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Top 5

Published: 20th November 2015

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Top 5

Top 5 Best first cars

Choosing a first car is tricky, balancing the demands of your heart and your head. To help steer your thinking, these are what our experts reckon are the UK's best first cars

Published: 20th November 2015
There’s an awful lot to consider when you’re choosing your first car. Naturally, it’s got to be every bit as stylish and as fun as you are, but it also needs to be cheap to buy and run, with low insurance groups, good fuel economy and high levels of safety near the top of the list of priorities.

Almost inevitably, that means you’ll be looking at a small car. Not only are these the cheapest to buy, their (usually) small engines and good economy will also help to keep insurance and fuel costs down. On top of that, if you’re a new driver, you’ll probably find it much easier to drive a smaller car than something larger.

Sadly, as a new driver, you’re also more likely to be involved in an accident, so safety is another important consideration. Happily, though, it’s easy to find the rating for any car that has been tested through our Expert Reviews or on Euro NCAP’s website. And, if you are a new driver, don't forget to have a look through the dedicated New Drivers section of our website. Here you can find useful advice on every aspect of buying and owning a car.

Last, but not least, if you’re virtually inseparable from your smartphone, check that how – and if – your phone can work with your car. Bluetooth connectivity is becoming increasingly common on new cars these days, but systems like Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink allow even deeper integration.

It’s no easy task to find the right car for you, but if you want a bit of help to produce your shortlist, cast your eyes over our experts’ recommendations below. And, if you're a new driver, you can find more expert advice and information by visiting the New Drivers section of our website.
Seat Ibiza
Seat Ibiza
Seat Ibiza – the connected one
Blending Volkswagen build quality with Latin style and the very latest in technology, the Ibiza makes a great first car. And that beauty is more than skin deep, with a chassis that gives sharp handling and lots of grip. Plus, if you go for the Connect model, you can integrate your smartphone, giving you access to some of your apps through the car’s touch-screen system. Elsewhere in the range, prices start at a very affordable level, and you can find models that are average well over 69mpg and sit in very low insurance groups.

Expert review | Owner reviews | Find one in our classifieds
Ford Fiesta
Ford Fiesta
Ford Fiesta - the top-selling one
Not without good reason is the Fiesta the best-selling car in Britain. As well as being a thoroughly good-looking little car, it’s also the best-driving car in its class, marrying a comfortable ride with agile handling. It’s spacious, too, so you can easily take a few friends out with you; and, because so many are sold, it’s not hard to find a bargain. Last, but not least, the huge Ford network means you’ll never have to travel far for regular servicing.

Expert review | Owner reviews | Find one in our classifieds
Volkswagen Up
Volkswagen Up
Volkswagen Up – the high-class one
Buying a small car doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a big-car feel; and there’s no better proof of that than the Volkswagen Up. It may be the smallest car in the VW line-up, but it has all the class and quality of its bigger brothers. Its small size means it’s easy to thread through even the most congested city streets; and, then, when you escape the urban jungle, you’ll find it has a wonderfully refined feeling to the way it drives. Base versions sit in the very lowest insurance groups, while every model averages at least 60mpg, and there’s the reassurance of a maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.

Expert review | Owner reviews | Find one in our classifieds
Dacia Sandero
Dacia Sandero
Dacia Sandero - the bargain one
If you just want the most car for your money, look no further than the Sandero. For the price of a city car, you’re buying something bigger than most superminis; or, you could look at it another way: for the price of a used car, you can buy a brand new car with a full warranty. There’s a decent specification, too – as long as you avoid the most basic model – and, although it doesn’t have the highest-quality cabin or the very latest in technology, it’s certainly well built and feels very durable.

Expert review | Owner reviews | Find one in our classifieds
Mini
Mini
Mini - the stylish one
There’s no need to sacrifice style when you’re buying your first car, and the sheer amount of personalisation options with the Mini means you can create a genuinely unique model. More than that, the latest model is a great little thing to drive, with a sporty feel that means you can enjoy every journey, even if you’re just nipping down to the shops. Admittedly, this can be an expensive purchase, and insurance costs are more than on some similarly sized cars, but the car’s sheer desirability means strong residual values – so it will hold on to its value well while you own it.

Expert review | Owner reviews | Find one in our classifieds
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New drivers can also find lots more expert advice and useful information by clicking on this link to reach the New Drivers section of our website.
Tags that apply: #Top 5 #first cars #Mini #Seat #Ibiza #Ford #Fiesta #Dacia #Sandero #Volkswagen #Up