the up! comes with a lot of safety features.
Passing your driving test is a massive milestone and buying your first car is the next step in getting onto the road.
Searching for a car can be a challenge as there are several factors to consider.
This ranges from budget and insurance to size and practicality.
While many first-time car buyers will focus on used cars, buying or financing a brand new car means you’ll get a manufacturer warranty, while also reducing the chances of mechanical problems in the first place.
Here are 10 of the best first cars for new drivers.
They are easy to drive and offer some luxuries to keep new drivers safe. They also help new drivers to build confidence on the road.
The Volkswagen up! may have been around since 2011 but it remains one of the top city cars and one of the best first cars to buy after passing your test.
It has a crisp design while its lively steering and less-is-more cabin have not aged.
But the up!’s appeal is its low price, with second-hand vehicles costing as little as £3,000.
The up! has a 1-litre three-cylinder engine that produces 64 bhp and should return more than 50 mpg.
Despite being cheap to buy and run, the up! comes with a lot of safety features.
Models get Electronic Stability Control, multiple airbags, and a multi-function front-facing camera.
Interior quality also defies the budget price, with brand new models coming with air-conditioning and a DAB radio with Bluetooth connectivity as standard.
The car’s small size makes it easy to drive and park, perfect for new drivers.
The Ford Fiesta is a favourite among UK drivers.
It comes with various features to ensure enjoyable journeys.
This includes LED headlights, air-conditioning, an eight-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, lane-keeping assist, and cruise control.
It is also spacious and does not skimp on safety features.
There are different specs available, but one of the lower specs is perhaps the best option for a new driver as it will keep costs down.
The Fiesta starts from £16,385 but second-hand ones can be found for less than £5,000.
It is an ideal car for new drivers because it feels responsive on the road, inspiring confidence even if you have just passed your test.
For many new drivers, the Vauxhall Corsa has always been the alternative to the Ford Fiesta and it is easy to see why.
Low running costs, a generous amount of up-to-date technology, and a rather sporty appearance all make the Corsa an appealing option in this fiercely fought part of the market.
You have the choice of a 1.2-litre petrol or a 1.5-diesel engine, which are available in different trims.
The new generation release means you can pick up a previous generation model for a reasonable price, with some costing £5,000 or less.
The pre-2019 model comes as a sporty three-door version, or there’s a five-door model that makes it easier for your friends or family to get in or out of the back seats.
If you are looking for a first car that is sporty, then check out the Seat Ibiza.
This stylish car is one of the best-equipped when it comes to safety, featuring electronic stability control, front collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, hill-hold assist, a tiredness recognition system, and lane-keeping assist.
There are also plenty of features to ensure an enjoyable driving experience such as an 8.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
If you choose the 1-litre petrol engine, you will pay very little for insurance, but all models are great value for money.
The SE Technology spec costs around £12,000 and is the best option because of added features such as alloy wheels, sat-nav and a touchscreen infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The Hyundai i10 is a great first car as it is cheap to run and economical.
It has a 1-litre petrol engine that produces 66 bhp, returning approximately 51.4 mpg.
Across the i10 range, insurance groups range between 3 and 10, meaning it is pretty affordable.
On the inside is an array of safety features that come as standard. But you will have to pay extra for the likes of rear-view cameras and climate control.
The i10 is reasonably priced, with second-hand models costing £6,000 or less.
With light controls, this car is easy to drive and even easier to park, making it a great option for new drivers.
The Dacia Sandero may not be the first choice but if you are looking for a cheap first car then this is an option to consider.
The Sandero starts at £7,995, making it Britain’s cheapest new car.
Admittedly, equipment on the Sandero is more sparse than in other cars but it still features all the essentials.
It is a practical car, offering five seats, five doors and a spacious boot.
In terms of safety features, the Sandero comes with six airbags, an autonomous emergency braking system, Hill Start Assist and electronic stability control.
The Sandero is an option to go for if you are looking for something cheap that will get you from point A to point B.
First-time drivers who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint can look at the Toyota Yaris.
This hybrid hatchback is an all-rounder. It pairs a three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor. The result is 114 bhp.
As it is self-charging, it does not need to be plugged in.
The Yaris looks stylish and is pleasant to drive, especially when you consider Toyota’s reputation for reliability.
However, the latest Yaris model is quite pricey, starting from £19,000. If you are willing to spend more this is an option to go for.
Models ranging from 2011 to 2020 are cheaper alternatives, costing as little as £3,000.
A more premium first car to check out is the Volkswagen Polo.
With quality second-hand cars costing around £8,000, you might pay a bit more but the Polo is good value for money.
There are a few trims to choose from, but the base ‘Life’ trim offers plenty of features, including alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a DAB radio, electronic stability control, and rain-sensing automatic wipers.
The Polo is nice to drive, with a focus on comfort rather than outright fun.
It has a good-sized boot and versions from 2017 onwards have a touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity.
In addition, all models have advanced safety features such as automatic braking that could help you avoid a collision.
The iconic Fiat 500 is bound to capture your heart should you make it your first car.
This is thanks to its retro design and, when new, there is a huge range of ways to personalise it.
Second-hand options cost around £5,000 but it is possible to find even cheaper ones.
While it is not as spacious as other cars, the Fiat 500 is still reasonable to insure, provides good fuel economy and will put a smile on your face every time you look at it.
The Renault Clio is a great all-rounder and an ideal first car.
It is practical and has a top-notch infotainment system. Safety is also a strong point, featuring a lane-departure system and emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
The current Renault Clio starts from £15,000 brand new and falls into one of the lowest insurance groups.
But you can easily find a 2019 edition for around £10,000.
Older models cost less than £3,000 and promise a comfortable ride.
But when searching for a car, thoroughly research insurance prices because, for new drivers, car insurance is typically at its most expensive.
It is recommended to go for car insurance that has a black box fitted to your car. It is cheaper and you will be rewarded for good driving.
Although buying your first car comes with obstacles, this guide will hopefully help and give you a whole new level of freedom.