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FREE 30-Day Returns
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Rated Excellent
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FREE & Fast Delivery
Lowest Price Guaranteed
FREE 30-Day Returns
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Rated Excellent
Road Tax & Roadside Assistance Included
FREE & Fast Delivery

10 Best Cars For New Drivers

So you’ve passed your driving test? Congratulations. It’s time to get yourself some brand new wheels… or to persuade some other lucky person to get you some. Lucky them. Either way, picking a first car is one of the most magical moments in life. The freedom. The opportunity. The... sorry, we’re getting all emotional here. 

Anyways, we’re here for you. You’ll want something that’s affordable to run and safe, obviously, but also that offers something more than those basic qualities. Something extra. A big boot, or a high driving position, or brilliant handling, or a cockpit with 3D graphics. Yep, you can actually have that last one. Here are our 10 favourite cars for news drivers then, every one of which gives you something unique... 

Volkswagen Up 

01. Best-Commuter-Cars-2022-Volkswagen-Up

In A Nutshell: Big Space In A Small, Simple Package

It’s hard to overstate just how revolutionary the Volkswagen Up was when it landed in 2011. It tells you just how good the Up is that it’s still one of the best city cars on sale more than a decade on. Nothing about the Up is particularly striking on the surface - it’s a simple 1-box design with a very basic cabin - but it absolutely nails all the basics. Brilliant driving position, a cabin fit for 4 people, great road manners even at higher speed, and a 54mpg 3-cylinder petrol engine that sounds great. 

Renault Clio

06. Top-10-Alts-Vauxhall-Corsa-Renault-Clio

**In A Nutshell: Big Car Interior Quality & Feel **

The latest Clio has in many ways gone back to what made the award-winning original so good 30-odd years ago: a small car with genuine big car feel. That mostly comes by way of a cabin that feels very high quality (soft-touch plastics for the win) and a sense of calming refinement that makes it a really relaxed motorway car. The hybrid model is complicated and quite expensive, so we’d stick with the basic 1.0-litre petrol model, and because the Clio is well-equipped across the range, you won’t need any more than base trim either. Alloy wheels, climate control, parking sensors, wireless phone charging - they’re all standard fit in a Clio. 

Peugeot 208 


**In A Nutshell: Stunning Style Inside & Out **

The latest Peugeot 208 is easily one of the most stylish cars on the road. Subjective, obviously, but very few cars have visuals this striking or unique. That applies in the cabin too, where a multi-layered, multi-texture cockpit makes the thing feel 10 years ahead of its time. As does the 3D instrument display - albeit you’ll need a higher-level trim for that. All the engines are frugal and there’s even a 60mpg-plus diesel - diesels are rare in small cars. The tiny steering wheel won’t suit taller drivers though, and nor does the cabin feel very spacious, but if you're looking for a good looking small car you won't go far wrong looking at 208 leasing deals.

Fiat 500 Electric 

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In A Nutshell: Super Stylish Affordable EV

The new Fiat 500 is electric-only, which is why Fiat has kept selling the old 500 alongside it, but the improvement is huge. On a basic level it’s just a better car, despite the familiar looks, with far more human-friendly ergonomics and much improved quality. It’s still not the most practical, but two battery choices (24kwh and 42kWh, offering 112 miles and 199 miles claimed range respectively) mean you can choose a lower price point if you don’t ever drive too far. It’s great to steer too,with  all the chuckable fun of the petrol 500 but much quieter, more comfy and more refined. 

MINI Hatchback


**In A Nutshell: Brilliant Driving Dynamics **

You probably don’t need us to tell you how much fun the MINI is to drive. Millions of words are already dedicated to this view, and the MINI remains a benchmark for small car handling dynamics. The low-set seat, heavy-ish steering feel, chunky manual gearbox and perfectly placed pedal position mean that the MINI feels more like a sports car behind the wheel than a runabout. The 1.5-litre, 134hp Cooper model is the best for getting the most out of the chassis without costing a fortune, but as ever, you will have to accept that you’ll pay a bit more for the privilege of BMW build and engineering. 

Dacia Sandero


**In A Nutshell: Being The Cheapest New Car On Sale **

Now that Skoda has gone upmarket, Dacia has picked up its value shtick by offering cars that are, first and foremost, cost-effective. The Sandero is the cheapest new car on sale in the UK, no less. So while the Sandero doesn’t feel especially plush inside, it’s nonetheless a really appealing small hatchback and a massive improvement over the outgoing model. It’s spacious, rides comfortably, feels well made and if you opt for a higher level model - which we’d advise you do at this price - it’s surprisingly well-equipped. Its unusual trump card is the bi-fue version, which can run on either petrol or cheaper LPG, making it even more financially prudent.  

Hyundai i10

04. Best-10-City-Cars-Hyundai-i10

**In A Nutshell: Fun To Drive & Cheap To Run **

The i10 basically does the same job as the Volkswagen Up, giving you a surprising amount of interior space in a very small footprint, but it does so with more style and personality. Some cost-cutting is apparent, like how the steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach, but clever use of glossy plastics, geometric shapes and a fancy looking touchscreen make it feel a lot less ‘basic’ than it might. The 66hp 1.0-litre petrol engine is all you need and it's rated at 65mpg, making the i10 a really cheap to run and insure thing, and it’s pretty good fun to drive too. 

Volkswagen Polo 

10. Top-10-Alts-Vauxhall-Corsa-Volkswagen-Polo

**In A Nutshell: 5-Star Safety Rating **

You’ll probably already have a take on the Volkswagen Polo and it’ll go something like this: solid build quality, not that interesting, expensive. They’re all grounded in a bit of truth, but to dismiss the Polo because it’s too expensive or a bit bland is a mistake. For a start, in reality the costs are about on par with most small hatchbacks owning to its brilliant residual values and its very efficient range of petrol engines, but equally important is its heroic Euro NCAP rating, which is 5-star and includes a 94% rating for adult occupants. It has features like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist as standard. Keep an eye on our Polo leasing deals and you may get one for much less than you thought.

Suzuki Swift

SuzukiSwiftSportHybrid0420 blog

In A Nutshell: Driving Fun & Reliability

If you want something that will prove extremely reliable and is also extremely fun to throw into a corner, no matter which version you’re in, then the Suzuki Swift is the first car for you. Not that we’re encouraging irresponsible driving, you understand. Rather, the Swift is one of those cars that just feels…right. It’s really easy to drive - light steering and pedals, a great driving position and good visibility - and its high roofline means it feels spacious throughout. Whichever engine you choose you’ll get a good 45-50mpg around the doors, although one downside to Swift ownership is insurance costs a little on the high side. 

Toyota Aygo X

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**In A Nutshell: SUV Style In A Small Package **

The Aygo X (pronounced “cross”) is a high-riding city car that has nothing to do with the Aygo that went before it. Apart from the name, obviously. This time around, Toyota has come up with a city car of the crossover sort, an unusual and highly striking move. And a practical one. For something so small between the wheels it’s incredibly spacious - the tall roof will do that - and even the boot is a reasonable size, more akin to the volume you’d get in something bigger, like a Ford Fiesta. It’s surprisingly good fun to drive too, thanks to sharp steering and a characterful 3-cylinder engine.

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