What are the Best Cars for New Drivers?

Ford Fiesta On Display

From expensive insurance to a higher than average accident rate, new drivers face a lot of challenges as they get started on the road. As a new driver, your choice of car has a huge impact on the affordability and safety of becoming a motorist.

Did you know that an 18 year-old driver has three times the risk of being involved in an accident as a 50 year-old driver? Or that a fifth of all new drivers are involved in a collision within their first six months of driving.

Because new drivers face a higher accident rate than experienced drivers, one of the most important aspects of any new driver’s car is safety. Another is affordability, as the cost of insurance is often a significant expense for young drivers.

In this guide from , we’ll look at four safe, comfortable and affordable cars (from both an initial purchase and insurance standpoint) that are ideal for new drivers looking to start driving as safely and soon as possible.

Ford Fiesta

As of 2015, the Ford Fiesta is one of the most popular and highly reviewed cars in the UK. , it combines a comfortable interior with a simple, low-maintenance engine and some excellent safety features.

The 2015 Ford Fiesta comes with seven airbags as standard, making it one of the safest small cars on the road. Thanks to its light weight and small engine, it costs very little to run and uses an extremely low amount of fuel when driven safely.

For the lowest running costs, choose the 1.25 litre engine option, which generates 59 horsepower and achieves an impressive 54.3 miles per gallon on average. The three-door version starts from just £9,995 with a variety of discounts available.

The Fiesta includes some unique safety features that will make it just as popular with parents as new drivers. These include a programmable key that limits the vehicle’s top speed and ensures its ESP system remains on when driven.

Although it’s far from luxurious, even the basic Fiesta’s interior is comfortable, as well as surprisingly spacious for such a small car. The Fiesta handles well and has smooth, responsive steering and braking, making it a great new driver’s car.

Thanks to its low purchase price, its reliable engine and its low running costs (the Fiesta is an insurance group 1 vehicle, making it cheap for new drivers) the Fiesta has become Britain’s most popular compact car and a favourite of new drivers.

Citroen C1

The Citroen C1 is stylish, reliable and incredibly affordable to run, making it one of the best choices on the market for first-time drivers. Available in a three-door and five-door configuration, the C1 is a great car for drivers eager to get on the road.

Thanks to its short wheelbase (the C1 measures just 3.4 metres from end to end) the C1 is easy to manoeuvre and ideal for city driving. Its 1 litre engine is small but more than enough for highway driving, with the car performing well at 60 miles per hour.

Like the Fiesta, the C1 is amazingly efficient. The diesel version is the most efficient and cheapest to run, achieving a combined average mile-per-gallon figure of 68.90, beating the standard Ford Fiesta.

The entry-level engine, which generates 68 horsepower, also includes a stop-start feature to reduce petrol usage even further. All in all, the C1 is an amazingly cheap car to run, especially if you’re only using it in and around town.

The C1 includes six airbags as a standard feature, as well as features like hill assist which will help new drivers. Higher-end models come with optional extras such as reversing cameras and touchscreen controls.

Prices for the C1 start from £8,245 with a range of finance deals available, some of which start from just £99 per month.  Like the Fiesta, it’s insurance group 1 and is incredibly affordable to insure even for young, new drivers.

Hyundai i10

Like the Citroen C1 and Ford Fiesta, the Hyundai i10 is a small city car with a range of engine options. Its combination of comfort, safety, affordability and fantastic fuel efficiency make it a great choice for new drivers seeking a balanced car.

The latest i10 , with reviewers branding it “the best city car around.” With a short wheelbase and excellent rear visibility, it’s a great car for use in the city that’s amazingly easy to manoeuvre and park.

Like the C1, the basic i10 comes with a 1 litre engine that performs well in the city and offers enough power to drive confidently on the highway. The standard i10 is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, with automatic versions also available.

The i10’s biggest strengths are its safety and affordability. The standard i10 comes with six airbags, stability control and central locking. It’s also fitted with a monitor system for tyre pressure that alerts the driver when tyres start becoming flat.

With a simple but comfortable interior and great build quality overall, the i10 is a firm, solid and comfortable car to drive. It’s also amazingly efficient, achieving an average fuel economy of 60 miles per gallon, with optional stop-start available.

Although it’s slightly more expensive than the C1, the Hyundai i10 is priced to suit new drivers. The basic one litre version is available from £8,595, with its affordable running costs making the i10 one of the cheapest cars available in the UK.

Seat Mii

Our final new driver car is the Seat Mii. Like the Fiesta, C1 and i10, it’s available for less than £10,000 and includes a range of safety features that make it a great option for new drivers seeking a car that’s affordable, safe and reliable.

The Seat Mii is built to a high standard, with its interior almost identical to the more expensive Volkswagen Up. It’s a responsive car that’s easy to drive, making it a good choice for new drivers aiming to become more confident on the road.

With a 1 litre engine as standard, the Seat Mii generated 59 horsepower – enough to perform impressively on city roads and confidently on the highway. An option 74hp engine upgrade is worth getting if you frequently drive on faster roads.

Running costs for the Mii are low and reliability is fantastic – after all, it shares most of its platform with the VW Up. Its interior is simple and functional but comfortable to sit in, and its 89% Euro NCAP safety rating is one of the best of all compact cars.

Standard safety features include four airbags and a stability control system. The Mii also comes with a variety of anti-theft features and an optional braking system that controls the brakes to prevent accidents in city driving conditions.

With prices starting from just £8,195, the Mii is the most affordable of all the cars in our collection. Like the Fiesta, C1 and i10, it’s an insurance group 1 car that’s cheap to insure, extremely fuel efficient and safe and comfortable on the road.

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