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Best 10 new cars for new drivers 2019

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Buying your first car is one of the rites of passage to freedom. Once you’ve got your driving test out of the way, you’ll need your own set of wheels.

Choosing the right first car can be as daunting as it is exciting because there are so many cars to choose from and they all have their pros and cons. has put together a list of the ‘Best New Cars for First-Time Drivers’ to help you navigate the market and get on the road.

The Top 10 is based on the cost of the base model, the combined miles per gallon (MPG), insurance group and the average cost for an insurance premium.

Best 10 new cars for new drivers 2019

1. Peugeot 108 – Topping the list is the 108 by Peugeot, a small city car that offers funky looks and plenty of tech for a low cost. All models are fitted with a 1.0L petrol engine, which is ideally suited to driving around town – it’s not the ideal choice for motorway driving where it runs out of steam. Running costs make the 108 an attractive option, the base model pricing starts from £12,265 and the car can achieve up to 55 miles to the gallon while still sits in the lower insurance groups, ranging from about five to nine.

2. Citroen C1 – Coming in second place is the Citroen C1, it’s the most affordable car in the French brand’s model range. Under the skin, it shares a great deal with the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108. The C1 has always been popular with younger drivers, as all versions of the Citroen C1 have an economical 1.0-litre petrol engine that is cheap to run. The entry-level C1 returns 56 miles per gallon and also sits in a low insurance band. With prices starting from £10,470.

3. Volkswagen up! – In third place is the Volkswagen up! This city-car shares its platform with the SEAT Mii and the Skoda Citigo. However, the up! brings an air of quality and class into the segment which puts it above its competition. The only engine is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder – producing either 59bhp, 74bhp or 89bhp – with the lower-powered version promising economy of 54.3mpg in the entry-level Volkswagen up! With prices starting from £9,260 this car places third on our list.

4. Skoda Citigo – If it’s cheap and cheerful you are after then the Skoda Citigo should be high up on your list. With identical looks and charm to the Volkswagen Up! and the Seat Mii, the Citigo undercuts its competition with excellent value for money. The Citigo offers impressive value for money, all models sit in the lowest insurance groups and the 1.0L engines achieve up to 64 miles per gallon. The price for the base, model starts from £8,890.

5. Fiat 500 – If you can’t beat them join them! Since returning to the roads in 2007 the Fiat 500 has now become iconic with young drivers. The fun and fashionable Fiat 500 draws inspiration from its predecessor. The entry-level model has a 68bhp 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine which is a popular choice for first-time drivers and can return 51.4mpg and starts at the insurance group two. With the base model pricing starting from £12,165.

6. Hyundai i10 – Stylish and practical are two words that sum up the Hyundai i10. This supermini is fun, frugal and well put together. Running costs are just what you would expect – i10 models sit in low insurance groups and servicing is cheap for the class, too. Meanwhile, the basic 66bhp 1.0-litre engine returns up to 55 miles per gallon, making the i10 a pretty economical option for a first car. With the base model pricing starting from £10,025.

7. Renault Clio – Underestimating the Renault Clio is a bad move, this French supermini is one of the Renault top models and it’s even more popular worldwide. The three-cylinder 1.0-litre TCe play is likely to be the most popular engine and it certainly shouldn’t break the bank as it is able to achieve 54.3 miles per gallon and sits in a relatively low insurance group. Prices for the base model start at £14,295.

8. Fiat Panda – Practical, spacious and affordable are all threes words that come into your head when you think of a Fiat Panda. The Panda offers a different take on the idea of a supermini, with utilitarian looks with an upright shape, making for a light and airy feel, while it also has a certain charm about it. The Italian hatchback won’t cost too much to keep on the road. If you tend to stick to short journeys and don’t cover many miles a year, the entry-level 1.2-litre is more than enough, returning 44.1 miles per gallon and prices start from £10,080.

9. Volkswagen Polo – If quality is the question the Volkswagen Polo is the answer. Combining superb build quality and an engaging car to drive into one package, makes it even easier to see why the Polo was named What Car? Small Car of the Year for 2019. Although the Polo is a little more expensive than many of its rivals, its residual values tend to be stronger and running costs are reasonable, kicking off the range is a 1.0-litre non-turbocharged petrol, now only available with 79bhp which returns up to 48.7 mpg. With the base model pricing starting from £15,390.

10. Ford Fiesta – Style and substance, the Fiesta has got both, this is a car with sporty looks that can take on the city streets as well as motorways. Its punchy range of engines, which start with the 1.1L 85hp powertrain that can return up to 48.7 miles per gallon. Running prices are competitive for the Fiesta, with the base model in insurance group three. Economical to run, Ford’s popular supermini is competitive on fuel efficiency and the base model pricing starting from £15,745.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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