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8 Best Cars for First Time Drivers

10 best cars for first-time drivers 2024

Recently passed your test and raring to go? These are our top picks for new drivers

We all know new drivers struggle to scrape enough cash together for a car, what with the latest smartphones, fashionable threads and totally epic nights out, but Motorpoint isn’t here to judge. 

We’re here to get you rolling as stylishly and cost-effectively as possible. So read on for 10 top cars for first-timers or watch the video to see some of our favourite first cars.

1. Volkswagen Polo

A default choice, yes, and arguably not the most exciting. But the VW Polo is perhaps the very best car for new drivers. Its list of talents is longer than the time you’ve waited to get driving. It feels impressively stable and confidence-inspiring for a small car – you won’t feel like you’re in a tin can on the motorway – while offering mostly decent performance and high fuel economy. New drivers are best with the 1.0-litre MPI engine. It’s not fast but it’ll get you there eventually, and it sits in the very lowest insurance group. Less money spent on car insurance, more money spent on Friday nights at Walkabout. Bonza.

Shop used Volkswagen Polo cars for sale or read our Volkswagen Polo review

2. Ford Fiesta

Maroon Ford Fiesta driving against a green field and blue skies

The Fiesta’s been easing drivers into driving since some of your grandparents were sticking on L plates (1976!), but it’s been brought bang up-to-date for its seventh-generation with smartphone-friendly tech, an altogether slicker style and even mild-hybrid technology to eke out the best fuel economy. Much as things have changed, the Fiesta’s still cheap as chips to run, fun to drive, and rarely out of the UK’s top-ten best-sellers. Look for a Trend or Zetec model with the 1.1-litre petrol engine for the lowest insurance premiums.

Shop used Ford Fiesta cars for sale or read our Ford Fiesta review

3. Skoda Citigo

Want a small hatchback that feels like a big, grown-up one? Have a good look at the Skoda Citigo – or the Volkswagen Up or SEAT Mii, which are identical besides the bumpers and badges. These city cars are brilliant, with functional but stylish charm and more deft touches than the NFL playoffs. A Lego-like design means the Citigo is surprisingly spacious inside, plus it’s a reasonably energetic car to drive and costs peanuts to insure and run – and to tax, if you get a pre-2017 one.

Shop used Skoda Citigo cars for sale

4. Fiat 500

Blue Fiat 500

It’s tempting to tickle the Fiat 500 under the chin so cute is its mousey-little face and dinky rollerskate proportions, but there’s so much more to the Italian city car than adorable looks. Pick from fun-loving convertibles to fashionable hatchbacks, no-frills entry-level trims to feature-packed special editions, and everything from the angry little Abarth 595 hot hatch to the zero-emissions 500 Electric. We’re struggling to think of one car that covers more bases at such competitive prices.

Shop used Fiat 500 cars for sale or read our Fiat 500 review

5. Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa in orange, driving shot

The Vauxhall Corsa might not have the retro charm of the Mini or Fiat 500, but it's still an icon in its own right – especially among young drivers. Corsas come with reassuringly low insurance groups to keep your coverage affordable, plus a full suite of safety gear to keep you safe on the move. Young drivers will be best off with the entry-level 1.2-litre 75hp engine but, if you can stomach slightly higher insurance costs, the 100hp turbocharged version of the same engine is much punchier with a negligible fuel economy impact.

Shop used Vauxhall Corsa cars for sale or read our Vauxhall Corsa review

6. Citroen C1

Red Citroen C1 driving

If it’s all about value for money, the Citroen C1 is one of the best value cars you can buy at Motorpoint, with prices firmly in the four-figure bracket. You’ll probably brake for a corner before you crack the 0-62mph ‘sprint’ (14.2 seconds, FYI), but why worry when you can eke almost 70 miles from every gallon? The C1 even looks cool, especially in funkier colours and trims. The Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108 are basically the same underneath, and all have a simple and honest charm. No-frills motoring at its finest.

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7. Toyota Aygo X

That’s not a kiss, it’s a cross. For crossing lakes and mountains, presumably, as the teensy Aygo X is desperately trying to be an SUV. We like its trendy looks, which don’t come at the expense of compact dimensions. It’s deliciously easy to park, especially as every version comes with a reversing camera. Stick with the entry-level Pure trim and you’ll benefit from group 5 insurance, so it should be just about possible to get insurance for it. And, you’ll still enjoy auto emergency braking and a touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Shop used Toyota Aygo X cars for sale

8. Hyundai i10

Take one look at the Hyundai i10 and you might think tinned sardines have more space to stretch out, but the i10 is deceptively roomy. Unless your friends are all rugby or basketball players, four adults will have no complaints, and there’s a boot that’s big enough for a weekly shop for you and all your flatmates. The i10 boasts sophisticated tech – there’s phone mirroring, a reversing camera and cruise control – along with low insurance costs and even lower fuel costs.

Shop used Hyundai i10 cars for sale or read our Hyundai i10 review

9. Kia Rio

With Kia’s range now including gems like the Sportage and EV6, you’d be forgiven for completely forgetting that the Kia Rio exists. The joy of having your first car, and the freedom that comes with it, is enough to keep the heart happy. The Rio keeps your head happy. It’s super easy to drive, economical, nippy and spacious, and the balance of its seven-year warranty means it’ll be absolutely painless to live with.

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10. Renault Captur

Renault Captur driving

Perhaps you’re a first-time driver out of necessity – maybe you’ve learnt to drive because you have a family or a new job, or maybe you want the higher driving position of an SUV. The last-shape Renault Captur should do you well. It’s one of the cheapest SUVs to insure, starting in group 7 for a 90hp turbo petrol version, while its Renault Clio underpinnings mean it’s economical to run, too. The Captur gets a simple-to-use interior, generous passenger space and good all-round visibility, taking the stress out of commuting when you’re new to the rush hour hustle and bustle.

Shop used Renault Captur cars for sale