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  • 08 July 2016
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    9 Best Cars For New Drivers

    As most of you will be aware when you're a young driver it can be expensive to purchase your first car. You’ve got a new driving license in your pocket, and you're itching to go pick your friends up in a respectable car that's going to give you your freedom, but not drain your wallet!

    Inbetweeners Car

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    As a new driver, you want to make sure your money is well spent and not just wasted on paying high insurance costs. Insurance prices take into consideration many aspects of the driver and the car you buy; it’s not all about the cost of the vehicle, although this can have some impact on prices. Most new drivers will end up paying more for their first insurance policy than the actual car, so choosing the right car wisely is very important.

    When looking for a new car that's cheaper to ensure, you’re best looking as the ‘Insurance Group Rating’, and the lower the number the better! Insurance rating groups start from 1 (cheapest to insure) to 50 (highest to insure). Cars in the highest groups are typically high performance models that are likely to cost insurers the most in a claim.

    What factors contribute to insurance grouping?

    All vehicles are arranged into insurance groups based on the following factors:

    Car security - Vehicles with good security features such as high security door locks and alarm/immobilisation systems are found in lower insurance groups.
    Safety - Cars containing an AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking system) avoid ‘low speed front to rear’ accidents and can benefit from a lower insurance rating.
    Damage and Parts costs - the likely extent of damage to the car and the costs of the parts involved. Higher costs could mean a higher group rating.
    New car valuation - the cost of the car from new provides a guide to replacements and repair costs.
    Performance - High performance cars are at more risk of an insurance claim, meaning that the acceleration and top speed are taken into account.
    Repair times - The longer the car takes to repair means higher costs and a high group rating. On average, over half of all money paid out in insurance claims are spent on the parts and repair times, making these major factors taken into account when put into a group rating.
    Bumper compatibility - The structure and alignment of the car's bumper can give the car a lower insurance rating.

    In addition to the insurance rating, you also may want to consider the points below before you get your heart set on a potential first car. Here’s a list of things to avoid when making a decision:

    • A car with more than 5 seats
    • Purchasing a car with an engine that’s bigger than 1.4litres
    • Tinted windows
    • Modifications- if the car is not standard it’s going to cost more to insure.
    • Hot Hatches, Sport Editions, Convertibles, Cabriolets and cars over 20 years old.

    Taking all the above into consideration, it’s obvious that you're not going to be driving around in a Fast & Furious car anytime soon. However, fear not as there is a large and impressive collection of cars available on the market for young drivers, both used and new. We’ve provided a list of the best first cars that are in low insurance groups. Facts and figures are based on the lowest specifications models. 

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    Cars Listed In Insurance Groups 1 & 2

    The lowest insurance groups are 1 & 2. Cars listed in these groups will have the cheapest insurance prices.

    Hyundai i10
    Hyundai i10

    The Hyundai i10 is in the lowest insurance group, and with 5 years warranty and £0 car tax to pay, this car will have very minimal bills, giving you a very low running cost.

    • Costs £0 to Tax
    • Can achieve 65mpg
    • Comes with a 5 Year Warranty
    • 6 Airbags Fitted
    • compact and light with a length of 3,665, width of 1,660, height of 1,500 and weight of 1,420kgs
    • Fuel capacity of 40 litres
    • Luggage capacity of 252 litres
    • Euro Status VI
    • Can achieve 65bhp
    • Can achieve 0-60mph 14.9secs
    • Top speed of 96mph

    Peugeot Partner TepeePeugeot Partner Tepee

    The Peugeot Partner Tepee isn’t as popular as other cars for first time buyers, however with it being in the lowest insurance group and having many beneficial factors, it’s an excellent car that's very cost effective to run.


    • Tax per Year £20
    • 119g/km C02
    • Has the potential to achieve 68mpg
    • Length 4380, width 2112, height 1862
    • Meets Euro Standard 6
    • 0-60mph in 12.2 seconds
    • Top speed of 112mph
    • Fuel capacity of 53 litres


    Vauxhall Corsa

    Vauxhall Corsa

    The Vauxhall Corsa is popular with new drivers and the small engines including 1.0litre and 1.2litre are cheap to insure.


