Summary: Low initial purchase, fuel efficiency, and insurance costs are the key priorities for young drivers looking into the car market. But, with so many different cars to choose from - along with fuel types, insurance groups, and tax bands – picking the right one for you might not always seem easy.
Meta Title: Best Cars for Young Drivers
Meta Description: Looking for some of the best cars for young drivers? Take a look at our selection of low cost, affordable to run cars here.
Low initial purchase, fuel efficiency, and insurance costs are the key priorities for young drivers looking into the car market. But, with so many different cars to choose from – along with fuel types, insurance groups, and tax bands – picking the right one for you might not always seem easy.
So, we’ve put together a handy guide for young drivers. If you’re unsure of what you should be looking out for to guarantee you a great deal on a new car, take a look below.
A car’s insurance group is an important consideration for young drivers. It can often be the case that young drivers set their heart on a specific car, only to find that their car insurance quote is above and beyond what they can realistically afford. To save yourself any hassle, you should look for cars that are in a low insurance group, to keep costs as low as possible.
Car insurance groups are rated from 1 – 50 with 1 being the cheapest and 50 the most expensive. In general, a car’s insurance group is determined by the price of the vehicle, engine size, fuel type, age, and desirability. For example, cars that sit in insurance group 1 include the Seat Mii S 1.0, Skoda Citigo SE 1.0 GreenTech, and Hyundai i10 1.0 S, three city cars with small engines, a low spec, and low cost.
At the other end of the scale are cars that sit in insurance group 50, such as the Jaguar F-Type, with larger engines and a “performance” focus. Though attractive, these will be difficult to insure within your first few years on the road. Don’t worry about insurance groups cramping your style though – there are plenty of fantastic cars for young drivers in low insurance groups.
Car tax is another important consideration when looking for the best car for young drivers. Vehicles registered after the 1st March 2001 are taxed based on their CO2 emissions, whilst vehicles registered prior to the 21st March 2001 are taxed based on engine size only. Unless you want an older car, it is recommended that you pursue the purchase of a car which was registered after the 1st March if you’re a young driver, because it was at this stage in time when efficiency started to play a pivotal role in car manufacturing. In other words, you can expect a like-for-like car registered after the 1st March 2001 to be more fuel efficient.
Cars with CO2 emissions lower than 100 g/km are exempt from annual car tax in tax band A. Cars in tax band B cost £20 annually whilst cars in tax band C cost £30 annually.
It’s also important to consider fuel type in your search for a new car. Modern petrol engines and modern diesel engines are both super efficient and offer a smooth drive, but each fuel type is better suited to different needs.
Diesel-powered cars are the better choice for high mileage drivers. If you commute or work away from home and spend considerable time on the motorway, then a diesel car is going to be better suited to your needs, as diesel cars are more fuel efficient on longer journeys. Petrol engines, meanwhile, are fine for any young driver who is going to cover less than 15,000 miles per year.
Best cars for young drivers
Here’s a list of the best cars for young drivers. We’ve attempted to include a good mix of vehicles here, so chances are there will be a car that stands out for your needs.
SEAT Mii 1.0 i Tech 3dr
The Seat Mii 1.0 i Tech 3dr sits in insurance group 3E and emits 105 g/km of CO2, which translates to annual road tax of £20. Sportier to drive than the S and SE model, the Seat Mii Tech looks great and has plenty of equipment as standard, including air conditioning, electric heated mirrors, alloy wheels, front fog lights, and satellite navigation.
The potential economy of 62.8 miles per gallon combined further sweetens the deal.
Ford Fiesta 1.0 Zetec S 125
If you want a bit of performance to go with your economy, then the Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Zetec S 125 might be the ideal car for you. This car will return 65.7 miles per gallon on a combined cycle with start/stop technology with a 99 g/km CO2 rating, which translates to £0 annual car tax. Zetec trim includes air con, electric heated mirrors, Bluetooth, and alloy wheels as standard.
Because it’s turbocharged, this Fiesta is spritely to drive and it also has great handling.
Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Sting 3dr
When it comes to cars for young drivers, the Vauxhall Corsa is a time tested favourite. It’s not hard to see why either, as with the 1.2 Sting model you’ll get an annual road tax of just £110. Alongside a decent fuel economy of 53.3 mpg, a 2E insurance group rating, and low Co2 emissions, the Corsa has pretty much all the features that young drivers should be looking for in a vehicle.
The Corsa 1.2 Sting doesn’t just excel when it comes to figures too, as the sleek looks and sporty colorways mean that it stands out on the aesthetic front too.
Renault Clio 1.5 Dci 90 Expression + Energy
This Clio is amongst the best diesel superminis you can buy, with the potential to return 83.1 miles per gallon with a super-low CO2 rating of 90 g/km, which means £0 annual car tax. It sits in insurance group 12E, which puts it just within the reach of young drivers, but you get a lot of equipment including cruise control, air conditioning, heated electric mirrors, and Bluetooth.
This car is recommend for young drivers who spend lots of time on the motorway.
Whether you’re looking for your first car, or just a great car that is affordable to purchase and run, we hope this guide has given you an idea of what to look for. If you’d like more information on the best cars for young drivers, feel free to get in touch with a Bristol Street Motors dealership in your area.
*Disclaimer: MPG figures are obtained from laboratory testing, in accordance with 2004/3/EC and intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect real driving results.