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10 Best First Cars For New Drivers

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For most, buying your first car is a rite of passage. It’s the first time in your life that you are investing in something that is yours. Dare I say it, it’s also your first step into adulthood. In a world of firsts, there is a lot to consider from insurance to affordability and what’s economical. 

Back in the day, buying your first car usually meant going down the used car route. Nowadays, buying or financing your car may well be the best option for you. With fewer mechanical problems and warranty attached, there’s a lot to get excited about. 

Now you’ve passed your test, your real driving adventure can begin! Here’s our rundown of 10 best first cars for new drivers:

Volkswagen Polo

Independent.co.uk

One of the most iconic brands out there, the Volkswagen Polo is known for its impressive build quality, timeless look and saleability. 

Small, compact and easy on the eye, the Polo is an excellent car for manoeuvrability and parking. It packs a punch with additional tech, spacious interior and well thought out design. Essentially, the Polo is quite the catch for a first-time driver. 

New and experienced drivers can feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel. With the Polo’s advanced safety system features like Adaptive Cruise Control and Pedestrian Detection, all add to the driving experience. 

Affordable and economical to drive, the Polo should be at the top of your list. You can also opt for the ‘S’ or ‘SE’ model to get yourself included in the cheapest insurance option available. Sounds dreamy!

Toyota Aygo

Toyota.co.uk

Cheap to run, offering excellent fuel economy and low-end road tax makes the Toyota Aygo a firm contender for a new driver. With its distinctive, eye-catching design, the Aygo undeniably is a standout car on the road – especially if you opt for one of the multiple paint and personalisation options available.

For the city-bound driver, the Aygo’s 1.0-litre engine works well on nippy roads. With sharp steering, plenty of revs and ample suspension, you’ll be cruising with ease. The newest Aygo updates are incredibly environmentally conscious, with its CO2 emissions down to 5 g/km, this car is built for the future. 

Ford Fiesta

AutoExpress.co.uk

Often featured in the UK’s best selling car lists, the Ford Fiesta has been holding the crown for new drivers for decades. Whether you’re winding down country lanes or mastering city streets, the Fiesta is fun to drive! Its refined, precise steering and performance put the Fiesta into a class of its own. 

For a new driver, the Fiesta’s sophisticated, spacious design and handling on the road will boost your confidence behind the wheel. Plus, the Fiesta packs a punch in the tech department. You’ll find Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on board, as well as touchscreen-enabled apps at your fingertips. 

If you want to fit into the lower insurance bracket, opting for a lower-powered Fiesta will keep your monthly budget more manageable. 

Skoda Citigo

AutoTrader.co.uk

Safe, fun to drive and cheap to run, the Skoda Citigo firmly belongs on this list. Over the years, its various models have won countless awards including the 2015 Car Buyer Award for “Best First Car.” What’s better, the Citigo will keep you in the lower insurance group categories as you take on your first few years on the road. 

If you are university-bound or like to go on the odd adventure, the Citigo is surprisingly roomy. You’ll be amazed at what you can fit into the back when the passenger seats are folded down!

Parking won’t be an issue either! Small, compact and easy to manoeuvre, the Citigo is perfect for the first time driver. What’s more, if you want to invest in a future-proof model that can keep you ahead of the 2030 new petrol and diesel car ban, Skoda no longer sells petrol versions of the Citigo. So, embrace electric and take your first car for a spin!

MINI Hatch

Pop culture fans unite! The MINI Hatch’s characterful design and low centre of gravity driving experience, have made the Hatch stand the test of time. It may be on the more premium end of the scale, but there’s a lot to like for a new driver. 

Practical, safe to drive, and with its in-built iconic large speedometer, the Hatch is a joy to drive. It’s worth noting that MINIs are a sensible investment as they retain their residual value. But if it’s space you are after, don’t expect much from this compact beauty’s boot capacity!

Peugeot 208

AutoExpress.co.uk

Affordable, cheap to run and offering a sophisticated design inside and out, the Peugeot 208 is a smart choice for the new driver. For your first three years on the road, there is a “Just Add Fuel Telematics” available. This includes breakdown cover, servicing, road tax and insurance, making your life on the road far more manageable than ever before. 

So if you want a cost-effective way of getting behind the wheel, matched with a car that offers excellent performance and handling on the road, the 208 is worth a look!

Kia Picanto

CarMagazine.co.uk

Never before have new drivers had so many accessible vehicles to choose from! The Kia Picanto definitely fits the bill for the new driver. Attractive, cheap to run and offering a seven-year warranty, the Picanto comes out on top as an all-rounder. 

To keep in the lowest insurance band, the 1.0-litre engine is an excellent choice for first-time drivers. Safe and reliable, you will feel confident behind the wheel with the Picanto. 

Renault Clio Hatchback

AutoExpress.co.uk

Often voted Car of the Year, the Renault Clio Hatchback packs a punch. Super safe to drive, economical and nippy on the roads, there’s a reason why the Clio deserves to be on this list. 

With fun tech, soft-touch materials and a fresh, eye-catching outer and interior design, the Clio is on par with the likes of the Audi A1 or MINI. Found in the lower insurance bracket, new drivers will get a lot for their buck with the Clio. 

Citroen C1

BuyACar.co.uk

With its characterful design, handling on the roads and attractive pricing, the Citroen C1 is worth a look. Like the Peugeot, Citroen also offers an exciting “Simply Drive” scheme package. This includes road tax, servicing and insurance for your first three years on the road. 

If you want a confidence-building drive, the Citroen C1 is the car for you. With its included safety features and fun onboard tech, there’s a lot to like. 

Fiat 500

Fiat.com

The Fiat 500 is an instant hit for most first time drivers. With its retro styling and funky design, the 500 is an excellent alternative to the MINI Hatch for those wanting to tighten the purse strings! Inside you will find ample tech, including a 5” infotainment screen where you can stream your favourite music directly from your phone. 

For those exploring cities and towns, the Fiat 500’s light steering and compact design make for the perfect driving experience. What’s more, the 500 is the cheapest car on our list to insure! With its unique warranty that covers unlimited miles for two years and three years’ cover for the paintwork and more, the 500 is worth its weight in gold!

Ready to start your new driving adventure? With incredible financing options available, there’s never been a better time to get your hands on the best first-time cars on the market!

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