Best Cars for First-Time Drivers

  • By Michaela Crawford
  • 7 min read

Leasing is a great option for new drivers, but what are the best cars to lease for first timers? LeaseLoco takes a look at some of the main contenders.

Close-up of a model car.

There is no doubt that your first car is one of the most exciting life events that you certainly remember for a long time!

Some people will tell you that having a brand new car for first time drivers isn't possible or affordable. However, the ability to lease cars is a much more feasible option for young drivers, that not only saves you LOTS of money, but has a bunch of other benefits including getting a brand new car!

As we can imagine many of us are desperate to get out and about again post-lockdown, and a lot of first-time drivers want to get on the road so we're going to give a bit of an insight into the best cars for young drivers, or first-time drivers of any age, with a focus on low cost motoring for the price savvy amongst us!

We've also got a bit of random trivia about the car manufacturers along the way - with all the answers at the bottom of this page. Play along and let us know how you do!

The important stuff though: our top cars for first-time drivers in 2021 for are:

  • Volkswagen Polo
  • Peugeot 208
  • Hyundai i10
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Skoda Fabia
  • Vauxhall Corsa

If you're looking for the perfect first car, read on:

Volkswagen Polo

A Volkswagen Polo

This is an affordable jump into being a VW driver! It probably won't be the most exciting car on this list, but is a car that has a lot to offer being known for a high-quality build and strong residual values. In your first year of driving you'll appreciate a small car that is easy to manoeuvre and park.

By opting for a 'Match' spec level, you can get 15 inch alloy wheels, rear tinted windows and all-round parking sensors. All models come with advanced safety systems too, including Pedestrian Detection, Front Assist and City Emergency Braking. Check out this VW Polo deal with prices from £152.81 /a month.*

By opting for a GTI 2.0 litre engine, you can get pretty swift on the road going from 0-62 mph in 6.7 seconds and a 200bhp. But being a first time driver, if you're under 25, insurance will be an issue so probably best sticking to 1.0 litre options for now until you build up some no claims discount.

So with safety systems, lots of technology, and a pretty spacious cabin and boot - this comfortable drive is a great place to start for drivers of any age.

Q1 TRIVIA! What is the Guinness World Record for the most people to fit in a VW Beetle?

  • 17
  • 25
  • 15
  • 12

Peugeot 208

A Peugeot 208 driving on a road

This is a striking small car with a pretty cool interior, lots of equipment, and also has a great electric car version. The most popular is the 1.2 PureTech 100 GT Line 5dr model that comes with leather upholstery, a 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system, dark tinted rear windows and Apple CarPlay & Android Auto too.

One thing to note is that while it is easy to get comfortable in the front seats, your tall friend may struggle in the back seats and will likely find their knees against the front seat backs.

The Peugeot 208 was the first small car offering all fuel options, so if you're wanting to go green with your first car then this may be the car for you with a range of Electric Peugeot 208 lease deals. Overall, it is a cost-effective way to get around with a good looking exterior!

Q2 TRIVIA! What did the Peugeot Company start out as?

  • Coffee Mill
  • Sofa manufacturer
  • Driving School
  • Construction Company

Hyundai i10

A Hyundai i10 driving on a road

This is another stylish looking car that is easy to drive around and is an impressive award winning model. The little vehicle is a good first car with perky engines and swift responses; a generous boot space and lots of tech.

The most popular 1.0 MPi SE Connect 5dr Auto model comes at prices from £150.52 /month* here at LeaseLoco. This model comes with some great equipment including Apple CarPlay / Android Audio, an 8 inch touchscreen with smart device integration, cruise control and a rear view camera, it is appealing to the tech lovers out there!

While the cheaper 1.0 litre only has 66bhp, it is more fuel efficient by returning 50.4mpg as opposed to the 1.2 litre's 46.3 mpg, so a better option for those on a budget. Even though it is small, it is comfortable, with premium feeling finishes and due to its nippiness - it is fun to drive. A good first car to gain confidence on the road.

Hyundai logo

Q3 TRIVIA ! The Hyundai logo of a slanted 'H' has a hidden message of what?

