Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers in the UK – Ultimate Guide

Being a teenager myself, I understand the frustration most newly passed drivers feel when trying to find a car. At the time when I was searching for a car, all I wanted was one that’s; good looking, an acceptable colour, It smelt good and was customizable.

After weeks of searching, nothing captured my attention. A family member at the time was selling her 1999 Vauxhall Corsa, we went to see it and brought it the following day. It was the best day of my life! The car itself is as basic as it comes, it’s fourteen years old and is going purple. It has a 1.0-litre engine and costs me £500/year to insure. Happy days.

“this article should help you decide what the most realistic first time buyer cars are for young drivers.”

You may want a new car that no-one has, but what if something breaks or need replacing? For example; with my 99 Corsa, if I need something done it’s usually finished and ready for the road again later that day. All due to the parts needed are easy to find and order in. Old cars go wrong more than newer cars, you have to accept that. But the cost to fix them is cheap, very cheap.

Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers in the UK – Ultimate Guide

Vauxhall Corsa (£250 – £600)

Pre 2000 – 1.0-1.2L

Vauxhall Corsa 1999 cars for young drivers

Insurance Group – 5

Insurance Estimates (17-19/£915 – £1,250)

Model 0-60 mph Top Speed BHP MPG
1.0 12V Trip 3d 16.5 secs 93 mph 54 bhp 50 mpg
1.0 12V Envoy 3d/5d 16.5 secs 93 mph 54 bhp 49 mpg

The Vauxhall Corsa is one of the most popular cars on UK roads, meaning one thing – your blend in like a twig in a forest. The 1.0 litre three cylinder engine is sluggish taking almost 20 seconds to 60 mph but offers remarkable economy.

Insurance costs & affordability

1.0i, 1.2i and diesels are very frugal indeed, each comfortably returning over 43 mpg. Servicing and parts are cheap for the Corsa, too. Insurance groups are very competitive, too, especially for the smaller engine models: making Corsa a perfect proposition for young, first time drivers.

Buying 2nd hand & what to look for?

Plenty about and prices are competitive, so don’t pay too much; 1.4i versions are the soundest choice. Entry level Merit does not have power steering, split rear seat or much of anything, while the GLS does offer a driver’s airbag. Size and comfort are the virtues, not the equipment levels.

Owners’ reviews

“I own a 1.0L Trip Corsa myself and it’s best factors are; its small and compact (easy to park and get around), good on fuel (cheap to run), a hatchback (lots of room in boot and rear) and cheap to repair (always good). Almost everyone everywhere has owned a Corsa at some time in their life.”

“It’s a great little car to get you started, my mates love the custom stereo and sound quality (lots of room for speakers). Due to the small engine size, it doesn’t rev above 3,500 rpm without screaming “CHANGE GEAR”. But it kind of acts as a fuel efficient feature – you less you rev, the longer the fuel will last / less money, more miles.”

autotrader

This car is available now on AutoTrader for £395, click here to be directed to the page.

vauxhall corsa 1.0L Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader side view bluevauxhall corsa 1.0L Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader rear view bluevauxhall corsa 1.0L Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader rear side view blue

Ford Fiesta (£315 – £775)

Pre 1999 – 1.0-1.3L

ford fiesta Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader front side view blue

Insurance Group – 11

Insurance Estimates (17-19/£975 – £1,350)

Model 0-60 mph Top Speed BHP MPG
1.25 16V 5d 11.9 secs 106 mph 75 bhp 41.5 mpg

The extensively revised Fiesta Mk 4 put the fun back into functional during the mid-1990s. It was as good to drive as any rival supermini and still looks fairly modern, with curvy, youthful styling, though it’s less radical than its funky little sister, the KA.

Insurance costs & affordability

With a commendable fuel economy, inexpensive parts, and spacious 10,000-mile service intervals, the running costs are reasonably low. Although the Fiesta did not offer the best value in its class when new, insurance is affordably low and used prices have tumbled because of high volumes – making the Mk 4 an all-round safe bet. There are loads of used Fiestas around and most of them are affordably priced.

Buying 2nd hand & what to look for?

Check the bodywork and sills carefully, and have a good look around before buying – you should be spoilt for choice. The smaller engine models are most – popular due to the cheaper insurance – while diesels are worth the same as petrols.

Owners’ reviews

“This car is great for use as a runaround. It isn’t very often we take long journeys (every one or two months) but their are no complaints. This car is ok to run very cheap on insurance quite cheap on petrol.”

“It was actually quite nice to drive, not very quick but it was confident through the corners even on its skinny little wheels, not a patch on the mondeo I have now however.”

autotrader

This car is available now on AutoTrader for £395, click here to be directed to the page.

ford fiesta Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader front side view navy blue blackford fiesta Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader rear side view blackford fiesta Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader interior view


Ford KA (£300 – £855)

Pre 2001 – 1.0-1.3L

ford ka Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader front side view light blue

Insurance Group – 10

Insurance Estimates (17-19/£1,050 – £1,280)

Model 0-60 mph Top Speed BHP MPG
1.3i 3d 14.3 secs 96 mph 60 bhp 42.2 mpg

Great for first time driver, this once young car will fit any teenagers lifestyle. It’s fairly spacious too given it’s small dimensions but the cabin is starting to look dated, especially with large amounts of exposed metal on show.

Insurance costs & affordability

Thanks to the frugal engine, low insurance groups and affordable Ford servicing and parts, the Ka is predictably inexpensive to run.

Buying 2nd hand & what to look for?

The Ka may not look as radical as it once did, but it’s one of the best all-round small hatches. Competitively priced and cheap to run, there’s a huge choice of cars at all sorts of prices. Many are ex-rental or courtesy cars boasting one owner, but 1000 different drivers. Don’t settle for a rough one unless the price is ridiculously low.

Owners’ reviews

“It’s good to drive if you like a light car ‘ My sister says its like riding in a bubble’, but then she prefers a car that you can feel the road as you drive. When going up steep hills you do have to anticipate and change down the same with overtaking look for a large space to get in to.”

“It has 3 doors and compact, and a friendly engine sound. It has a good turning circle, and good on fuel.”

autotrader

This car is available now on AutoTrader for £495, click here to be directed to the page.

ford ka Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader front side view silverford ka Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader rear side view silverford ka Top 3 Cars for Young Drivers autotrader front view silver


Young Driver Insurance with the Co-op

In my experience, I found car insurance to be very expensive – regardless of engine size. One insurer I know that will guarantee cheaper premiums, is Co-Op Young Drivers. Follow the link and read up, it could save you £100s.

co-op young driver insurance cheapest cars for young drivers in the uk

Sources

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