What Is The Best Car For A New Driver?

Looking for your first car? Here are our top choices...
  • 20th April 2017

You’ve passed your test! All that hard work has finally paid off and now you’re looking at a brand new set of wheels.

But, which car do you choose?
There are so many different cars around these days, and there are loads that could make a great first car, but which ones are the best? In this article, we take a look at the best cars for new drivers and our top tips for choosing the best car for you.

 

The best cars for a new driver

These are our top cars, in no particular order. However, these aren’t the only cars available. We do think that these are worth your attention though.

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus has always been a popular, particularly with first-time drivers. Our very own motoring journalist has called it ‘the most famous hatch in Britain’ and we have to agree with him. Not only is it reliable and efficient but it also comes with a variety of trims to suit all budgets including a nippy 1.0 litre engine. Though we recommend staying away from the ST versions if you want to keep your insurance costs low.

Ford Focus in yellow - best car for new drivers
Volkswagen Up in light teal blue - best car for new drivers

Volkswagen UP

The Volkswagen UP has become a strong contender against the likes of the Vauxhall Corsa and the Ford KA in recent years, and with good reason. It’s smaller than the Polo but don’t let that put you off, it’s tiny size means it’s easy to park and easy to control, an absolute must for new drivers. It’s also efficient with even the cheapest engine returning 60.1mpg but if you opt for the BlueMotion tech then you can hit 68.9mpg. Also, because it’s a Volkswagen you can rely on great resale values.

Vauxhall Corsa

The Corsa has always been a favourite with young drivers and will stay that way for a long time. It’s stylish and comes with good standard equipment. Famed for its drivability, the Corsa is perfect for younger, more inexperienced drivers. It’s not quite as efficient as the UP but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t good value for money and comes with some great petrol engines. It also comes with electrically-assisted power steering as standard which makes parking just that little bit easier. Again, perfect for new drivers. 

Vauxhall Corsa in red driving - best car for new drivers
Hyundai i10 in red parked - best car for new drivers

Hyundai i10

Sitting firmly in insurance group 1, the Hyundai i10 makes the perfect city car and the perfect first car for a new driver. It’s compact which makes parking and manoeuvring easy. It’s also affordable at £8,595 if you are buying new or getting one on finance. You can read about young people getting car finance here

Have you been suffering from new driver anxiety? Explore all of our top tips

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is the best-selling car in Britain and with good reason. It makes a perfect car for anyone, particularly young drivers though. It’s affordable, efficient and it’s a Ford so you know it will be reliable. Again like the Focus, there will be trims that are considerably more expensive than the others so be wary of that when you are browsing, it could push the overall price and the insurance up.

Ford Fiesta Hatchback in blue - best car for new drivers
Silver Citroen C1 driving along a road

Citroen C1

The Citroen C1 makes a great first car. It’s quirky and stylish plus it sits in insurance group 1 which means it will cost you very little to insure. We’re sure that there are quite a few first-time drivers who could see themselves driving around city streets in this city car.

Renault Clio

The Clio is another classic first car and one that should not be overlooked despite the younger models on the scene. Our very own Will Titterington described the Clio as ‘the best looking small hatchback around at the moment’. It’s cheap to run and easy to drive. Plus, it comes with a 0.9-litre option which is perfect for those who want a smaller engine.

Red metallic renault clio

What should I look for when choosing my first car?

As we said, these are just a selection of cars that you should look at for your first car. Of course, you don’t have to choose one of these cars as there are plenty on the market for you to have a look at. However, there are some things that you should be looking out for. For example;

  • Small engine
    • It’s best to have a small engine in your first car. It lowers the insurance considerably as well as the overall price
  • Efficiency
    • If you’re a young person who has just passed your test then the chances are you aren’t going to have that much money to spend on petrol. Therefore, your first car needs to be pretty efficient. Many small, city cars are very efficient, now more than ever, but there are some that are more efficient than others so it’s best to have a look and compare.
  • Insurance
    • Insurance for new drivers is considerably more than for your seasoned driver. This is understandable, your inexperience puts you at a much higher risk. However, this does mean that your first car will probably have to sit in lower insurance groups. Many city cars sit in the lower insurance groups but depending on the trim and the engine size, the cost can vary. Particularly when you are looking at the likes of the Fiesta and the Focus, their ST trims can bump the price of your insurance up considerably.
  • Size
    • While it might be appealing, a bigger car might not be practical as your first car. When looking at your first car it’s always beneficial to make sure it’s easy to manoeuvre and to park. It will make life much easier.

So those are our top cars for a first car. Of course, there are many more cars on the market that could be perfect for your first car. You can use our search function below to have a look at some of the cars that might be perfect for you. We recommend looking at the higher mpg and the smaller engines. We supply a huge range of cars, many of which are perfect for the new driver. You can use our search function below to find a car that is perfect for you. We recommend looking at a high mpg and a low engine. 

driving instructor showing pupil how to drive
Holly Martin

Holly Martin

Content Co-ordinator at OSV Ltd
Holly enjoys: Reading, music and spending time with friends.

Within a week of Holly starting work at OSV she became an indispensable part of the marketing team. She's very intuitive and gets on with the whole office effortlessly.
Holly Martin

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