A Guide to Good First Cars for New Drivers
Leasing your first car is a truly exciting experience and entails a whole new level of independence. However it’s important to carefully consider features relating to safety, fuel economy and reliability. We know it can be pretty hard to know where to start so we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to help you.
Any additional tech features such as parking cameras or lane departure warnings might make you feel that extra bit more confident parking in tight spaces or on the motorway. Chances are you have learnt to drive in a small car so you will feel a lot more at home driving one once you have passed your test. However you may need to look for more spacious options if you tend to carry a lot of gear. Think about how many miles you may travel and on what kind of roads (inner-city or country), as each of these factors may sway what car model you pick when leasing a car.
Good First Cars for New Drivers: Ford Fiesta
One of Britain’s best top-selling cars, the Ford Fiesta offers a wonderful package to new drivers so far as practicality, sensible pricing and great handling are concerned. The most recent models by Ford have added extra comfort, refinement and technology, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connect your car with your smartphone. For all the reasons above and more, the Fiesta manages to effortlessly compete against rival models as a great first car for new drivers.
Advantages of a Ford Fiesta:
- The Fiesta’s Zetec model includes great features such as a quickclear heated windscreen, USB connection, heated door mirrors and alloy wheels.
- The Fiesta scores a whopping five stars in the latest Euro NCAP safety tests, trumping the Vauxhall Corsa which only receives 4 stars and the Fiat 500 which scores 3.
- The Fiesta includes the Vauxhall MyKey system which is a clever bit of tech enabling the owner to restrict speed and stereo volume. This might appeal to parents purchasing a car for a young or inexperienced driver.
- There’s a whole bunch of Fiesta hatchback options including three or five door, from Powershift to Ecoboost engines, sportier models to entry level 1.0 economy drives, meaning there really is a Fiesta to suit every budget and taste.
- Ford’s reliability means the Fiesta is cheap to insure too. It’s placed in low insurance groups ranging from 3 through to 18 for the more powerful models.
- The Fiesta has a reasonable boot capacity for carrying shopping and suitcases.
- The Fiesta has light steering, easy-to-use controls and powerful brakes which all contribute to making the car nimble and easy to drive around town.
- The Fiesta is perfectly set up for British roads, owing to its revised suspension and slightly deeper profile tyres, meaning a smooth drive despite rough roads and potholes. Yet, the Fiesta is also great on motorways, as it’s nippy and quiet.
Good First Cars for New Drivers: Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 is the most stylish of our list of good first cars for new drivers, full of retro charm and with a huge range of customisation options, right down to coloured key fobs. The Fiat 500 is a small but perfectly formed car, ideal for getting around town and it comfortably seats 4 people. It’s not the most spacious of cars and has a small boot. However, we think all of the additional benefits are enough to forgive the small boot.
Advantages of a Fiat 500:
- The steering is light but reasonably accurate, while the compact dimensions of this little number make urban driving and parking in tight spaces tremendously easy.
- The latest models of the Fiat 500 have benefited from improved rear suspension, which have made a real difference in the handling of the car and making for a smooth drive.
- The Fiat 500 is considerably cheaper than retro rivals like the Mini and Beetle and most models keep running costs down, thanks to excellent fuel economy.
- Most owners instantly fall for the 500′s stylish dashboard, which can be painted to match the exterior colour of the car, and the vintage charm of the mock-Bakelite inserts for the stereo and heater inside.
- Despite only receiving a 3 star Euro NCAP rating, all models come with 7 airbags as standard as well as skid-reducing and anti-lock brakes.
- Hazard lights automatically turn on under hard braking to warn the traffic behind.
Good First Cars for Young Drivers: Vauxhall Corsa
If you’re looking for a car that is spacious, inexpensive but a pleasure to drive then the Vauxhall Corsa is the vehicle for you. The Corsa is small enough to be suited to urban driving but also sturdy enough to handle open roads, potholes and plenty of bumps. The Corsa is beloved by driving schools and company fleets, but also offers plenty of benefits for private owners. The Corsa is proudly placed in our guide to good first cars for young drivers as this group are commonly searching for low cost, hassle-free motoring and plenty of tech on a budget, all of which the Corsa provides.
Advantages of a Vauxhall Corsa:
- All the Corsa models feature a seven-inch touchscreen that comes with smartphone mirroring for Apple and Android devices, allowing drivers to enjoy music on the road and navigate. The dashboard is logically laid out and the software responds quickly. Plus you can download apps to bring extra functions, such as satnav.
- The Vauxhall Corsa is super roomy, its wide back seat enabling it to easily seat 5 people and the particularly large 285-litre boot is perfect for travelling with suitcases, shopping bags and bulky sports equipment.
- The Corsa’s city steering mode makes easy work of parking in tight spaces in town.
- The Corsa receives a commendable 4 star safety rating. The longer nose of the car helps absorb more energy in the event of an accident and the LED day running lights make sure that you’re more visible on the road.
- Most of the Corsa models fall into the least expensive bands for road tax and have fantastic fuel efficiency despite being larger than other good first cars for young drivers.
- The latest Corsa Comes with Vauxhall’s OnStar system, an in-car “assistant” with crash response, roadside assistance and vehicle diagnostics.
Good First Cars for Young Drivers: Renault Clio
The sleek modern lines of Renault’s Clio have been made even more appealing to young drivers than ever through progressive updates over the years. The latest Renault Clio model maintains the sporty styling of the original 3 door coupe, yet offers the extra space and comfort of a 5 door with cleverly hidden rear doors. The Corsa’s legroom, easy driving (in both urban areas and the countryside) and nifty tech features make it a firm favourite in our definitive list of good first cars for young drivers.
Advantages of a Renault Clio:
- If customisation is a deal-breaker, the Clio might be the car for you. Owners can specify the colour scheme of everything from the grille to the door pulls, as well as interior upholstery.
- The Clio’s new seven-inch touchscreen ‘R-Link’ system features a sat nav, entertainment and a whole host of apps that even make it possible to tweet from your car.
- The latest models of the Clio are equipped with reverse cameras and hands-free parking, so you can rest easy knowing you have all the help you need to safely steer into tight spaces.
- The Clio trumps a number of rivals with its 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating, including 100% for pedestrian safety. This is hardly surprising given that it features electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and emergency braking assistance which all come as standard. The Clio also benefits from front and side airbags for both the driver and passenger as well as seat belt reminders for front and back seats, all installed with your safety in mind.
- The Renault Clio is ideal for whizzing across town and the countryside alike,. It’s a joy to drive, handles well and is light and easy to steer, as well as being economical to run.
- You won’t have any trouble fitting the weekly shop into the boot space and, if necessary, two back seats fold down to expand capacity to 1,146 litres. This means stacks of room for all your gear (and your friend’s) come festival season or for road trips!
- The Renault Clio comes with a choice of five main engines which are all small, modern and fuel efficient. Regardless of the engine you decide on, the Clio will keep you on track towards your goal of economical driving with its ECO mode, a driving style monitor, a gear change indicator and even an app designed to coach drivers into reducing fuel consumption.
If you enjoyed our guide to good first cars for young drivers, or would like to learn more about car leasing, please do get in touch on 0203 854 0344 or request a free quote.