Choosing and buying your first car is a rite of passage for thousands of new drivers every year. It’s easy to think about the range of customisation options available, the ease with which you can pair your phone and the dream of limitless independence.
Connectivity and customisation are on the lips of every carmaker, but it’s so often the cost of fuel and insurance that are the deal breakers. For many new drivers, particularly young drivers, the cost of insurance is more of a concern than the price of the car.
That means carmakers are getting increasingly clever with the way they sell their cars. Schemes like Peugeot’s Just Add Fuel mean finance, insurance and servicing costs are bundled together into one single payment.
If the model on your first-car shortlist isn’t available with such a neat deal, you’ll need to balance various manufacturer and dealer discounts with cheap insurance costs.
Road tax is less of a consideration now. Unless you choose an electric or hydrogen-powered car, you’ll be paying £140 a year. The cost of petrol or diesel remains a significant cost, however, as does maintenance.
That might all look slightly scary, which is why we’ve put together this list of our favourite new cars for first-time buyers. They’re all cheap to buy and cheap to run. But that doesn’t mean they’re dull; these cars all variously offer huge scope for customisation, impressive driver enjoyment or enormous styling flair and desirability.
For the most part, you’ll also enjoy features like air-conditioning, alloy wheels and smartphone integration allowing music streaming. The days of small cars boasting little in the way of features are long gone.
Another advantage of buying a new car is that it’ll come with the latest safety equipment, should the worst happen – something that will deliver huge comfort to the families of young and inexperienced drivers.
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