What are the best first cars for new drivers is a age old question that comes down to a few general basics that remain the same year on year.
Engine size, petrol or diesel, an budget are the three primary concerns, these choices will effect the insurance cost. So as a first time driver, you want to be looking for a car in the lowest insurance group. Remember in the first few years you are likely to bump your car from minor parking mishaps to a accident involving at third party. You can look at Insurance groups on various websites, and here is Go Compare's insurance Group page. So check your chosen cars insurance group before you set your heart on it.
Let's look at budgets, most first time drivers are either going to be buying there first car themselves or having it purchased for them. We've track down some of the best cars for new drivers in a few price brackets.
Best First Cars Under £1,000
It is possible in this day and age to grab a car under £1,000 if you are prepared to hunt around AND do your research. Keep in mind that these are likely to be older models so could be subject to more repair bills and like all cars may have been in an accident. So another golden rule is get the car HPI Checked before you hand over a deposit. You may also want to make sure you have adequate breakdown cover for any car.
Our Picks For Less Than A Grand
Probably not your first choice, but Skoda’s 1.2-litre Fabia Classic, Silverline and Blueline models are in insurance group 2 - 4, and you can pick up a 2006 really cheap, just don't expect your mates to play shotgun.
The 1.1-litre Fiat Panda is in the lowest insurance group, the Panda has always been affordable to buy too, 2009 models are coming in under budget.
A little 1.2-litre Volkwagen Polo, 2002 onwards is in insurance group 3. You should be able to snap up 2006 model for less than £1,000, This makes it a great model for a first car. It's also go a semi-desirable VW badge if you don't care about diesel gate. You could also consider a Lupo.
Best First Cars Under £3,000
Stepping up the budget, you can get a good first car with a less miles on the clock and a little newer. Here are some of the best first cars for the under £3,000 budget.
For many years the Vauxhall Corsa and the Nova before it have always been a popular first car for both male and female new drivers. some models are way down in insurance groups 1 and 2. With £3000 in your pocket, you can grab a post-2010 Corsa with less than 50,000 miles on the clock.
The entry-level Chevrolet Spark is cheap to insure as it’s in group 1, and you can pick up a model in good condition under your budget.
Also in insurance group 1, the Citroen C1 is another cheap first car. For just under £3,000, you can easily find a 2010-11 registration C1 in good condition. If you have a bigger budget to can push on to the Toyota Aygo. (Read More Below).
Best first cars under £5,000
With a budget of £5,000, you can get a good-as-new first car in a cheap insurance group. Here are some examples:
The Dacia What.....The Dacia Sandero It's the UK's cheapest new car! Prices for new vehicle start at around £6000. This mean you can snap up an Ex-demo or nearly new Sandero for under £5000. The Sandero is spacious as it's bigger than your typical first car and has models in insurance group 2.
IF the new Ford Ka+ is out of reach you can pick up a three-to-four-year-old previous generation model for less than £5,000 second-hand. Most in insurance group 2 or 3. Parts are cheap and can be serviced anywhere.
The awesome 1.0-litre Toyota Aygo is a compact city car hiding in plain sight way down in insurance group 2. With a budget of £5,000 you should be able to find a model that’s less than five years old. Being a Toyota you know you're buying a high end brand.
The Best New First Cars
If you have a big budget, deciding on the best first car for your budget isn't really a challenge, but keeping the cost realistic maybe. This is due to the fact that purchasing the car and insuring it is expensive. If you can afford to buy a new car, there are some great options in low insurance groups. Here are some of our top picks:
The 5th generation Micra, from 2017 on wards, is a facelift update to the model that’s always been popular as a first car for new drivers for over 20 years. The new Micra is available around £12000, with its entry level models starting in insurance group 1.
For those on a slightly smaller budget, the Hyundai i10 starts at around £9000. Another car in insurance group 1, meaning it’s a good choice for first time car insurance. The compact i10 is easy to park, making it one of the best first cars for new drivers in cities and built-up areas. Sadly maybe not the most popular badge out there.
The Ford KA is now a classic first car choice, the latest Ford Ka still appeals to many new drivers. The Ka+ has base models in insurance groups one and two, making it one of the cheapest cars to insure.
All of the cars mentioned above are great in new form, and there are plenty of other models out there, if you really want a brand new first car, then we'd recommend taking a look on CarWow. CarWow works for you, getting the dealers to compete for your business, so if you don't mind a trip to a dealership further away then carwow is the place to get a great deal.
For insurance check out our insurance section to try and find the best quote for you. A lot of first time policies now require "Black Box" tracking to ensure your driving is up to a standard. Don't be temped to FRONT your car insurance. This is when a more experience driver is the main driver and the new driver is a second named driver, but is actually the main driver of the car. Your insurance could be made void, and your second year insurance may not be any cheaper. It could lead to future insurance being declined.