The 10 Best Cars for New Drivers in 202111 December 2020
Do you want your first car to be feisty, cheap to run, have the best safety features or better still all three? Getting behind the wheel as a new driver is one of the most memorable moments of your life, so making the right choice of vehicle is an important decision. Leasing your first car takes all the hassle out of motoring, as there’s just one simple, affordable monthly payment, leaving you to concentrate on enjoying your brand-new car.
To make life even easier, we’ve picked out our 10 best cars for new drivers. See our top picks below to see which vehicle is right for you.
One of the UK’s most popular cars for many a year, the Ford Fiesta does so many things well and undoubtedly makes a great choice for new drivers. The newly updated model looks chic, with an attractive new grille adding a welcome dash of sportiness.
Get behind the wheel and you’ll realise looks aren’t deceiving either. The Fiesta is fantastic fun to drive, it handles nimbly and the gearbox is so easy to use. Add to that a great selection of efficient engines to choose from and you’re looking at perhaps the most engaging car on this list.
Inside the cabin, you’ll be treated to an impressive amount of standard kit, like an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and an attractive dashboard featuring plenty of soft touch plastics. As with most small motors, space in the boot and on the back seats could be better, so if you’re likely to have a full car often it might be worth considering something slightly larger.
With deals starting at less than £200 a month, pick the Ford Fiesta though and make a great choice for your first vehicle.
If you plan on spending most of your time navigating the urban sprawl, then there couldn’t be a better first car to choose than the Kia Picanto. It was built to take on the city. This smart small car is nimble to manoeuvre and the small frame can fit just about anywhere, so it’s perfect for squeezing into the lightest of parking spots. The latest model features cool new sharpened looks too, making it arguably one of the most attractive options on this list.
Despite that lithe physique, the Picanto boasts more interior space than you might expect for a vehicle of its size. Inside you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a decent amount of standard kit on offer too, but if you want the full eight-inch touchscreen experience you’ll need to upgrade to the ‘3’ trim.
The only place the Picanto comes a little unstuck is if you plan on venturing on longer trips. Smaller engines could use a little more power and refinement isn’t up to the standards of some rivals, therefore you will likely notice a bit of noise on motorways. But at under £150 a month, the Kia Picanto is an affordable choice for new drivers.
Skoda has gone from strength to strength since parent company Volkswagen began supporting the manufacturer, and they’re undeniably designing some of the best cars around right now. Similarly, the latest Fabia has seen a whole host of improvements and is now one of the most recommendable vehicles in the supermini sector.
The smart frame is matched by a lovely interior (it’s one of the nicest cabins on this list), and you get a nice package of base spec gadgets too, like a 6.5 inch touchscreen including DAB. Inside your passengers will be happy too – the back seat is really rather roomy, and any luggage will be gobbled up by the Fabia’s generous boot, as it’s one of the largest amongst the competition.
When it comes to the ride, this car admittedly isn’t the most exciting machine to drive, but safety is outstanding and Front Assist collision detection is included as standard. All things considered the Skoda Fabia represents fantastic value for money, with loads of great features and upmarket feel that belies an extremely modest price point at less than £150 per month.
If you want an affordable little car with genuine prestige, then the Audi A1 needs your full attention. Aside from the badge on the bonnet, that cute yet sporty body make this gorgeous motor the most desirable first car choice for many.
As this is an Audi, you won’t be surprised to learn that the A1 excels on tech too. There’s a nine-inch centre console and 10-inch digital instrument display as standard, an offering which trumps most other vehicles’ top spec options. If music is your thing, consider the upgrade to a 560W Bang & Olufsen stereo – it must surely be the most impressive small car sound system available.
On the road you’ll benefit from a great pick of engines, which help make driving both enjoyable and easy, even on motorways. Longer journeys should prove totally painless for passengers too, as there’s plenty of room in the back and the seats are super comfortable.
In truth there’s very little to level against this lovely piece of machinery and if you can afford to make the Audi A1 your first car, it makes the perfect choice. Prices start at under £250 a month.
Fiat’s iconic little car is still as stylish as it was in the sixties. The 500 might be getting on a bit, but it’s still as seductive as ever, even after all these years. Those diminutive measurements make the Fiat 500 a great choice as a first car too – it’s easy and fun to drive, plus totally perfect for city life. The latest model comes with the welcome addition of hybrid and electric options too, making it even more fuel efficient for short journeys.
That cute retro feel continues on the inside with a gorgeous dash that’s fully customisable to add personality and a touch of colour to the cabin. When it comes to tech, opt for the Rock Star pack and you get two seven-inch screens in the form of a HD centre console and instrument cluster.
If you need loads of space in the boot and in the back then the Fiat 500 probably isn’t the best choice vehicle, but when it comes to style, tech and features this clever little car makes a great pick for a new driver, plus it’s great value at less than £150 per month.
The brilliant SEAT Ibiza is a great looking vehicle with loads to offer and is definitely one of the best cars for new drivers out there right now. The smart body is accentuated with creases that give the vehicle a genuine sporty feel and the latest iteration is slightly larger, translating to more room in the cabin of course.
Inside, you’ll be genuinely impressed by the amount of space on offer both in the boot and for passengers, where dimensions have increased significantly on the outgoing model. To be hyper critical, the materials used do feel a little cheap in places, but the overall feel generally matches cars at a similar price point.
Tech is rather generous – opt for the Xcellence spec and you’ll get loads of goodies like a voice-activated eight-inch touchscreen and rear parking sensors. On the road, the Ibiza handles well and a selection of efficient and competent engines completes a really impressive package from SEAT. This is a fantastic little car that would make the ideal first motor, with prices at around £200 a month.
