The 7 Best Cars For New Drivers

The 7 Best Cars For New Drivers

As a new driver, you’re no doubt looking for a new car. With so many options out there, how do you know what’s the best car for you?

If you’ve just passed your test at 17, you’re probably looking for something that looks good, is fun to drive and has plenty of tech.

If you’re the parent of that newly-qualified young driver, have a family, or are an older driver, you’re probably more concerned with safety, insurance and fuel economy.

No matter what kind of new driver you are, we’ve put together this list of 7 cars that we think are the best cars for new drivers. Let us know what you think.

best cars for new drivers hyundai i10

Hyundai i10

Insurance Group 1

4* NCAP Safety Rating

48-71 MPG Combined

The Hyundai i10 is a cracking little car. With its smart looks and solid build quality, it’s a great car for a new driver. Hyundai has come a long way in the last few years and the i10 is a fantastic alternative to what some may consider more obvious choices, such as the Fiat 500.

Affordability - There are many versions of the i10 that sit in the lowest insurance group in the S, S Air, SE and Premium trim levels. Helping to keep running costs down even further, the i10 is capable of achieving between 48mpg and 71mpg on the combined cycle. Let’s not forget the excellent five year warranty that Hyundai offers on all their cars.

Safety - The i10 was awarded 4 stars by NCAP and it’s not hard to see why with its numerous safety features such as front side airbags, ESC, ABS, Brake Assist, curtain airbags and front & rear seatbelt reminders.

Equipment - For such an affordable car, even the entry-level S version comes with a decent level of equipment such as an MP3-compatible stereo with USB and aux-in connections. Upgrade to the SE for air-con and cruise control, or go even further with the Premium or Premium SE models for extra features like a heated steering wheel.

Technology - Every i10 comes with an infotainment system with most features controlled via the multifunction steering wheel, with the Premium SE version giving you a 7” touchscreen that includes satellite navigation, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Wirelessly streamed music sound quality is good through the car’s speakers and hands-free calling is achieved with little effort.

Find your new Hyundai i10
best cars for new drivers kia rio

Kia Rio

Insurance Group 2

3* NCAP Safety Rating (5* with Safety Pack)

46-81 MPG Combined

Who wants a five year warranty when you can have a mammoth seven year one? Everyone knows about the fantastic warranty given by Kia on all their new cars. If you’re looking for something a little bigger for your family, look bo further than the excellent Kia Rio.

Affordability – The 2 1.4CRDi 76bhp ISG 5-door version of the Rio is available to insure at group 2 and other versions sit between groups 4 and 9, so are all fairly inexpensive to insure. It’s also very economical when it comes to fuel, with the Rio being capable of achieving between 46-81mpg on the combined cycle.

Safety – The standard Rio was awarded 3 stars by NCAP. However, upgrading to the safety pack adds Autonomous Emergency Braking, Speed Assist and a Lane Assist System to the standard front, side, chest and pelvic airbags, Isofix child seat fittings and seat belt reminders throughout the vehicle. The safety pack improves the NCAP rating to 5*.

Equipment – The standard kit on the Kia Rio sets it apart from other similar models, as even base level models are fitted with the likes of Bluetooth connectivity, air con and hill-start assist. Upgrade to the 3 and you’ll get a heated steering wheel, heated seats, climate control and a reversing camera.

Technology – The entry-level Rio is fitted with a radio & CD with Bluetooth connectivity. The 2 adds a 5” touchscreen and the 3 upgrades to the full 7” infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and voice control.

Find your new Kia Rio
best cars for new drivers seat mii


Insurance Group 1

5* NCAP Safety Rating

64 MPG Combined

The SEAT Mii, an increasingly popular little car with its classy interior and quality build, is an excellent choice for your first car, due to its low running costs, driving enjoyment and affordable pricing.

Affordability – All the S, Ecomotive and Toca versions sit in insurance group 1. Most other versions can be insured in group 2, apart from some special editions such as the Mango and Cosmo which increase to group 4. All Mii versions offer 64mpg on the combined cycle.

Safety – The Mii was awarded the full 5 stars by NCAP, performing particularly well in terms of adult occupant safety and the safety features it has, such as Electronic Stability Control and seat belt reminders throughout the vehicle.

Equipment – Standard equipment is good with all models benefitting from ABS, a CD radio, Isofix anchor points and traction control. Upgrading to higher-spec models adds additional features such as air con, heated mirrors, parking sensors, leather trim and front fog lights.

Technology – The Mii comes with a six-speaker stereo in addition to other extras. You can link your phone to your car using SEAT’s Drive Mii app, which allows you to use features such as satellite navigation, phone and media control. Upgrade to the FR or Cosmo models and you get a 5” touchscreen device that includes sat-nav, Bluetooth connectivity and music streaming.

Find your new SEAT Mii
best cars for new drivers ford fiesta

Ford Fiesta

Insurance Group 2

5* NCAP Safety Rating

46-74 MPG Combined

Recently upgraded to its latest incarnation, the Ford Fiesta remains the most popular car in the UK and it’s not hard to see why. Driving performance, comfort and reliability are just three great reasons to choose the Fiesta for your next car.

Affordability – The 70PS Style version sit in insurance group 2 and you can get a Zetec and Zetec B&O Play with the superb Bang & Olufsen sound system in group 5. Remaining models sit between group 8 and 15, with the top of the line Vignales, ST-Lines and Titanium X sitting in the top bracket. Combined mpg of between 46 and 74 makes even the sportiest Fiesta’s economical.

Safety – Unsurprisingly, the Fiesta was awarded the full 5 stars by NCAP, a score helped by its excellent array of airbags and standard safety equipment, including Speed Assistance and Lane Assist. Adding the safety pack includes additional features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking.

