Top Safety Pick criteria, plus earn a basic, advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention (with an automatic braking and/or forward collision warning system).

To qualify as a Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a good or acceptable rating in the small overlap front test.

We had to slice and dice things a bit (we set a ceiling of roughly $18,000 and some of the winners turned out to be too pricey) and here is what we ended up with:

Minicars: Rating, Model Year, Starting Price (2015 model year price listed)

TSP, 2014 Chevrolet Spark $12,995

Small cars: Rating, Model Year, Starting Price (2015 model year prices listed)

TSP, 2014 Dodge Dart, $17,490
TSP, 2014 Ford Focus, $17,635
TSP, 2014 Hyundai Elantra, $18,060
Applies only to sedan models.
TSP+ 2014 Mazda 3 $17,740
Applies only to optional front crash prevention models. Applies only to vehicles built after October 2013.
4-door hatchback | 4-door sedan
TSP, 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer, $18,005
Does not apply to Ralliart and Evolution models.

The Bottom Line

Even if your credit scores are less than perfect, the smart move is to buy the safest car you can afford. Checking out the list of vehicles tested by the IIHS can go a long way to steering you towards the right vehicle.

One more tip: Auto Credit Express helps applicants with problem credit find those new dealers that can offer them their best opportunities for approved car loans.

So if you're ready to begin the process, you can start now by filling out our online car loan application.