Top 7 best cars for new drivers

Top 7 best cars for new drivers

These top cars will help keep your insurance low and your confidence high as you take the first steps on your driving adventure

Being a new driver can be a scary and daunting experience. As well as understanding everything about how to drive, experiencing other drivers and real life situations on the road for the first time can be pretty nerve wracking – for fresh faced drivers and concerned parents alike.

That’s why the type of car first time drivers are using is all important. Making sure the car has all the features you need and won’t need to be towed to the garage every few months is going to take tons of pressure off and allow you to focus purely on driving. This is going to make everything a lot safer, easier, and ultimately more enjoyable.

So, we’ve come up with a list of the 7 best first cars for new drivers to make those first few miles as easy as they can be and to set you up for the best start in your driving career. Whether you are looking for the cheapest cars for new drivers to insure or the best automatic cars for new drivers, there is bound to be something for you here.

What are our criteria?

  • i ESP as standard
    Since it was made a legal requirement in 2014 for all new cars throughout Europe to be fitted with the Electronic Stability Programme, or ESP, it’s no surprise that this is one of the things we’re looking for. But it isn’t just because we have to; ESP is a life-saving piece of technology. This umbrella term incorporates systems like traction control and anti-lock braking systems to help you drive more safely by analysing data about speed or the position of the car to help keep you on track. And it certainly does this well – studies from the UK indicate that your chances of being involved in a fatal crash are reduced by 25% with ESP.

Note: some manufacturers have different names from this system (ESC, VDC, or VSA), but all the cars we’ve chosen are equipped with some form of it.

  • i Minimum four stars NCAP crash test
    Another essential safety metric for new cars is how well they fare in the crash test. The road safety charity Brake has done research into the rate of new driver accidents and found that despite 17 to 19-year-olds only making up 1.5% of driving licence holders, they are involved in 9% of all fatal and serious crashes in the UK. This study doesn’t suggest why this is, but it is pretty clear that all safe cars for new drivers need to be robust enough to withstand a crash. By making sure that all cars get a minimum of four stars in the Euro NCAP safety test.
  • i Minimum four stars in the Ecotest
    While this might be the first car you are buying, it hopefully won’t be the first of many. This is why it is always important to think of the future, both of your car and of the planet. With increasingly tough standards and rigorous testing processes, it’s important to select an environmentally friendly car which scores low in the EU Ecotest and has low emissions. Not only will this mean you are doing your bit to limit the effects of global warming, but also should mean you won’t be failing your MOT or being charged extra car tax for emissions anytime soon.
  • i Front, side, and head airbags
    1973 was the year that James Bond hit our screens in ‘Live and Let Die’ and Pink Floyd released what is still the best-ever selling record for a British artist, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’. These events seem like ancient history now, which is why it would be unthinkable to not be buying a car with airbags, which themselves were first featured in 1973. Airbags are an essential part of a car’s passive safety system and by only choosing cars with front, side, and head airbags, we give first drivers the best chances of protection in collisions.
    Front, side, and head airbags
  • i Reliable technology
    This has less to do with safety and more to do with comfort and allowing first time drivers to focus solely on the road. If the technology in your car is constantly playing up it is going to mean a lot of otherwise avoidable trips to the garage, unnecessary expenses, and all in all a less enjoyable driving experience. These cars are all kitted out with the best reliable tech to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Best cars for new drivers uk

1. Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta:best car for new drivers 2020

The Fiesta is known for its affordability, punchy engine, and numerous additional extras. It has a sporty look and this is matched by its performance; it handles well on the road and is reliable.
As for the systems and tech it comes with ABS, EBA, and electronic stability control, along with Bluetooth connectivity, a DAB digital radio and Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto.

2. Volkswagen Polo

Auto parts for good car for new drivers for Volkswagen Polo

With an engine ranging from 1.0-litre to a much faster, 2.0-litre engine depending on trim level, the Polo household name for first time car owners. It stands for dependability, a minimalist presence, and timeless performance. The latest ‘S’ model comes in with such specs like ABS, ESP, front disc brakes, and hill hold assist.

3. Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla:best car for new drivers in uk

After 10 years, the Corolla is back and offers a top hatchback option for new drivers. Available with a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine, a 1.8-litre VVTi (identical to the Prius), or with a 2.0-litre powertrain, it’s quick but remains an economy-focused device, with CO2 emissions of just 89g/km and more than 60mpg at its best.

4. Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto:best car for new drivers 2020

The Picanto’s compact frame and unique grille make it a sporty looking car and it has a great performance and additional features. With five doors as standard, it’s one of the most spacious cars on this list and comes with electric front windows, a two-speaker stereo, USB connectivity, automatic lights, and touch screen sat nav.

5. Renault Captur

Auto parts for good car for new drivers for Renault Captur

A comfortable, unique interior and being easy to drive define the Captur. Whichever engine you pick, it’s quiet, refined, and has a decent fuel economy. What is particularly appealing for first time drivers is the suite of driver assistance systems offered as standard, the five star Euro NCAPrating, and Renault’s overall reputation for safety.

6. Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki Jimny:best car for new drivers in uk

The Jimny has always reeked of individual character and charm with its adorable looks, how fun it is to drive, and terrific off-road capability. It also makes, however, a great car for new drivers who are living in a non-urban area and need something reliable, stable, and ready for a challenge.

7. Honda Civic

Honda Civic:best car for new drivers 2020

Certainly one of the more expensive cars on the list, the Honda Civic will offer a fiery performance as a first hatchback with a powerful engine. A practical cabin and boot, with a huge amount of storage (420-770 litres!), as well as some great technical kit as standard. It’s definitely an option worth considering.

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