Equipment – The basic Style trim level gives you heated electric door mirrors, automatic headlights, air con and Lane Assist technology. Upgrading to the Zetec trim adds alloys, chrome detailing, a Quickclear heated windscreen, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and Ford SYNC3 6.5” touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Further upgrades throughout the range will add further touches like tinted windows, cruise control, climate control, panoramic sunroof, heated seats and rear parking cameras.

Technology – Zetec cars are fitted with a DAB radio and 6.5” touchscreen infotainment system using Ford’s SYNC3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Titanium versions see this upgraded to an 8” touchscreen with satellite navigation. B&O Play editions of the Fiesta are fitted with a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system with ten speakers and a subwoofer for improved audio.

Find your new Ford Fiesta
best cars for new drivers seat ibiza

SEAT Ibiza

Insurance Group 2

5* NCAP Safety Rating

58-74 MPG Combined

If you need something a little bigger than the Mii, it’s big brother the Ibiza would make an excellent choice for a new driver’s first car. Offering an excellent drive with sharp design and equipment, the SEAT Ibiza makes an ideal small family car.

Affordability – 75PS versions of the S, SE and SE Technology trims are available in insurance group 2. Most other versions can be found in groups 3 to 9, with FR versions of the Ibiza sitting between groups 8 and 19 for the 150PS Evo edition. With an average fuel economy of 58-74mpg on the combined cycle, the Ibiza can be enjoyed without breaking the bank.

Safety – The Ibiza was awarded the full 5 stars by NCAP, nearly scoring full marks for adult occupancy safety. This is in no small part down to the safety features that come as standard, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Speed Assistance, features often seen as optional extras on similar vehicles.

Equipment – Entry-level S models are available with a 5” touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, USB and AUX-in connectivity, electric door mirrors, air con, automatic headlights and AEB. SE models get alloys, LED daytime running lights, an upgraded infotainment system and a leather steering wheel, gearknob and handbrake. Upgrade further through the range to enjoy features such as privacy glass, an 8” infotainment system, sports seats, automatic wipers, cruise control and climate control.

Technology – The black & white 5” touchscreen in the S can be upgraded to colour with the SE trim, with the SE Technology going further with an 8” touchscreen with navigation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are added with the FR or Xcellence trim. The sound system is very good as standard, although you can opt for a Beats audio upgrade, which gives you seven speakers, 300W and the ability to connect via USB or Bluetooth.

Find your new SEAT Ibiza
best cars for new drivers hyundai i30

Hyundai i30

Insurance Group 8

5* NCAP Safety Rating

40-74 MPG Combined

Moving up from the aforementioned i10, the i30 offers more space and refinement for only a little extra money. With very economical engines, plenty of equipment as standard and of course that superb five-year warranty, the Hyundai i30 is a smart choice for new drivers.

Affordability – Both the S and Go SE versions can be insured in group 8, as well as the 1.0 T GDi in SE Nav trim. Other versions sit between groups 9 and 15. Add in the fact that the i30 can achieve between 40-74mpg on the combined cycle and it becomes a very affordable car to run.

SafetyAwarded 5 stars by NCAP and performing particularly well in both adult and child occupancy protection, the Hyundai i30 is fitted with multiple airbags in the front and rear as standard, as well as additional safety systems such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Speed Assistance and Lane Assist.

Equipment – The basic S trim offers LED daytime running lights, a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and electric windows throughout. SE trim adds a 5” touchscreen, rear parking sensors, rear camera and a leather steering wheel. The SE Nav gives satellite navigation with an 8” touchscreen, voice recognition and wireless phone charging. Upgrade further through the range to receive things like dual-zone climate control, tinted windows, heated seats and a panoramic sunroof.

Technology – The 8” touchscreen with satellite navigation, DAB and Bluetooth connectivity available on SE models is a great addition, as is the wireless charging system available on the same trim. Go for the SE trim if you want Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with smartphone connectivity.

Find your new Hyundai i30
best cars for new drivers mazda 2

Mazda 2

Insurance Group 13

4* NCAP Safety Rating

56-63 MPG Combined

Offering an excellent blend of performance and economy, the Mazda 2 is well-designed, full of great equipment as standard and has plenty of space for you and your family. This combination makes it a great supermini for new drivers.

Affordability – SE, SE+ and some versions of the SE-L & SE-L+ trims sit within insurance group 13. Most other version sit in group 15 or 16, making almost the entire range very affordable in terms of insurance. Add to that fuel economy of between 56-63mpg on the combined cycle and you have a smart and stylish family car that won’t break the bank to run.

Safety – The Mazda 2 was awarded four stars by NCAP and is fitted with six airbags as standard. Additional features are available, such as a Lane Departure Warning system, a speed limiter, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alert and all models are fitted with ABS, ESC and traction control as standard.

Equipment – Every Mazda 2 comes fitted with ABS, a multifunction steering wheel with audio controls, CD Radio, electric mirrors and windows, air con, stop/start technology and traction control. Upgrading through the range will add extras like Bluetooth, cruise control, a 7” touchscreen with satellite navigation, privacy glass, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, climate control and keyless entry.

Technology – Choose any version higher than the 89bhp SE-L and you’ll be treated to Mazda’s superb 7” HD colour touchscreen infotainment unit with MZD Connect. The SE-L Nav somewhat unsurprisingly adds satellite navigation.

Find your new Mazda 2

Those are a selection of what we consider to be the best cars for new drivers, although if you have other suggestions we’d love to hear from you so feel free to drop us an email or get in touch on social media.

If you’d like some expert advice to help you choose your new car, make sure to call our team and they’ll help you to find the right car for you.

Speak to us about your new car