The fully updated Corsa is a massive step forward from Vauxhall and puts the car once again on equal footing with the best super minis on the road right now. The car’s fresh new look is a great improvement and the redesigned sloping two-tone roof feels properly sleek and modern.
There have been upgrades elsewhere too, with a new selection of more powerful, refined and eco-friendly engines to choose from. Getting behind the wheel is no longer a chore either, as the new Corsa feels much sprightlier and livelier in the corners. You can certainly have some fun in the front seat.
Vauxhall has been busy inside the cabin as well, where a revamped dash now features all the latest gadgets, and plenty of them come as standard. Our pick of the specs is the SE Premium, which comes with both a seven-inch touchscreen and a 3.5 inch driver information cluster. When it comes to practicality, the back row of seats isn’t the roomiest of any car on this list, but boot space isn’t bad at all. It’s one of the cheapest options too at around £150 per month.
With its uniquely funky design, the eye-catching Aygo is as kooky as they come when you’re talking city cars. There’s nothing nuts about choosing one as your first car though – there are a whole host of reasons that this clever little motor makes an excellent choice for new drivers.
Firstly, the Toyota Aygo is super cheap to run, with only a small and light frame to move around, so you’ll be saving a packet at the fuel pump. The miniature footprint means parking is a cinch too, and responsive handling coupled with a tight turning circle make the Aygo a real pleasure to drive when nipping around town. Refinement isn’t half bad either, so relaxed motorway journeys are well within this city car’s grasp.
It’s fair to say there are a couple places where the Aygo could do with an update, though. The back seats and boot are rather small even when compared to similar sized options, and the interior doesn’t feel as modern as it could. However, with impressive build quality and a generous amount of kit, even on the base spec model, the Toyota Aygo represents fantastic value for money at approximately £150 per month.
Is the Suzuki Swift the sportiest small car around? This super little car is big on performance and offers at least as much fun as anything else on this list. Handling is crisp and responsive, and the lightweight body is a joy to throw into corners. Plus, its light load means acceleration is competitive, even when packing the standard issue 1.2 litre petrol engine.
The option of a mild hybrid is welcome, improving on the decent fuel economy, as is the feisty 1.4 litre Boosterjet setup. A leather clad steering wheel as standard is a nice inclusion worth mentioning too.
All that sportiness does take its toll on comfort to a degree and the ride could be a little less firm. However, passengers will be reasonably pleased with themselves, even on longer journeys as there is a surprising amount of space in the back for a vehicle of this size.
If you’re a new driver looking for a car that’s loads of fun, cheap to run and great value to lease then the Suzuki Swift comes as highly recommendable, coming in at less than £150 per month.
The Volkswagen Polo has undoubtedly done enough now to step out of the shadow of its older sibling, the Golf. It’s a fantastic car and would make an excellent choice for new drivers. The quality not only matches the Golf in every department but could even compete with Audi on that front too.
Those sharp good looks continue inside the cabin, which feels every bit as premium and well designed as you’d expect from a VW. There’s an eight-inch touchscreen centre console as standard and the option of upgrading to a digital driver display.
Behind the wheel, you’ll be treated to something closer to comfort and composure, but that’s no bad thing and another reason to recommend this vehicle as an ideal first car. Additionally, the interior is as practical as anything else on this list, offering loads of room in the back (even more generous than the previous iteration) and an especially cavernous boot. There are loads of reasons to lease the VW Polo and, if your budget allows it, this brilliant car should certainly at least make your shortlist. Prices start at around £250 per month.
What should I look for in my first car?
When choosing your first car, there are a number of points to consider. As a new driver it’s important to pick something that you feel comfortable driving. It should be easy to perform manoeuvres and you may like to also consider looking for safety features which will keep you safe and confident on the road, like autonomous emergency braking or adaptive cruise control.
Another crucial factor will be your insurance, which is likely to be more expensive if you don’t have much driving experience. Therefore, it’s probably best to pick a car from a cheaper insurance group.
Don’t forget though that driving should be fun too, so choose a car that you enjoy driving and make sure it has all the infotainment and connectivity options you need.
Can I lease a car as a new driver?
There’s no reason not to lease your first car – in fact, it can be the ideal option for a new driver. You can get behind the wheel of a brand-new vehicle packed with the latest safety features that’s easy to drive, plus will help you gain confidence on the road.
We have a massive choice of cars, so young drivers can easily find the right vehicle for them. Each car is available for a simple fixed monthly payment, making it easy to manage your finances and keep things affordable.
You can also forget the worries of buying a second-hand motor, as your lease vehicle will come with a warranty and the option of maintenance too, leaving you to relax and enjoy driving.
What are the cheapest cars to insure?
Picking a vehicle that’s cheap to insure will help you control costs, keeping them as low as possible when running your first car. Each vehicle on the road is placed in an insurance group which helps insurers decide how much it should cost to cover. There are 50 different numbered groups – in most cases, the lower the group, the cheaper the insurance. Factors which will put a vehicle into a lower group and therefore cheaper to insure include:
Vehicles with less power will generally be cheaper to insure as they are perceived to be safer
Better ratings from accident testing translate into lower potential costs
- Repair costs
Cars that are cheaper to repair will usually be cheaper to insure
- Car price
More expensive vehicles are generally more expensive to insure
- Security features
Choose a car with features like an alarm, vehicle tracking or immobiliser to keep insurance costs low
Find your perfect brand-new car today and explore all our leasing deals available online, including our leasing with insurance and maintenance package to ensure everything is covered.