Best Cars For New Drivers

Taking to the road as a new driver for the first time can be daunting. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at a few key cars you should consider.

The Budget-Friendly Car

Toyota Aygo

Toyota Aygo

If you're looking for an affordable first car, the Toyota Aygo is perfect. In our Offers section, you'll find that the 1.0 VVT-i X 3 door model currently on offer will come in below £200 a month.

This little budget-friendly city car has a lot to offer. Aside from its distinctive looks & endless choice for colour-personalisation, it proves that comfort isn't compromised when it comes to the cabin. Features included across the range of trims are: adjustable leather steering wheel, height adjustable driver seat, infotainment system with smartphone integration & more!

Now onto the engine. All Aygos get the same 1.0-litre, 3 cylinder, VVT-i petrol engine. This delivers up to 57.6mpg on the combined cycle & up to 113g/km in manual form, outputting very economical running costs.

Supermini As A Starter Car

Vauxhall Corsa

vauxhall corsa

The most popular car with driver instructors is Vauxhall's Corsa & the current 5th gen version is the best yet. It's a more mature looking car with smarter detailing. Engine-wise, most current Corsa have a 1.2-litre petrol turbo engine which puts out a competitively clean & cheap to run 100PS.

Fancy a Vauxhall Corsa? On the Vanarama Cars Offers page, you'll find a high value mid-range 'SE Premium' spec version at a very attractive deal.

Citroen C3

citroen c3

If you want an alternative, then what about the Corsa's PSA Group cousin - the Citroen C3?

The C3 has recently been refreshed & now oozes with the brand's quirky character. Changes include slightly smarter styling with sleeker headlamps featuring LED beams. Inside, the C3 now features Advanced Comfort seats & a restyled look for the 7-inch centre-dash infotainment touchscreen. Aside from the modern-day comforts, you'll also get plenty of cabin space & a roomy 300-litre boot. Under the bonnet, most customers choose a 1.2-litre petrol PureTech unit, which offers 83hp in its entry form.

Want to look into leasing a Citroen C3? On the Vanarama Cars Offers page, you'll find the C3 1.2 PureTech 83hp model with the  mid-range 'Flair Plus' spec at a very appealing leasing deal.

The Futuristic First Car

Until quite recently, a fully electric car would have been expensive for a new driver to consider, but thanks to extremely attractive monthly leasing deals, there are now several affordable options.

Vauxhall Corsa-e


The first one is the Vauxhall Corsa-e. Here, a 50kWh lithium-ion battery works with a 100kW electric motor putting out 136PS. There's a single-speed auto transmission which packs power - you'll get to 30mph in only 2.1 seconds & pass 60mph in just 5.5 seconds later. You'll get a WLTP-rated range of 209 miles, which you'll only achieve if you stay in the powertrain's provided 'ECO' mode. If you switch to the alternative 'Sport' setting you'll reduce your range by about 10%.

As for charging times, if you lease through Vanarama, your Corsa-e will come complete with a 7kW wall box charging unit. A complete charge from empty will take 7.5 hours. When you're out & about, you'll need to find a public 50kW rapid charger, then you'll be able to charge this Vauxhall from 15% to an 80% capacity in around 45 minutes.

Let's talk about the interior. The boot capacity of a Corsa-e is exactly the same as with the combustion-engined Corsa – 309-litres, but will extend to 1118-litres if you fold the rear backrest. And navigation is standard, so you can always be directed to the nearest charging point. If you're considering the Vauxhall Corsa-e, head over to the Vanarama Cars Offers page & you'll find a top-spec Elite Nav trimmed Corsa-e variant at a very attractive deal.

Renault Zoe

renaultzoe (1)

If you're looking for a fully electric supermini that's an alternative to the Vauxhall, I'd recommend the European market leader - the Renault ZOE. This car has changed massively over the last few years & now features a much improved 50kWh battery that gives it a near-class leading WLTP-rated driving range of 242 miles.

I mentioned earlier that if you lease through Vanarama, you get a free wall box with your choice of electric car & if you connect that up to a ZOE, you'll be able to charge from empty in 9 hours & 25 minutes. If you're out & about, & need to find a charging point, a 50kW public DC charging point will get you 90 miles of range in less than half an hour. Aside from the ZOE giving you a great mile range, it proves to be practical when it comes to the interior too. It has the capacity to hold 338-litres of boot space, which extends to 1225-litres if you fold the rear bench. You'll also get a 10 inch TFT dashboard & 100% recycled seat upholstery.

If you think the Renault Zoe could be your perfect first car, take a look at the Vanarama Cars Offers page to find all our Reanult Zoe leasing deals.

More On Cars

Best Cars For MPG
Its all of the best cars for Mile Per Gallon...Read More
Best New Cars Of 2021
With 2020 well behind us, let's look ahead to the best new cars hitting the road in 2021Read More
The Ultimate Guide To Estate Cars
Looking for a car offering superb practicality? Here's our pick of the best estates available.Read More