  • A lightning bolt
  • Developments in technology
  • Connectivity between industries
  • People shaking hands

Ford Fiesta

A Ford Fiesta driving on a road

It seems to be a rite of passage for all drivers to own a Ford Fiesta making it one of 2020's best selling cars in the UK. It's more spacious and practical than most other cars on this list, being super comfy and cheap to run. This will give young drivers the chance to build their confidence on the road with precise steering, great suspension and a weighted grip - while also being really fun to drive! Like the Peugeot, your friends might be slightly tight for space in the back seats but I'm sure they'll forgive if you let them connect via Bluetooth and play their music through the 10 speaker, 360 degree sound system in this Ford Fiesta ST-Line X Edition for only £164.02 /month*.

The top end models tend to get a bit more expensive, but either way with lots of standard equipment on all models including an 8 inch touchscreen with smartphone connectivity and safety features, it is certainly worth considering for a first car.

Q4 TRIVIA! The legendary Ford Mustang was originally announced in which year?

  • 1962
  • 1964
  • 1966
  • 1968

Skoda Fabia

a stationary Skoda Fabia

This car ticks a lot of boxes for young drivers. It is easy to drive, practical, safe and a comfortable car that is pretty cheap to run. The older models do look a bit dull, so if a good looking car is important to you, opt for a newer model which you can find by looking at the range of SKODA Fabia's on LeaseLoco.

You can get Apple CarPlay / Android Auto systems and the higher end models offer a portable Wi-Fi hotspot and some other cool features. The Fabia is a practical and reasonable first car that is comfortable and a bit more spacious than some others in this list.

Q5 TRIVIA! What was the most expensive SKODA ever built?

  • Giant Lego Model
  • Cake
  • Float for a Parade
  • Personalised SKODA for the Prime Minister

Vauxhall Corsa

a Vauxhall Corsa driving on a road

The Corsa is a classic and with newer models it is safer, and better quality than ever. You see these cars everywhere and it continues to be one of the UK's best selling cars after many years. It is cheap to run with certain models falling into the lowest insurance groups but if you will be on the motorway a lot, opt for a bigger engine - you'll need it!

There are also options for an electric Corsa, like the Peugeot 208, but these are the more expensive Corsas available. Again, it may be a bit tight for room in the backseat, but there is plenty of boot space to make up for this.

Another stylish and practical car for young drivers that is well priced. You'll find this vehicle steers and turns pretty eagerly -- ticking one of the biggest boxes of making it another fun drive, giving you that 'big car feel'. If you opt for a Corsa, you'll appreciate how far it has come with its well-developed newer models.

Check out this Vauxhall Corsa deal with a super-hot 92 Loco Score* - meaning it's fantastic value!

Q6 TRIVIA! What is the definition of 'Corsa' in Italian?

  • Race
  • Fast
  • Course
  • Champion

There are a few other best cars for first time drivers that didn't make our list such as the Kia Picanto; SEAT Ibiza; Fiat 500 and the Nissan Micra - so always worth doing a bit more research if you're undecided!

It can be scary getting your own first car and driving on the road solo but once you get a car in your life, you'll be surprised how you managed to live without one before! So there we have it -- our list of best cars to help you find your perfect first car. Check LeaseLoco regularly to see new deals posted.

Happy car hunting!

*All prices correct at time of publishing.

Now... Trivia Quiz Answers:

  1. 20. The previous record was beat in December 2010 when a University Project at the Lexington Rescue Mission in Lexington, Kentucky, USA crammed 20 people into a 1964 Beetle - which was organised to bring attention to human trafficking.
  2. A Coffee Mill. In 1810 the Peugeot family began producing coffee, pepper and salt grinders - creating the Peugeot brand we know today!
  3. Two people shaking hands. The 'H' represents a handshake between a company representative and a satisfied customer, representing trust and satisfaction. The surrounding oval shape represents the goal to expand across the world making as many deals as possible.
  4. 1964
  5. Cake. Their most expensive car built wasn't a normal car -- it was a replica cake costing £500'000 of the SKODA Fabia for their TV advert in 2007.
  6. Race

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