Congratulations! The sweat and tears have paid off and you’ve finally passed your driving test. Now the fun begins because, as a new driver, you’re ready to start hunting for your own car.
Shopping for cars is like shopping for clothes. There are so many of them in all sorts of shapes, colours and sizes, and many of them will make an ideal first car. But which are the best to get you feeling sorted for your first year or so of motoring? Well, in this article we’ve come up with a handful of suitable cars for you to consider and we’ve jotted down some tips for selecting the right one.
Best First Cars
These are our pick of the cars that will ease you into real-world solo motoring. We haven’t ranked them in order, and these aren’t the only rides to be had. However, we do think these motors are worth your consideration.
The SEAT Mii rivals cars such as the Ford KA and Vauxhall Corsa. It’s more compact than SEAT’s Ibiza but don’t let that get you worried. Its minute proportions make it a cinch to park and it’s a piece-of-cake to control. This makes it a perfect car for you if you’ve just chucked your ‘L’ plates away. It’s also economical, with even the lowest priced engine returning over 64mpg. Also, because it shares Volkswagen’s DNA, you be certain of good resale values.
Ford’s Focus is far bigger than the Mii, but it has always been well-liked, especially by first-time motorists. Not only is it dependable and cost-effective, it also comes with an array of trims to fit all budgets. Indeed, it is probably the most recognised hatchback in the UK and comes with anything from a tiny 1.0 litre engine to a supercar-rivalling 2.3 RS lump. Of course, we wouldn’t recommend you going for a hot-hatch version just yet – especially if you want to keep your insurance outgoings down! Check out our Focus review here.
Hyundai’s i10 is great for urban driving and is an awesome first car. Its small size means it’s easy to manoeuvre in tight spots, and it’s nippy, as well as easy to drive. It’s also inexpensive at £8,995 if you want to buy new, or on finance.
Ford’s timeless Fiesta is the UK’s best-selling car. It is a top drive for anyone, especially young drivers. It’s reasonably priced, economical and it’s a car with that ubiquitous blue oval ‘Ford’ badge – so you know it’ll be dependable. As with the Focus, the Fiesta comes with a variety of engines and trim levels, and these vary in price. Here’s our review on the Fiesta to whet your appetite.
The Vauxhall Corsa has always been a much-loved car amongst new drivers. It’s a chic looking small hatchback and comes packed with kit. Known for its easy drivability, the Griffin-badged motor is just right for younger motorists. And although it’s not quite as frugal as the SEAT Mii, it’s not exactly as gas guzzler. It comes with some neat and peppy petrol engines, with, for example, the 1.4i ecoFLEX Corsa capable of returning over 50mpg.
Renault’s Clio is a traditional first car and shouldn’t be disregarded, regardless of fresher models on the motoring market. It’s a great looking small hatchback and it’s low-cost to run. What’s more, it’s easy-going to drive and comes with a penny-pinching 60mpg 0.9-litre engine, which is just the ticket if a small engine floats your boat.
Citroen’s C1 is a feisty little French number that makes a top first car. It’s individual and vogueish, and is in insurance group 1, meaning it will cost you peanuts to cover. We’re certain that there are more than a few rookie drivers who could picture themselves behind the wheel of this city focused car. Check out our C1 review here.
How Do I Choose My First Car?
As mentioned, the models above are just a taste of what you should check out if you’re shopping for a first car. You don’t have to plump for one of these rides, as there are loads of others on the scene. However, there are some factors you should be aware of when choosing your motor. For instance:
If you’re young and have just torn up your ‘L’ plates then you probably haven’t got deep pockets to fork out loads on fuel. Consequently, you don’t want your first set of wheels to be drinking petrol like there’s no tomorrow. Newer, small cars are efficient, but there are some that are more economical than others, so it’s best to have a good look and compare.
There’s no point in having a powerful fuel-swigging large engine in your first car. Trust us, your wallet or purse will thank you for going for a car with a small powerplant. It keeps insurance costs down, as well as the general cost of running the car.
While it might be tempting, a larger motor might not be realistic as your first car. When shopping for your ride, it’s always useful to ensure it’s stress-free to drive and park. It’ll make your life much simpler.
Car insurance for new drivers is substantially more than for experienced motorists. This is reasonable; your rawness to the road puts you at a far higher risk. Then again, this does mean that your first set of wheels will undoubtedly have to sit in lower insurance groups. Lots of city cars are categorised in these insurance groups, but the cost can vary, depending on the car’s trim and engine size. For example, when you’re checking out cars like the Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta, their ST trims can hike the cost of your car insurance up substantially.
So there we have it. Those are our choice of cars for a first motor. Naturally, there are countless more that could be ideal for you. We suggest looking at smaller engined cars with higher mpg. We at Perrys supply a massive selection of cars, many of which are just right for new drivers. Search online now, or pop in to see us, to find a car that’s perfect for your needs.