The seven best cars for new drivers

Craig Cheetham
·4-min read

With driving lessons now back in full swing and tests allowed once again, the UK’s instructors and examiners are working their way through a backlog of new drivers desperate to get behind the wheel.

But when these drivers pass, what are the best cars for them? Here are seven of the top cars for new drivers.

Fiat 500

Fiat 500 Hybrid
(Fiat)

Immediately recognisable and adorably cute, the Fiat 500 isn’t the newest kid on the block, but its retro styling and enormous character mean it’s a very popular choice with new drivers.

It’s cheap to insure, easy to maintain, inexpensive to run and easy to personalise, with a list of options that will ensure that no two 500s leave the forecourt identical. It also falls into the lower insurance groups, especially the lower-spec 1.2-litre models.

VW Up!/Skoda Citigo/Seat Mii

Skoda Citigo
(Skoda)

The trio of the Up!, Citigo and Mii are essentially the same car, providing a clever entry-level model across three of the VW Group brands.

All are ideal for young drivers. Small, easy to drive, frugal to run and in the lowest insurance brackets, yet at the same time they’re surprisingly spacious and quite lively. The VW and Seat have more youth appeal than the Skoda, but all are good cars.

The Seat is the best value, but the VW is the classier car and often the one with the best finance packages for young drivers.

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta
(Ford)

The Fiesta has always been a big hit with young drivers and the current incarnation is no exception. It looks great, has the latest up-to-date in-car tech, is terrific to drive and has a modern, stylish cabin. There’s no wonder it’s the UK’s best-seller.

Young drivers will love its image, while at the same time the 1.0 EcoBoost models are efficient and inexpensive to insure. Today, as ever, the Fiesta is one of the coolest kids on the block – as well as one of the absolute best ones to drive.

Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa
(Vauxhall)

A new Corsa made its debut last year, and not before time as its predecessor was getting very old. The new model is as up-to-date as they come, though, and that’s good news for the small Vauxhall, which is a perennial new driver’s favourite.

It might be bigger than ever before, but the Corsa is still great to drive and is also impressively spacious.

It’s also brimming with tech including a digital driver display and a large central touchscreen.

Renault Clio

Renault Clio
(Renault)

Chic, sleek and fashionable, the Clio is a favourite of young drivers across the UK. It looks great, but more than that it’s also a brilliant car to drive with an excellent chassis and entertaining steering.

Mid-spec trim levels have all the tech you’d want, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while higher spec models get wireless charging and digital dials.

Furthermore, the entry-level 75bhp engines fall into the lowest insurance bracket as well as having an impressive safety record, making the Clio one of the best possible choices for youthful or inexperienced drivers.

Peugeot 108

Peugeot 108
(Peugeot)

Arguably the best-looking city car on the market right now, the Peugeot 108 will appeal to the style conscious as well as those who want a great value, no-nonsense city car with a classy interior.

There are always a number of tempting and targeted finance packages on the 108 that are aimed at young drivers, too, so there’s every chance you’ll be offered a good deal by your local Peugeot dealer.

Peugeot’s ‘Just Add Fuel’ finance offer is available to drivers as young as 18 on the 108, and combines purchase cost, VED and insurance into one easy-to-digest monthly payment that’s ideal for first-time drivers.

Citroen C1

Citroen C1
(Citroen)

The Citroen C1 shares much of its architecture with the Peugeot, but with a focus on fun rather than sophisticated style.

It’s extremely keenly priced and also benefits from Citroen’s ‘Simply Drive’ scheme, which is similar to Peugeot’s ‘Just Add Fuel’, though drivers below the age of 21 will need a black box to benefit from insurance being included.

With over 50mpg on offer from the entry-level 1.0-litre engine the C1 is a frugal choice, too, so it’s no surprise that it’s a hit with younger drivers.