What is the best first car?
You might not have passed your driving test yet, but now is a great time to at least start thinking about your first car. Purchasing a car before passing your driving test is something lots of learner drivers decide to do - especially if you have family/friends that are willing to take you out on the roads under learner insurance! It can definitely aid you in passing your practical test for the first time! If you're looking to pass your test as quickly as possible, don't forget to check out our driving courses!
New vs Second Hand
Buying a car brand new is likely not the best decision as a new driver - you will pay a premium as the car is new, and the average new car depreciates in value by 60% in the first 3 years. This does depend on mileage, condition and model, however buying second hand will not only save you money initially, but it also won’t depreciate as fast as a new car. Finance is always an option, but you do have to have good credit to do so, and monthly repayments can be high if you’d like to own the car at the end. (Remember, never go above what you can afford!)
Your car needs to be practical around your lifestyle. If you live in a city, a smaller motor is likely best as you won’t be making long journeys. If you have a family, then a SUV is probably best. Buying a car that is practical is likely the most important thing to consider. There is no denying that a smaller car with a smaller engine will be cheaper to insure, however if it is not practical for you, then waiting and possibly saving for the car better suited to your lifestyle would be better.
Gadgets? Not necessary!
Having extra gadgets in your car is a luxury and something everyone wants, but they’re not something you need. Buying a car with lower mileage, rather than one with more mileage but more gadgets is definitely recommended for a first car. Only go for what you need - this will keep the cost down and will likely mean you can get a more reliable car with less miles for your money.
When it comes to buying your first car, the options can be quite overwhelming. There is a lot to consider when choosing your first car - budget, age, mileage and practicality to name just a few. We thought we’d put together a list of our favourite ‘first cars’ to make this purchase a little bit easier!
This fun and quirky little car is a popular first for many reasons. They look sporty and stylish, and they are known to be cheap to insure. They come in 0.9 litre, 1 litre and 1.2 litre - the more efficient 0.9 litre can manage 60.1mpg! Buying brand new, these little cars start at £11,104 (Jan 2022) and inside, they are very distinctive, feeling retro and modern at the same time. The downside to the Fiat 500 is that they are very small; the rear seats are known to be cramped, but they do fit in those pesky little car parking spaces that you might otherwise struggle to get into as a new driver.
Another small car, but these are available as both three and five door. This luxury of having five doors definitely makes it easier for karting passengers around - although similar to the Fiat 500, it can be quite cramped in the back. The 1.2-litre can manage 65.7mpg, and start from £10,065 (Jan 2022). They are known for their light steering, soft suspension and vibrant look. The Citroen C1 does not have fully opening rear windows, and instead function with pop-open windows - this could be a downside for some people.
These subcompact cars are also known in the ‘learner driver’ world. They are in between the VW Up (similar to the Citroen C1) and the Golf. Whilst the Polo might look a bit more plain than other popular first cars, it makes up in build quality, reliability and size. They start at £15,010, and come in 1.0-litre which is perfect for beginner drivers, and there is more room in the back for passengers compared to the above ‘city’ motors. The Polo is known to be a ‘plain’’ drive, so if you enjoy the thrill of driving the polo might not be for you.
This small hatchback is a similar size to the Polo, and Seat Ibiza. It shares some mechanical bits with these cars too. It is the most practical, and the cheapest - although not the most exciting. This car has a boot space of 380 litres, which beats the VW Polo by 30 litres - so if you like shopping, this car might just be for you! There’s plenty of legroom, and there’s a Isofix point for childseats. The Fabia also comes in a 1.0-litre, which again makes it a great first motor to insure. A downside is that it’s considered ‘boring’, and only comes in a couple of colours, such as red, black, blue, grey and white. There’s nothing special about the Fabia, but they are cheap, reliable and sturdy cars.