​Cheap first cars for a new driver

Getting your first car is a challenging exercise. For your cheap first car, insurance, fuel economy, finance options and tax are just a few of the issues to be considered. Here are some of the best options for your cheap first car.

Cheap First Cars for a New Driver

For the new driver, getting your first car is a challenging exercise. For your cheap first car, insurance, fuel economy, finance options and tax are just a few of the issues to be considered.

Here some cheap first cars for a new driver:


Dacia Sandero (2013-)

The Dacia Sandero is the cheapest car you could buy as new in the UK. The prices start at around £6,000 so you could expect to get a used car at a bit cheaper. It is not the best in terms of performance or features and is fairly noisy at high revs. However, it is spacious with large boot space but the cheap interior lets itself down.

Dacia Sandero

Main features of the Dacia Sandero include:

  • Cheap and cheerful price
  • Running costs are low at 54 – 81 mpg.
  • 3 year warranty at 60,000 miles
  • 3 engine sizes available 1.0 non-turbo petrol, 0.9 turbocharged petrol or 1.5 litre diesel

Fiat Grande Punto (2006-2010)

The Fiat Grande Punto is a very spacious, large super-mini with great handling, especially at higher speeds. However, this car is not the most reliable and has a history of issues ranging from the electronics to the interior coming apart.

Fiat Grande Punto

Key features of the Fiat Grande Punto:

  • Spacious
  • Low insurance and road tax
  • 40.9 – 62.8 mpg

Renault Clio (2005-2013)

The Renault Clio is another supermini in a class of its own due to its mature and grown-up look. The interior build quality is adequate but not as good quality as the Hyundai i20. Space is average and would be comfortable enough for a tall adult. Safety options are a plenty, with 6 airbags, anti-whiplash headrest and child seat mounts.

Renault Clio

Renault Clio also features:

  • Wide range of engine sizes including sport versions up to 217bhp
  • Performs and handles well but not quite as good as Ford Fiesta
  • Poor resale value but running costs, insurance and tax are low
  • 48 – 88 mpg so relatively fuel efficient

SEAT Ibiza (2008-)

The SEAT Ibiza is a supermini which has great looks, a lot of space and a quiet engine. It could be summed up as practical, safe and reliable. Scores high in terms of all round performance.

SEAT Ibiza

Other important features to note for the Seat Ibiza:

  • 45 – 72 mpg which make running costs low and cheap
  • Entry level trim includes air conditioning, electric windows and bluetooth as standard
  • SE models have additional features such as LED running lights, infotainment screen, alloy wheels and sat nav

Skoda Fabia (2007-)

The Skoda Fabia has excellent customer satisfaction feedback, together with a 5 star safety rating. A very spacious super-mini, this car is cheap to run but falls short in terms of performance when compared to other cars within this range. Diesel engines would be preferred as a more powerful option yet efficient at up to 80 mpg.

Skoda Fabia

  • 59 – 74 mpg
  • Practical with a lot of boot space
  • S models are recommended with features such as electric front windows, child seat mounts, fuel-saving stop-start tech and remote central locking

Hyundai i20 (2009-2015)

The Hyundai i20 is newcomer to the super-mini car market but it has quickly risen to popularity in the UK. This small hatchback is available as a roomy 5 door or a sleek 3 door. Hyundai offers an excellent 5 year warranty when new which only Kia can top with their 7 year warranty. Performance wise, the 1.0 litre version seems the best value with 118bhp and a six speed gearbox.

Hyundai i20

Hyundai i20 key features:

  • Great budget used car which is lovely to look at
  • Average handling and comfort, easy to drive but steering could feel less responsive at lower speeds
  • Highly rated in terms of visibility with little obstruction from pillars which make it ideal for junctions
  • SE models have digital radio, air conditioning and other premium features
  • 42 – 88 mpg which make it as efficient as a Ford Fiesta

Volkswagen Polo (2009-)

The Volkswagen Polo is an upmarket super-mini which packs loads of features. It is not the cheapest car, but has great value for money. It has spacious and practical storage for small families with a slightly bigger boot than the Ford Fiesta. The most economical model for over 12,000 miles per year would be the 1.4 litre diesel at 74.3 mpg with CO2 emission less than 100g/km.

VW Polo

Volkswagen Polo main features:

  • 47-83 mpg
  • Warranty at 3 years
  • Standard S models have colour touch screen, electronic stability control and bluetooth phone connection. Can upgrade to get air-conditioning
  • 5 Star safety rating with extra safety kit available on SE models

Being a new driver, you want a car that doesn’t cost too much. You also wouldn’t mind a few bumps and scrapes. If nothing in this list takes your fancy, you can search for a cheap car using Carsnip’s search bar.