The best cars for a new or young driver.


So, you have passed your driving test and are able to purchase your first car. Although you may want to go for that sexy, top-of-the-range Mercedes or BMW; that may not be the most practical or financially beneficial option (unless of course you and your family have squillions and can afford to splurge).

There are lots of different, suitable smaller vehicles that will provide you with everything that you require, giving your experience - or lack of it- cash flow and practicality. One of the first, matters you will need to address before looking deeper into a purchase, besides how much the vehicle will cost you initially, is how much it is going to cost you to be insured. It is a known fact that 17-24-year-old drivers, especially males, are the most expensive to insure. On top of that, the vehicle that you choose will add a weighty amount as well.

So aside from the car of your dreams, think practical and get one that is cheap to insure. It would be ideal to have a tank-type vehicle to protect you, but it is often the supermini banger with no safety features but a very low insurance rating, that is first purchased. Unfortunately, these are also more likely to break down! With any purchase, you would be wise to reserve a little of your budget for a car warranty to cover you against mechanical breakdown - Click4Warranty offer cover for used cars up to twelve years old. Basically then, a first-time driver needs it all; something cheap, economical, low insurance and utterly reliable.

What are your options? There are many on the market, VW Polo, Ford Fiesta, KA, Fiat Uno, Panda, Cinquecento, Nissan Micra, Toyota Yaris, Vauxhall Corsa, Citroen Saxo, Peugeot 106, 306, 205..and so on. Here are just five of the top of the crop.

Toyota Yaris


The car that makes you not look so much like a first-time driver. The Toyota Yaris is modern, stylish, spacious and being of Japanese craftsmanship, it is very, very reliable; unfortunately, one which may cost a little more than other cars in the same class with similar specs, however overall the Yaris is most definitely worth it. It has a great high sitting position, which is great for drivers who are not all that tall enabling you to have good visibility and in doing so also making parking easier. It is easy to drive with low running costs and car insurance. Indeed the 1.0 VVT-I has been placed in Group one! A big plus for all young drivers as this means you really will be getting the best deal on your motor insurance premiums - and that includes the Sports model. It is often the older shape model pre-2007.

They start from £1995 for 1999, 95,000 mile 3-door with no power steering. However, £4,000 gets a low mileage 2002 example from a dealer. It would be safe to safe that you could expect to see older Toyota Yaris models on sale through eBay or AutoTrader from around £700 - 900

Fiat Panda


A car with spirit; it's nice looking inside and out. It is easy to drive and spacious. The driving position is again high, so great for parking. They can be slightly unreliable but cheap to fix and service. The entry-level Active model has electric front windows, central locking, power steering and cassette. Better still is the group one insurance band.

They start from £2,750 for a 2004 1.0 Active from a dealer. However, £4,000 gets you a 2005 1.1 Active at a car supermarket with 16,000 miles. Most used Fiat Pandas start from £2,000

Ford Ka


There’s no mistaking, it is a very stylish little car; an extra bonus is that it is also very cheap to run with typically low servicing costs. Not overly spacious, unfortunately, but easy around town and slow enough to be safe. The Ka has been fitted with a driver’s airbag from the very start, so no matter how old the vehicle, you will have that added security. They are reasonable to fix and due to low specifications and no power steering, it also has very low prices for the older models. The insurance issue: the Ka starts at just Group 2.

They start from £400 - that buys a 1998 R reg 1.3. However, £2,000 gets a 2000 W-plate 1.3L with power steering from a dealer. Most used Ford KAs start from £500.

Vauxhall Corsa

It's OK looking but so boring to drive especially as it only has a 1.0-litre engine. But that's what gives it an insurance group 1. It's reasonably spacious; the boot is actually quite a decent size. Due to its small engine, it also means it has a diesel-like economy, meaning you will get a fraction over 50mpg. Plus being a Vauxhall, parts and servicing costs are incredibly reasonable.

They start from £595 which buys an untidy 1999 T-plate 1.0 Envoy. However, £2,000 gets a tidy, dealer-supplied & warranted 1999 V-plate Breeze model. Most used Vauxhall Corsas start from £500.

Nissan Micra

There are two Micras to choose from, the older model which constantly tops surveys for reliability - always a good start for a first car- and the newer model from 1998-01 which are even better in terms of driving and comfort. They are quite spacious and also have low running costs, but unfortunately, sit in group three insurance. The current models in the 1.0E format are group 2; also safer with twin front side and head airbags. Again they are very reliable if a little more expensive to fix.

They start from £450 for the older model; a 1994 example with 75,000 miles. £3,095 buys a new shape 2003 from a dealer. Most used Nissan Micras start from £500.

Whatever you choose, you will most likely have enough on your plate what with trying to remember your Highway Code (or rather actually putting it into practice) and negotiating the many town centre one-way systems to worry about when your gearbox could pack up or your head gasket blow. Get an instant quote for a new or used car warranty from Click4Warranty.