The Top 10 Cars for First Time Drivers
Times are tough, especially for first time drivers, so it makes sense to keep things sensible for your first motor. If you’re in the market for your first car, take a look through this list and remember that buying the car is just the beginning, because running is ridiculously expensive, too.
So with that being said, here are ten cracking little motors to start you off.
Whether you pronounce it ‘K-A’ or ‘KA’, Ford’s little KA has been the daddy of the little supermini for over a decade now.
If you’re on a tight budget but you want something that’ll get you from A-to-B with little fuss, the KA is the ideal partner. Low tax, insurance and fuel costs couple with the car’s small dimensions and simple design to provide you with the motoring low-cost supermarket.
They should have called it the Aldi.
Thanks to Ford’s dedication to the Fiesta name, there are now thousands of Fiestas to choose from. Whether you want a brand new one or one from the 90’s, the Fiesta is the go-to car for any first time driver looking for something with a tiny bit of style but with reliability, too. Ford knows how to make small cars and the Fiesta is proof of that.
Low running costs and decent space inside means that any teenager will be satisfied taking their mates to the pictures or just sitting proudly on McDonald’s car park.
For those with slightly deeper pockets, the Ford Focus is a hatchback that’s still affordable. If you opt for one that’s over ten years old you’ll be stunned by how much car you get for your money.
The original MK1 Focus was a revolution in the hatchback market; it really did change the game, and even the older ones are reliable and cheap to run.
Just avoid the sporty ST versions for now.
Any car with an apostrophe in its name has to be rubbish, right? Well, yes, but the KIA Cee’d is definitely the exception to that rule. The Cee’d is appealing because, well, the warranty is just ridiculously amazing.
KIA offers an amazing 7 year warranty with the Cee’d – if bought brand new – so you can be left with years of worry-free motoring.
Couple that with the fact it’s a damn fine car and you’d be daft to not at least consider the Cee’d.
Whatever you do, don’t buy a MK1 Swift. No offence to any MK1 owners, but the original Swift was about as swift as a dead dog. Thankfully, Suzuki realised this and they improved it no end a few years ago with the new model.
You can pick up a 2007 Swift for bargain prices these days and any first time driver would be proud to own such a car. Even the basic models look the business and they’re all super cheap to run.
Ok, so Volkswagen may charge a bit of a premium for their legendary build quality, but if you can stretch to a Polo you’ll be assured of a well-made motor. The Polo isn’t the most exciting car ever made, nor is it the sportiest, but it is clever, cute and seriously well put together.
It’s extremely reliable, too, so if you can stretch to a Polo, why not go for one?
Toyota YarisBuying Japanese is often a smart move, so considering the small Toyota Yaris definitely makes sense. It has a tiny little engine which takes sips of fuel to save you money, and while it may look quite Japanese on the outside, you won’t be disappointed inside.
It’s quirky, clever and quite nice, actually.
Peugeot 206You can say what you want about French build quality, but the Peugeot 206 is a fine car for any first time buyer. They made so many for such a long time you can pick one up now for pittance. From the basic models like the Fever to the sportier GTi variations, there’s literally a 206 for everyone. Peugeot is famous for its diesel technology, so opt for one of the newer oil-burners over the thirsty petrol models.
Renault ClioAnother Frenchie to consider is the Renault Clio. Stylish and chic, the Clio is a basic hatchback to start you off on your motoring adventure.
They may not blow you away inside with leather and wood, but they’re cheap to run, insurance and tax, which is all that matters when you’re 17 and skint.
Vauxhall CorsaYou see them everywhere, and it’s not surprising why. After all, the Vauxhall Corsa has been around for donkey’s years and it remains one of Britain’s best-selling cars. Vauxhall really did the business on the looks of the latest Corsa, but even the pre-2006 model looks pretty decent.
Just make sure you check the car thoroughly before you buy.
Insurance for New Car DriversIf you're a young driver looking to insure your first car, you probably already know that you face some of the highest car insurance premiums.
A new car driver from Manchester, who is 27 years old, was quoted £1.2 MILLION to insure a ten-year-old Corsa worth just £1,400
It is even more shocked that it was suggested he could pay in instalments if he could not afford the total upfront - with a first payment of £233,000 followed by 10 months at £104,000 per month.
There are Car insurance providers specialising in all areas of the car insurance market.
See our selection of the major UK insurers we work with who will help you find the most competitive insurance for your first car.
A special thank you to Louis Rix, marketing director at raccars.co.uk, the UK’s leading online used car classified website and CarFinance247.co.uk, the UK’s leading online provider for contributing to this great article.