Congratulations! You’ve just passed your practical driving test and are looking to purchase your first car. Before you gear up to pick up friends, drive off on adventures and enjoy freedom on the roads, you’ll need to make some decisions about your first vehicle.

Whether you’re a struggling student or a mature new driver, there are many cars on the market today that are practical, safe and won’t break the bank to purchase. If you don’t have thousands in savings to spend on your first car, you can also consider a car finance quote. This allows you to break down the cost of a vehicle into manageable payments. 

So, what is the best car for new drivers this year? We’ve made things a little easier by rounding up our top choices for first-time motorists.

6 top picks for your first car

1.    Ford Fiesta

Some things don’t change. The Fiesta remains one of the UK’s best-selling vehicles of all time and is a popular choice among new drivers. It’s great to drive and inexpensive to run if you choose a small petrol engine. It’s also cheap to tax as it falls into tax band A. If you’re looking for a brand-new vehicle, it could cost you just over £10,000, but used or pre-owned models tend to start around £5,000.

The innovative MyKey system (2012 and newer models) lets safety-conscious parents limit the radio volume and maximum speed of the car, making it an excellent vehicle for new drivers who have just passed their test. To underline its safety credentials, Fiestas made since 2008 have scored five stars in the Euro NCAP tests.

It’s also worth noting that Ford has relatively cheap parts in comparison to other brands on the market. That means if your car does need any repairs, it won’t break the bank to get you back on the road. Coming in at an incredibly affordable price and with safety tech to boot, this vehicle is the best car for new drivers 2020.

2.    Renault Clio

The compact and stylish Clio hatchback has been a favourite among UK drivers for years because of its sporty exterior and pocket-friendly cost. It’s sleek, fun, practical and fits four passengers comfortably. Newer models come with automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, and a 7-inch touchscreen for a more intuitive drive.

As well as being well-suited to style-conscious drivers, the Clio is a reliable performer. If you have a budget that can stretch to £6,000, it’s possible to pick up a newer model with cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and the Renault Bass Reflex sound system.

3.    SEAT Ibiza

As a safe and practical car, the SEAT Ibiza is well-known for being a great first car. It is excellent value for money – ideal for those looking to save a few pennies by purchasing a cheaper vehicle. This vehicle is loaded with tech that attracts the younger audience, too. There is pedestrian detection with auto braking, wireless charging for smartphones and adaptive cruise control. Even Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is included from the entry SE model.

The interior of the Ibiza is spacious, meaning it is more than capable of transporting a car full of adults. If you’re a student, you can pack in all your apartment essentials when moving in or out.

This sporty vehicle tends to be in high demand because of its design, responsive handling, and three-cylinder engine. Opt for a smaller engine, such as a 1.2-litre model, and you’ll typically fall into an affordable insurance group too.

4.    Hyundai i10

The i10 is the smallest vehicle Hyundai makes. What it lacks in size, however, it sure makes up for in value. It truly feels like a city car, complete with a narrow width for slotting into tight car parking spaces, great visibility and poised handling. With electric windows and a decent stereo, you get the essential gear at an affordable price.

The vehicle is a great choice for first-time drivers because it helps to build confidence. It can handle high speed on motorways with ease and is easy to nip down city streets, feeling light under your feet. This makes it fun to drive. Where other cars feel wobbly and uncertain, the Hyundai i10 is stable and self-assured. All in all, it’s an enjoyable all-rounder that will help to new drivers gain confidence.

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time on motorways, consider finding a 1.2-litre model with 86bhp. It has a quicker 0-60 speed of 12.1 seconds and is capable of handling longer journeys. Although Hyundai has just released an all-new i10, you can look for second-hand models that are more affordable.

5.    Toyota Yaris

By far one of the best value cars, the Toyota Yaris is wonderful for drivers of all ages, including those new to the roads. It is easy to drive, has great ride quality and is outstandingly reliable. In addition to the Euro NCAP five-star rating, this vehicle is a safe and practical choice.

Thanks to its fuel efficiency, the Yaris is a relatively affordable car to run. If you’re looking for a vehicle on a shoe-string budget, the 1-litre engine is one of the cheapest cars to insure. The older models are dirt cheap, and for a five-year-old model with a decent number of miles on the clock, you can expect to pay around £6,000. Newer models are extremely trendy, vibrant and offer hybrid options. However, you can expect to pay significantly more.

6.    Audi A3

For those drivers who are looking to dive into the luxury segment straight away, the Audi A3 is a great first car. It’s a classy compact vehicle that boasts well-designed interior spaces and offers a punchy, responsive drive. The size makes it ideal for both city and rural drivers. What’s more, its handling makes navigating busy car parks and country lanes a breeze.

New drivers can expect to pay around the £7,000 mark and above for a used Audi A3. This is whilst enjoying attractive fuel economy and reasonable insurance premiums.

Cruise the open road in your first vehicle

Ready to get behind the wheel of your first vehicle? At My Car Credit, we want to make securing car finance simple and accessible when you’re purchasing your first vehicle.

To find out how we can get you on the road, give us a call on 01246 458 810 or drop us an email at enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk. One of our knowledgeable team members will get back to you as soon as possible.

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