Best first car

Your first car as a new driver! It’s one of those firsts you’ll remember forever. You might not be able to afford that Lamborghini you’ve always drooled over, but your mates would never fit in the back of that thing anyway.

We've selected some of best first cars for young drivers based around helping you keep within a budget and to make the perfect addition to your lifestyle, and offer some handy advice on choosing your new wheels!

first time car buyer

Look at the running costs

  • Car insurance – there’s no getting around it. Insurance for young drivers doesn’t come cheap. Because younger drivers are more likely to have accidents on the road, insurers view you as more of a risk to insure, and so charge you more for your first policy. But you can cut the cost of insurance with telematics insurance.
  • Insurance groups – every car on the road belongs to an insurance group, on a scale of 1 to 50. The higher the insurance group, the more costly it is to insure. So look out for motors with as low an insurance group number as you can.
  • Road tax – want to beat the taxman and avoid having to pay road tax? Opt for a cleaner, greener car that has an official CO2 emissions rate of 100g/km or less. These cars are road tax-free until 2017, and as an added bonus are better for the environment.
  • Fuel – Have a good look at mpg figures for cars you’re considering. This generally relates to engine size, so a 1.0-litre engine will typically consume less fuel than a 1.6-litre engine. Newer cars tend to be more fuel-efficient too, especially those with eco-friendly engines designed specifically to cut fuel consumption.
  • Repairs – check out the reliability ratings for cars you’re considering. The better the build and the more popular the car, the cheaper it will be to repair. Some brands, like Ford, Skoda, Peugeot, and Vauxhall, have a reputation for reliability, keeping your ongoing costs as low as possible.

Consider safety

Remember that you may be a safe, considerate driver, but not everyone on the road is. Accidents do happen, and so you want a motor that will keep you as safe as possible. Since the year 2000, cars sold within the EU have to pass stringent Euro NCAP crash tests and are given an NCAP safety rating. Each car is awarded 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the best. You can check out the latest NCAP ratings for any car on their official website here .

Best new cars for younger drivers

As we champion young drivers, Marmalade can help you buy a brand new car, and what's more we'll offer FREE* black box insurance in the first year!

We've chosen cars from leading manufacturers, specifically with young drivers’ needs in mind - so you’re able to find a selection of the best cars for young drivers all in one place!

To make the cost of your new car more affordable, we offer finance options with a representative APR of 9.9% (based on a 4 year Personal Contract Purchase). Finance is available from age 18 and subject to status. We’re happy for a 17 year old to be the main driver of the vehicle, but a parent or guardian will need to apply for the finance.

Save money with New Driver Insurance on your own car or a parents’ car

Top cars chosen by our new drivers

It’s hard to say what the best first car is for young drivers, so here are a few Marmalade favourites, chosen time and again by happy first time drivers:

Fiat 500 - looking for something quirky? The Fiat 500 stands out from the crowd with its unique retro styling. It’s perfect for vintage fanatics after a spritely driving experience, a 5-star NCAP safety rating and low emissions.

Vauxhall Corsa – since it launched in 1993 the Corsa has been consistently one of the most popular first-time cars on the market. Why? Sharp styling, affordable, immense fun to drive, loads of trim options and insurance group ratings as low as 2.

Vauxhall Adam – if you want a car with the personal touch, this is the hot hatch for you. More customisation options than any other car means that, inside and out, you can create a motor that’s truly unique. Basically Vauxhall’s answer to the MINI, it’s one of the freshest new superminis out there.

Ford Fiesta – the best selling car in the UK for a reason. Actually, several reasons. Arguably the best car Ford produces, it’s got oodles of space, handles like a dream, is cheap to buy, cheap to run, extremely reliable, looks great, and is one of the safest cars on the road to boot, with a stellar 5-star NCAP rating.

Skoda Fabia – the supermini to go for when it’s bags of space you’re after, the five-door Fabia is basically a bigger version of the popular VW Polo. Powered by a VW engine, it means low emissions, low fuel consumption and an impeccable reliability record. Recent surveys show that Skoda drivers are the most satisfied with their motors too.

Peugeot 108 – one of the newest superminis on the block, the 108 it the perfect city drive. Fantastic styling and absolutely crammed with high-tech kit, it’s great for first-timers who love their gadgets. It’s also surprisingly roomy despite its compact appearance thanks to some clever interior design flourishes, and handles brilliantly in tight urban spaces.

Save money with New Driver Insurance on your own car or a parents’ car