10 Best First Cars For New Drivers
Getting your first car after passing your driving test is one of the most exciting experiences for any driver. It’s a newfound freedom to hit the open road in your own vehicle without the pressure of a driving instructor or examiner scoring your every move.
As a new driver, especially if you’re under 25, you’re going to face high insurance premiums while you build up experience behind the wheel. However, you can reduce running costs without compromising a joyous driving experience by choosing the right first car.
To help you do this, we’ve put together a list* of our top 10 picks of best first cars for new drivers.
*The cars listed are in no particular order, and all prices are accurate as of 04/08/20
1. Nissan Micra
Price: from £14,215 or £159.00 a month leasing
Cost of insurance: avg. £1,191 p/y*
Top features: Height and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, lane departure warning
Moneyshake summary: As both First Car’s Car of the Year and Supermini of the Year, the Nissan Micra is a much loved vehicle. Throw in a low price to the mix and you’ve got yourself a great first car for new drivers. That’s without mentioning the wealth of equipment that comes as standard, including lane departure warning and intelligent emergency braking, as well as its competitive 50.4mpg fuel economy.
Price: from £15,925 or £143.99 a month leasing
Cost of insurance: avg. £1,342 p/y*
Top features: Lane departure warning with lane assist, electric options available
Moneyshake summary: The Corsa has always been and continues to be, a popular choice with new drivers. After all, what’s not to love about its strikingly bold exterior design, it’s impressive cargo space (309L) and advanced technology offering? To top it off, the Corsa comes with a 7” touchscreen infotainment prepped for smartphone integration and is a blast to drive with responsive steering.
Price: from £17,455 or £193.89 per month leasing/from £13,105 or £167.58 per month leasing/from £19,800 or £222.14 per month leasing
Cost of insurance: avg. £913 (Skoda Citigo), £888 (VW Up) and £953 p/y* (Seat Mii)
Top features: all electric / spacious for four / all electric
Moneyshake summary: Sharing the same platform and similar exterior designs, there isn’t much that sets these three compact city cars apart. Which to choose ultimately comes down to your own preference. Now the Mii and Citigo are only available brand-new as electrics, they both come with heftier price tags which could be the deciding factor. If you’re looking for performance, the nippy Citigo out performs the slightly clunkier Up for driving experience so if price isn’t the be-all and end-all, then the Citigo is a strong front-runner. But if price is everything then the cheaper Up is what you’ll want.
4. Seat Ibiza
Price: from £16,475 or £158.99 per month leasing
Cost of insurance: avg. £1,656 p/y*
Top features: Keyless entry, LED headlights
Moneyshake summary: The Seat Ibiza is a staple on UK roads and a favourite with new and experienced drivers alike, thanks to its vast array of goodies that come as standard. True to its origin, the Ibiza comes with an exciting audio system that boasts everything you need to get the party started – six speakers, digital radio, bluetooth, smartphone integration and a 6.5” touchscreen display with USB and AUX.
Price: from £13,135 or £123.03 per month leasing/from £12,660 or £164.34 per month leasing/from £12,980 or £160.60 per month leasing
Cost of insurance: avg. £1,182 (Toyota Aygo), £903 (Citroen C1) and £966 (Peugeot 108) p/y*
Top features: Reversing camera / 7” Touch Drive interface / Height adjustable steering wheel
Moneyshake summary: While all three of these city cars are matched in performance, each boasts their own unique design to help them stand out from the crowd. The Aygo sports the eye-catching x-design across the front and rear, the C1 favours a curvier appearance with rounded edges and the 108 has a more traditional box-like appeal. Other than the exterior design, all three share similar interiors aside from the Aygo having a slightly smaller boot space. Ultimately, price and looks are what set these three apart, so either elect for the cheaper Aygo or choose the one you’ll prefer to be seen in.
6. Kia Picanto
Price: from £10,220 or £132.49 a month leasing
Cost of insurance: avg. £1,136 p/y*
Top features: Hill-start assist control, welcome and follow-me-home lights
Moneyshake summary: As What Car?’s Car of the Year for best value, the Kia Picanto is perfect for new drivers who need a good runaround on a strict budget. Budget doesn’t have to mean basic though and the entry level Picanto comes with solid convenience tech like hill-start assist and sensible security with the inclusion of a visible vehicle identification number.
7. Renault Clio
Price: from £14,895 or £151.75 a month leasing
Cost of insurance: avg. £1,252 p/y*
Top features: Traffic sign recognition, active emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection
Moneyshake summary: Parkers named the Clio as their best first car for 2020 and it’s easy to see why. Not only does it look good with its trendy and adventurous exterior, but the choice of tech is perfect for new drivers. Renault has made the Clio as easy as possible to drive to allow you to concentrate on the road ahead – cruise control, lane departure assist, emergency braking and traffic sign recognition covers all the hard work for you.
8. Ford Fiesta
Price: from £15,885 or £173.99 a month leasing
Cost of insurance: avg. £1,487 p/y*
Top features: 16” 8-spoke alloy wheels, 8” touchscreen display
Moneyshake summary: The longevity of the Ford Fiesta highlights just how popular the model is. Since its first release in 1976, it has come a long way to get to where it is now and has won a whole host of awards along the way. Coming in both three and five door variants the standard Fiesta covers all use cases. It also boasts a Quickclear heated windscreen, Easy Fuel capless refuelling, advanced lane-keeping and an impressive 6-speaker 8” touchscreen infotainment with smartphone integration.
9. Fiat 500
Price: from £12,770 or £132.46 a month
Cost of insurance: avg. £925 p/y*
Top features: Driver knee airbag, heated rear window
Moneyshake summary: While the Fiat 500 might not offer as much as the other vehicles on this list, it’s still a great choice for your first car. With an affordable price and a low insurance group, the 500 is one of the most affordable options on this list. If you’re looking for value for money and are more interested in usability than all the expensive bells and whistles, the entry 500 is for you.
Price: from £9,995 or £147.90 a month
Cost of insurance: avg. £1,124 p/y*
Top features: Hill hold control, four-way adjustable front seating
Moneyshake summary: MG has favoured comfort over flair with its standard MG3, focussing more on the likes of adjustable seating, a driver’s footrest and a tilt adjust steering column over high-tech gadgets. If gadgetry is more your thing though, you may wish to consider the next trim up that offers a whole lot more. An 8” touchscreen display and reverse parking cameras are just a couple of highlights of what’s on offer with the Excite.
*insurance costs are only indicative based on average prices and are likely to be different depending on your own personal details.
Are you new to driving and want more useful information to help you begin your journey behind the wheel? Then check out our other new driver guides.
If you’re looking for a new car and want to check out some other similar models to the ones on this list, search our latest car lease deals for offers on affordable new motors.