Affordable new cars for under the Christmas tree

I’ve been pestering Dad all year for a new car this Christmas. The one I’m driving at the minute is just about holding together but I’m looking for something fun, but won’t cost the earth. Dad’s slowly caving in – however, he’s set some ground rules. The car options have to be safe, cheap to run and come in at less than £10k (the cheaper, the better). So, after hours of Googling, here’s my shortlist of cost-effective car options that would make a great present for any young drivers this Christmas.

Vauxhall Corsa

A lot of my friends have gone for this one from Vauxhall, and I can see the appeal. It’s got a fun 1.4-litre engine, decent ride quality and roomy, comfortable cabin. It’s cost-effective too, coming in at under £10,000 as well as boasting low insurance and a high rate of mpg. The five-star Euro NCAP rating on the new 2015 Corsa will keep Dad happy, which means I can go out and enjoy my new-found freedom!

Ford Fiesta

I have a feeling that the new Ford Fiesta might be the model Dad ends up going for… Not only does the 1.25 Studio 3-door version cost under £10k, it picked up five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test and Ford have installed a MyKey system, which would let my parents restrict my top speed, safety feature engagement and maximum speed, as well as blocking off ignition before all passengers are wearing their seatbelts. I’d still be chuffed with the Ford though, as it’s got the style, has an exciting ride and it can save me money on insurance as it’s up in group three.

Hyundai i10

I’m personally less keen on the looks of the Hyundai i10, but you do get more for your money. It’s got a spacious cabin and bumper equipment package, as well as a respectable four-star Euro NCAP rating. Cost-wise, you’ll get change from £8,000, and with the car averaging 60mpg, as well as falling into the super cheap group-one for insurance, you’ll keep saving money as time goes on. Hyundai’s 1.0-litre engine might not quite match the performance of some other models on this list, but the Japanese car manufacturer went far enough for the i10 to win the Best City Car award in 2014.

SEAT Mii

I’ve been looking forward to SEAT releasing the new Mii. From what I’ve read, you get almost exactly the same set up as the VW up, but at a fraction of the price (just £8,355). If I could persuade Dad to go up to the i-Tech model (still under £10k), then I’d be getting alloy wheels, a in-built sat nav and Bluetooth connectivity to link up my phone. I’d be able to handle the cost of running it too, as it’s really fuel efficient and is in the lowest insurance category.

Peugeot 108

Dad’s always liked Peugeots – he says they’re well built with good engines. The 108 stacks up well against cars like the Citroën C1 and Toyota Aygo, offering a choice between either a 1.0-litre or sportier 1.2-litre engine – both of which have such low emissions that they’re exempt from road tax. It feels like quite a grown-up car, with a high-quality finish throughout the cabin. And, with a four-star Euro NCAP and price tag of just £7,795, I can safely say that this ticks all the right boxes.

Kia Picanto

The Picanto is the cheapest car on the list to buy outright at just £6,390, however it offers almost everything that’s available with the Hyundai i10 (they are sister companies after all). While the available boot space leaves a little to be desired, space for passengers in the back is generous to say the least. Fuel consumption in this Kia model is an impressive 67.3mpg, saving even more cash in the long-term, while the four-star NCAP crash safety rating makes this the complete package.

I haven’t decided which option I’d choose, but I was relieved to see that there were so many options out there that can give me real excitement for less than £10k. I’m going to show the list to my parents, and just keep crossing my fingers that there’s an abnormally large present under the tree this Christmas!

If you’re on the lookout for a new car, or need some friendly advice from experts on the best cars for young drivers (for Christmas or any other time!), why not drop in for a chat with your local Perrys dealership – they can always talk you through great choices.