The top 10 cars for young drivers

Ben Cooper
Written by: Ben Cooper
Posted on: 3 March 2016

Just passed your test and raring to get out on the road?

We’ve selected the top 10 cars for young drivers, to help you decide on your ride. Our selections are based on overall price, running costs, safety and insurance groups.

Remember, new drivers always have higher premiums, but these cars should bring the costs down for young drivers.

Citroen C1

Citroen C1

Citroen C1

Price: £8,345- £12,415
Safety rating: Euro NCAP 4-stars
Road tax: Free
Insurance: Group 3 (1.0l), Group 7 (1.2l)

The C1 is cheap and cheerful with nice exterior styling. Inside it’s very compact, especially for passengers in the back, and the pop-open windows may be off-putting for some.

However, it’s inexpensive to run and it’s in a low insurance group, with no road tax which makes it an ideal car for new drivers.

Fiat 500

Fiat 500

Fiat 500

Price: £10,890 – £14,420
Safety rating: Euro NCAP 5-stars (tested under 2007 test specification)
Road tax: Free or £30 a year depending on the model
Insurance: Group 5

With its cool styling and compact size, the Fiat 500 offers some retro chic in the city car market. Much like the TARDIS, it’s bigger inside than it looks. It’s also economical to run. It does have 5-star NCAP rating, but this was carried out under the older criteria.

Peugeot 108

Peugeot 108

Peugeot 108

Price: £8,345 - £12,895
Safety rating: Euro NCAP 4-stars
Road tax: Free
Insurance: Group 6 (1.0l), Group 11 (1.2l)

Produced in conjunction with Toyota, the 108 is similar in many respects to Toyota’s Aygo (below). Cheap to run - in terms of insurance, tax and fuel consumption - the 108 is a great city car, and the larger engine version also handles longer distance rides well on the open road.

Toyota Aygo

Toyota Aygo

Toyota Aygo

Price: £8,845 - £13,615
Safety rating: Euro NCAP 4-stars
Road tax: Free
Insurance: Group 6 and 7

The Aygo handles driving in the city and on the motorway with equal ease, and thanks to Toyota’s rock-solid reliability it’s a dependable car, with a five-year/100,000 mile warranty.

With free road tax and low insurance, the Aygo is a dream starter car.

Skoda Citigo

Skoda Citigo

Skoda Citigo

Price: £8,275 - £11,120
Safety rating: Euro NCAP 5-stars
Road tax: Free - £20, depending on model
Insurance: Groups 1-2

Skoda has one of the best reputations among car manufacturers, with a great record on safety, reliability and customer-service. As the model’s name suggests, it’s been built to excel in the urban environment, which is does with great handling and MPG.

With some of the lowest insurance groups, this is an ideal car for young drivers.

Renault Twingo

Renault Twingo

Renault Twingo

Price: £9,495 - £13,445
Safety rating: Euro NCAP 4-stars
Road tax: Free to £20 a year depending on model
Insurance: Groups 2-9

The Renault Twingo looks great and due to its compact dimensions it’s a breeze to park, which is great for young drivers who often find parallel parking terrifying.

It also has a good warranty, and features like emergency braking assistance and hill-start assistance will help inexperienced drivers.

Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa

Price: £9,740 - £17,725
Safety rating: Euro NCAP 4-stars
Road tax: Free to £110 a year depending on model
Insurance: Group 2 and up depending on model

With its roomy interior and big boot, the Corsa is great for young drivers who want to travel about with friends.

Bear in mind though, depending on your choice of options, the insurance groups and road tax can creep up steadily.

Ford Ka

Ford Ka

Ford Ka

Price: £8,995 - £11,995
Safety rating: Euro NCAP 4-stars (tested before 2009 criteria)
Road tax: £30 a year
Insurance: Group 3

The Ford Ka is a reliable city car that looks great and offers a smooth drive.

Thanks to Ford’s extensive dealer network, parts and maintenance are inexpensive, and of course the low insurance group and minimal road tax make it a good car for young drivers.

VW Polo

VW Polo

VW Polo

Price: £11,300 - £19,915
Safety rating: Euro NCAP 5-stars
Road tax: Free to £20
Insurance: Group 6-22

Although the emissions scandal has tarnished Volkswagen’s reputation somewhat, the lure of the VW marque is still strong.

While many still lust after a Golf, its power means it can be too pricey for younger drivers. The Polo, on the other hand, brings the same quality and comfort, but with a reduced price tag and cheaper running costs.

It’s also extremely safe, which is good news for nervous parents.

Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra

Price: £7,995 - £15,115
Safety rating: Euro NCAP 4-stars
Road tax: Free to £110 depending on model
Insurance: Group 5-9

The Nissan Micra is a regular favourite with young drivers. Its price, running costs and reliability all make it a great choice.

With many versions having no road tax, and all of them sitting in low insurance groups, they’ll keep prices low. Plus, for a little car, it’s surprisingly roomy.

New drivers always have higher premiums, but these cars should bring the costs down for young drivers. You can find other tips for lowering your car insurance costs here.

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