Best first cars for young drivers

Lookers on safe, reliable and cost effective motoring for new drivers


Passing your driving test it is a milestone in anyone's life. It's a time of relief, joy and excitement. For young drivers it can be daunting when it comes to buying your first car and getting on the road. According to a recent report in the Telegraph, the cost of getting on the road for has increased by 18% in the last five years for new drivers. The cost of driving lessons (an average of 20), insurance and road tax means that costs can range from anything from £2000-£6000. So making the correct decisions at this stage is important.

Choosing the best car for you


After passing your test the next step is to choose the best car for your needs. For a first time driver, and particularly young drivers, it's important to do your research before making any purchasing decisions. Buying a brand new car may seem like an attractive option but this could be expensive for any first time driver. There are a great many low priced used and 'nearly-new' cars on the market that would be a great option for a first car. Bear in mind that insurance premiums will increase depending on engine size, modifications (read more here). Then, think about the type of car you need, do you prefer a petrol or diesel engine? A small city car or a larger hatchback for family transport? How many doors do you want? What technologies are most important to you? What safety features are you looking for? - the list is extensive.

To help with what first car to choose, we have a list of five models that are popular with Lookers customers:

  • Ford Fiesta

  • Renault Clio

  • Hyundai i10

  • Vauxhall Corsa

  • Skoda Citigo

Read more about each of these great options below.

Ford Fiesta

The Fiesta is the UK's best-selling car of all time, and is a popular choice with first time drivers. The Fiesta is great to drive and inexpensive to run if you choose a small petrol engine. The Fiesta is also cheap to tax as it is in tax band A. The Fiesta is also safe, with a five-star rating from Euro NCAP in its latest testing. A brand new Fiesta would cost just under £10,000. Used or pre-owned models are in stock at Lookers, starting at around £5,000.

 Renault Clio

The small and stylish Clio hatchback has been a favourite choice for UK drivers for years. It would be a perfect choice for first time drivers. The Clio has a sporty exterior design and a clutter free cabin that can comfortably seat up to four people. The Clio is also a safe car. It has airbags, electronic stability control and deadlocks to prevent theft. Prices on used Clio's are very reasonable, with models starting from around £4,000 at Lookers.

Hyundai i10

The Hyundai i10 was winner of the What Car? 'City Car of the Year' for 2014. It's a fun, feisty and surprisingly spacious car that would excite and impress any first time driver. The i10 is great value for money, low emission levels means it is in tax band A and comes with a five year warranty. The i10 comes with the option of two petrol engines. It also has a strong host of  standard features, including electric windows and split folding rear seats. Used i10 prices start at around £4,700 at Lookers.

Vauxhall Corsa

Another best-selling car in the UK for many years is the Vauxhall Corsa. This hatchback is well priced, stylish, and practical, with ample room for driver and passengers. The Corsa comes with a range of petrol engines. A good option for first-time drivers is the entry level 1.2 which is in tax band A. Safety is another strong aspect of the Corsa. It comes with six airbags, stability control and hill-start assist. It was also awarded four stars in its latest Euro NCAP testing. A new Corsa starts from around £10,000 and resale values are good. Young drivers could find a used Corsa at Lookers, starting at around £5,000.

Skoda Citigo

If you would prefer a smaller city car then the Skoda Citigo would be a good choice. The Citigo is small enough to easily nip around city streets, and park in tight spaces. The Citigo is one of the safest city cars around, it scored the maximum five stars from Euro NCAP in 2011. The Citigo has low emission therefore it would come under tax band A meaning road tax won't be too expensive. A brand new Citigo would cost around £8,000, a used car would be a lot less expensive depending on spec and modifications. These start ataround £4,500 from Lookers.

Further Smaller Car Information


If you're looking for further options in the first car/small car segment, we have a selection on additional reading on the Lookers website. Read our choice of the 10 best small cars and city cars to buy in 2017. For something a little larger we select 10 of the best crossovers and Small SUV's, a very fast growing sector. You can also search the used crossover cars we have in stock as well.

As noted, for new drivers, getting on the road can be expensive and offers a baffling array of decisions. We hope that highlighting these models has helped ease the burden slightly. First-time drivers can contact Lookers at any time if you require any assistance. We look forward to hearing from you.


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