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Best Cars for First Time Drivers

If you have recently passed your driving test, you may still have that feeling of total freedom and elation.

Now the time comes to choose your very first car. It is a big decision, so it’s important to find the right car for you and your requirements. Will you be commuting; will you be travelling long distances, and will you regularly have multiple passengers?

If you are likely to be making short, local trips, either to the supermarket or to your local office space, you will probably want something compact and efficient, allowing you to keep the costs down and navigate the tight streets with ease.

Here's our list of good, affordable first cars

Citroen C1

The Citroen C1 is a stylish yet compact option for those who need something that is spacious enough inside the cabin but has a compact size.

There are a range of technology features included as standard, including a 7” touchscreen, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, and a reversing camera.

There are also a host of driver assist features which offer peace of mind when travelling further afield or on busy motorways. These include Speed Sign Recognition and a reversing camera, proving safety to yourself and passing pedestrians.

Hyundai i10

Offering a similar compact size, the i10 is the smallest car in the Hyundai range and is designed with style and practicality in mind. With a 1.0 or 1.2 litre petrol engine, the i10 offers incredible efficiency to those travelling short journeys.

There are a host of driver assist features as standard, including Lane Departure Warning and cruise control, as well as a host of technology features available which include a rear-view camera, an 8” touchscreen and smartphone integration.

With room for two ISOFIX car seats and 252 litre boot space, travelling with children is a breeze and there is always enough room for your weekly shop.

Cars for First Time Drivers

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is one of the brands most popular models, offering style, practicality and a truly enjoyable drive, every time.

Available as a 3 door or 5 door option, there is plenty of cabin space to comfortably travel with adults.

The Ford Fiesta is also incredibly economical, so you can be sure that you get more for your money when it comes to filling up with petrol.

Volkswagen Polo

You can’t go far wrong with the German manufacturers; they build sturdy cars that just keep going. The Volkswagen Polo is no different, making a compact and affordable model available to everyone.

With a 1.2 litre engine, you can keep the insurance premiums as low as possible whilst also keeping it as cheap as possible to run.

For a compact model, the Polo is surprisingly spacious inside. There are also a host of driver assist features that come as standard, as well as technology features to keep you always connected.

What to look for in a first car

If you fit into the usual category of being under 21 when you pass your driving test, the likelihood is you want a cheap run-around that is both reliable and practical to your requirements. There are a range of low-cost alternatives out there, your first car does not need to be a high-end brand.

Insurance costs can be a major factor when deciding what car to choose as anything larger than a 1.2 litre engine will set you back a hefty premium. Car tax is also an additional cost so something to factor in when deciding which car to purchase:

Make + Model

Car Tax as of 2021 (annually)

Alfa Romeo Mito (Live)


Alfa Romeo Mito (Cloverleaf, Quadrifoglio Verde SBK)


Audi A1 (Citycarver)


Audi A1 (Sportback)


Citroen C1 (Live, Sense, ELLE, JCC+, Origins, Urban Ride, Shine, )


Citroen C1 (Feel Edition)


Fiat 500 (TwinAir)


Fiat 500 (Connect, Anniversario, Collezione, Mirror II, Launch Edition, Star, Rock Star Dolcevita)


Ford Fiesta (Standard Trim, Style, Trend, Zetec, Active Edition, ST Line))


Hyundai i10 (SE, SE Connect, N Line, Premium)


Volkswagen Polo (S, SE, Beats, R Line, GTI, SEL, SE Tech, Match, Active, United)



Once you have managed to accrue some no claims bonus, you can then look at upgrading to something more substantial.

As a newly qualified driver, you also want something that has a range of safety features included as standard, particularly as you navigate the trials and tribulations of being a new driver.

If you want to discuss your requirements with our friendly team, contact us today and we would be happy to find the best option for you.

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