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Best first cars for teenagers

Just passed your test or are learning to drive? Here are some of the best used first cars to buy

a blue renault zoe driving in a city

Cars for teens

So, you’ve just turned 17 and are ready to tackle Britain’s roads, but you don’t know what car to buy.

Well, this list will help you make an informed decision to ensure you find the best budget first car that’s economical and cheap to run – and as stylish as can be.

Volkswagen Polo

an orange vw polo driving on the road

A car as reliable and as safe as the Volkswagen Polo is hard to ignore, especially if you’re a first-time driver wanting the best deal you can get.

Thankfully, you can pick up a used Volkswagen Polo for a very affordable price on the used market – and one that has plenty of kit inside such as air-con and a great infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Plus, they are a smaller and arguably quirkier version of the Golf – and cheaper to insure too.

Hyundai i10

a red hyundai i10 driving on a road

As city cars go, there are very few as stylish and unique as the Hyundai i10.

This feels like a step away from the norm of models such as the Skoda Citigo and Peugeot 108, and more towards a grown-up model that’s still enjoyable to drive.

There are lots of different trims to choose from and the option of either a manual or an automatic gearbox, meaning there’s a model for everyone – thank you Hyundai!

Ford Fiesta

a red ford fiesta driving on a country road

If you’re asked to think of a hatchback, nine times out of 10 your mind will go to the Ford Fiesta, and there’s a great reason for this – it’s the go-to choice.

A used Ford Fiesta is a great option – especially for first-time drivers – because it’s affordable to buy, run and insure, plus it offers a great driving experience to get to grips with vehicle ownership.

You can even opt for the S-Line, which makes you feel like you’re driving a Fiesta ST but without the added costs.

Vauxhall Corsa

an orange vauxhall corsa driving on a road

The Fiesta’s closest rival, the Vauxhall Corsa is equally good and offers the same attributes, just with a different badge.

There’s a huge range of models on offer and insurance costs are low, making this a superb car for learners and newly-passed drivers.

Aside from the manual and automatic petrol and diesel variants, you can also get the Vauxhall Corsa-e, which is more expensive but does offer silent motoring and zero tailpipe emissions as we move to a more sustainable future.

Skoda Fabia

a red skoda fabia driving on a road

The Skoda Fabia is one of the cheapest cars the brand sells, but it’s far from inferior.

In fact, we’d go as far as to say that this used Skoda is one of the best hatchbacks money can buy because it’s well built, reliable, and comes with some great options as standard.

Complementing its spacious cabin is the choice of either an automatic or manual gearbox, along with some great deals on the used car market.

Renault Zoe

a blue renault zoe

Going electric for your first car 10 years ago would have seemed brash and daft, but today it makes perfect sense.

Sure, it’s more expensive to get into, but once you’re in it’s hard to ignore the fun and ease of use – especially with charging, which is often misinterpreted as being impossible to live with.

You can expect up to 238 miles of range on a single charge from the Renault Zoe and the benefit of cinchCharge if you buy from us.

Volkswagen up!

VW up! GTI

The smaller version of the Polo is, of course, the plucky Volkswagen up!, which has made its way up the ranks to become a superb first car for teens.

It’s great fun to drive, is cheap to run and is very reliable thanks to its parts sharing across the Volkswagen Audi Group.

It can also be had as an all-electric option too, which isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a new driver wanting to experience life in the silent lane, the e-up! is ideal.

Nissan Micra

A blue Nissan Micra facing right in front of a white background

One seriously underrated car for teens is the mighty Micra. Nissan didn’t miss a beat when it comes to any Micra model of the past 30 years.

From the K10 generation all the way up to the modern-day K14, they have consistently been superb city cars that are cheap to run and affordable to buy.

Its turbocharged engine is mated to either a five-speed manual or a solid automatic transmission.

Citroen C1

A blue Citroen C1 facing right in front of a white background

As you’ve probably gathered by now, there’s an abundance of city cars available to new drivers, and they’re popular because of their small proportions and affordable running costs.

Having been built alongside the Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo, the Citroen C1 is very reliable and is packed full of some of the best tried-and-tested parts on offer.

So, whether you’re going to be using this for your college commute or the occasional longer motorway journey to see your mates, we don’t doubt this is a great option for you.

Dacia Sandero

blue dacia sandero driving

One car brand that’s been in the news a lot since its return to the UK in 2013 is Dacia, and more specifically its Sandero hatchback model.

This is a car that was made famous by being the cheapest new car you could buy in the UK, making examples on the used car market even more attractive propositions.

It’s easy to drive, perfect for an everyday commuter and is backed by Renault reliability and build quality – what’s not to love?