Buying your first car after you’ve passed your test is an incredible exciting time, particularly with the amount of choice offered with cheap but well-equipped cars.
Unfortunately, the same multitude of choice also means that buying a first car can often be quite a tough process. Do you go for something practical or something fast? Three doors or five? Petrol? Diesel? What?!
As well as that, you’ve got other things to contend with: namely how expensive your car will be to insure and to tax, while your parents will certainly be glad if you decide to choose a safe car as well.
Maybe you have a particular car that you want in mind or maybe you’re open to shopping around and seeing what the best deal you can get is. If you’re looking for a first car, or even just looking, we’ve put together a quick list of what we think are the best 11 new cars for first-time buyers.
Some will appeal to certain drivers more than others, but we’ve cherry-picked the models that we think offer the best value, safety and features at a low enough price point that won’t leave you too out of pocket.
So read on, you never know – you might find something you like!
1: Hyundai i10
Impossibly roomy for a car of its size and stuffed full of high-end features even on the entry-level model, the i10 is an incredibly versatile and useable small car, particularly for those in urban areas.
Five doors as standard makes it easy to access, while low insurance costs, a four-star Euro NCAP crash test safety rating and an array of critical acclaim makes the i10 a fantastic all-rounder.
2: SEAT Mii
For all intents and purposes, the SEAT Mii is a real steal. Not only does it look cute and funky, thanks to the Volkswagen Group’s ownership of SEAT, it’s essentially a Volkswagen with a £600 lower price.
Kit might be a little basic (the entry-level model lacks air conditioning, for example), but with low insurance costs and a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating means that you can go a long way on little money.
Those who want a car that’s a little spicier can opt for the new SEAT Mii by Mango, which comes with a range of more luxury touches like sat-nav and a glass sunroof, though the price is a little higher.
3: Dacia Sandero
Just when you thought that buying a brand new car will always be an expensive affair, along comes Dacia to prove you wrong. With a price that starts from only £5,995, you can pick up a new Sandero for the price of less than a used Fiesta.
Okay, so you’re sacrificing a large amount of style points and you’ll probably get compared to James May a lot, but it’s still a well put together and solid motor, while opting for one of the higher trim ranges will still deliver a pleasing variety of features.
4: Fiat 500
If style is your thing, you can’t go wrong with the Fiat 500. This funky Italian supermini has been wowing drivers with its looks and its driveability since the 60s and it continues to be just as popular now.
It’s a little pricier than its competitors, with prices for the entry-level Pop trim starting at £10,160, but with a wide variety of equipment, features and options all available within a relatively slim price band, it’s much easier to spec a 500 that’s unique to you for a smaller cost.
Add that to a nippy drive and some great engines, andthe Fiat 500 is a fantastic choice for image-conscious first time drivers who want a car that feels as good as it looks.
5: Kia Rio
An affordable price tag and a spacious, well-made interior makes the Kia Rio a convincing, though less obvious, alternatives to class-leading rivals like the Ford Fiesta and the Renault Clio.
Not only is it economical, its light controls mean that it’s easy and relaxing to drive, a particular bonus for new drivers who mightn’t be used to heavier steering on larger cars, while low insurance and a seven-year warranty makes it a really attractive prospect.
6: Renault Twingo
If you’re looking for something that’s fun, entertaining to drive a just a little bit different from the rest, look no further than Renault’s all-new Twingo.
With a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive setup, it’s a lot more fun in the corners than many of its rivals, while a small turning circle makes it agile and capable even in tight spaces. A sub-£10k pricetag is the icing on the cake, along with a long list of personalisation options and a reassuring four-star crash test score.
7: Vauxhall Corsa
It’s the third most popular car in the country, so all those buyers can’t be wrong, right? Vauxhall’s iconic and hugely popular Corsa has been the first car for many drivers in the past decade or two, and it’s no wonder why.
The latest version is packed with smart technology and kit to appeal to younger drivers, while an updated and expanded range offers more flexibility. Cheaper than the entry-level Fiesta, we also reckon it might finally have surpassed its main competitor…
8: Ford Fiesta
There’s a reason the Ford Fiesta is the number-one selling car in British history. Simply put, it’s brilliant. Even the entry-level Studio model drives like a car lightyears above its price point, while it’s plenty practical too.
It mightn’t boast quite the same amount of kit as some of its newer, shinier rivals, but the Fiesta is still the benchmark against which all other small cars are measured. Cheap to buy and cheap to tax to boot, it’s arguably the best all-rounder on the market.
9: Ford Ka
If you’re looking for a fun, funky small car that won’t cause too many headaches, the Ford Ka is ideal. One of the original pioneers of the chic city car, it comes with a fair amount of kit and nippy handling makes it a joy on the road.
While it mightn’t boast quite the same options as some larger and more expensive models, the Ka still has a four-star Euro NCAP crash test rating and its simplicity is ideal for first-time motoring on the cheap.
10: Citroen C1
One of the most popular city cars in the UK, Citroen has sold nearly 800,000 C1 models since its launch nine years ago. Recently updated with a chic new look, it’s available in both three and five-door versions for better practicality, or with an open-top roof if that’s your bag.
Add that to a wide range of modern tech and kit, LED lights and frugal but capable engines and an amazing track record for reliability, and the C1 is an extremely attractive car at an extremely attractive price point.
11: Peugeot 108
Having gone on sale only last July, the new Peugeot 108 is one of the freshest cars on the market right now, with a range of kit and features which reflects its youth.
It also features a surprisingly spacious boot, so it’s good for couples who travel a lot or even small families, which competitive pricing, and a wide range of options and funky colours makes the 108 a real option for style-conscious drivers.
Of course, this is only just a small selection of the great cars available from Perrys dealerships. If you’d like to know any more about our range of cars or services, get in touch with us today.
Likewise, we’re always on hand to offer our customers the best service and advice, whether they’re first-time buyers or seasoned petrolheads. If, however, you’re looking for your first car and are unsure where to start, why not check out our video guide below!