    • 0 - Tax per Year £0
    • Can achieve around 66mpg
    • 0-60 in 11.9seconds
    • Top speed 112mph
    • Height of 1479mm, width of 1736mm, length of 4021mm


     Toyota Yaris
     Toyota Yaris

    The Toyota Yaris is an extremely popular city car that is loved by new drivers because of its trendy, vibrant looks. With a good warranty period and no car tax to pay, this model should be at the top of your first time driver new car list.


    • Tax per Year £0
    • 67mpg on average
    • 99g/km of CO2
    • Boot capacity of 286litres
    • 0-60mph in 15.3 secs
    • Top speed of 96
    • 5 year warranty period

    Cars Listed In Insurance Groups 3

    After insurance group 1 and 2, the next best is group 3 which also includes cars which have low insurance and running costs. Prices of car insurance in group 3 can be slightly higher than insurance prices for cars listed in 1 and 2 depending on the car and its specifications.

    Citroen C1

    Citroen C1

    The Citroen C1 hatchback is a very compact city car. You’ll be impressed when stepping inside this unique car, as its jam packed with the latest technology. Not only does it have great tech, it's also a very economical car to run returning 69 miles per gallon and has zero cost for road tax. You’ll instantly save money when you purchase a C1 as your first car.


    • Tax per Year £0
    • 69mpg
    • 0-60mph in 13.0 seconds
    • 96g/km C02
    • Top speed of 98mph
    • Height 1460, width 1615, length 3466mm


    Kia Picanto


    Kia Picanto

    The Kia Picanto is the smallest city car in the Kia range, and it’s great for city and short distance driving, making it an excellent choice for first time car buyers. Its styling looks very trendy and would suit a first time driver. Your running cost for a Picanto will be very low freeing up the rest of your money.


    • Annual road tax £20
    • 67mpg
    • 0-60mph in 14.4 secs
    • Top speed of 95mph
    • Luggage capacity of 200 litres
    • Height 1480, width 1595, length 3595


    Kia Rio

    The Kia Rio supermini is an amazing hatchback coming with 22 versions and a 7 year warranty.  You’ll love this car from the body styling on the exterior to the technology packed interior along with the many safety features, keeping you safe at the wheel as well as bringing down the cost of your insurance. Take advantage of the Rio’s low running costs as a first time driver.


    • Annual road tax £30
    • 57mpg
    • 0-60mph in 12.9 secs
    • Top speed of 104mph
    • Luggage capacity of 288 litres
    • Height 1455, width 1720, length 4050

    Ford Ka


    Ford Ka

    The Ford Ka is a big hit with new drivers, especially females as it's trendy and girly. This hatchback model comes with low running costs.


    • Tax per Year £30
    • 0-60mph in 13.4 secs
    • Top speed of 99mph
    • 58mpg
    • Height 1505, width 1658 and length 3620

    Toyota iQ


    Toyota iQ
    The Toyota iQ is a stunning looking city car, if you're looking for something small to drive around a city or town and want a car that's easy to park, this is the car for you. This car is a very cheap option as the running cost are very low.


    • Tax per Year £0
    • 64mpg
    • 0-60mph in 14.10secs
    • 68bhp
    • 99g/km of CO2

     As you can see above there’s a huge range of new and used cars available to you as a new driver that’s not going to cost you all you’re saving. Even though we’ve provided a brief outline of benefits for each car in this blog, it's always good to do your homework and calculate your own running costs. At Howards we’re happy to help first time drivers with their very important decision. We can provide you with all the facts about the car you're interested in, as well as giving you detailed information on leasing options if that's a route you may be looking to go down for your first car.

    If you're in the Somerset or Dorset area please give one of our dealerships a call or drop-in to your local Howards to chat and our expert sales team. They’ll provide you with all the information you need to make your significant decision.

    Image credits: Art Konovalov / Shutterstock.com

Howard Garages (Weston) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd’s permissions as a Principal Firm allows Howard Garages (Weston) Ltd to act as a credit broker, not as a lender, for the introduction to a limited number of finance providers and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance distribution activities only.

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