The top 5 most affordable cars for young drivers

Lesson Type
Last updated: 22 Aug 2019

You might think being on the road is a bit pricey, but there’s a reason why thousands of us take up driving lessons each year. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want… without having to touch a bus timetable!

Even so, we know managing your finances can be tough as a young driver, which is why we’ve put together a top 5 list of some of the most affordable new cars on the market for you to choose from.

Our pick of the 5 most affordable cars for young drivers There are a few factors which effect how affordable a car is. Funnily enough it’s not just the price of the car you need to think about, as engine size, fuel economy and tax bands will all have an impact on the price you end up paying in the long run. Confused? Don’t worry, that’s why we’re here.

1. Vauxhall Corsa

The humble Vauxhall Corsa has reinvented itself many times over the years, but it’s always remained a firm favourite amongst young drivers. With engine sizes between 1.0 and 1.4 to choose from, the Corsa is one of the cheapest vehicles for a young driver to insure.

The 1.0 ltr Corsa (2006 onwards) falls into tax band E, which, at £130 per year, isn’t the cheapest around, but is still an economical option.

Starting price: £8,995.

affordable cars for young drivers vauxhall corsa

2. Ford Ka

The Ford Ka is the perfect option for new drivers for a number of reasons. Not only are they small and easy to manoeuvre, but they’re also economical to run and relatively affordable to buy.

Although the newer style Ka (09 onwards), is a little pricier than the original, it’s much more environmentally friendly and is still cheaper than its supermini rivals. Plus, falling into tax band C, you’ll only have to pay £30 a year for your road tax.

Starting price: £8,795.

affordable cars for new drivers ford ka

3. Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is one of the safest cars on the road, and it’s not very thirsty either. It’s a great option for young drivers, and your mum and dad will appreciate the sensible choice too.

The new shape, which went into production in 2008, has done well on the review-front, and there’s nothing wrong with being a bit of an eco-warrior, because you’ll find yourself paying less at the pumps. The new Fiesta falls into tax band C, meaning you’ll only pay £30 for the year on this one too.

On the road price: £9,995.

affordable cars for young drivers ford fiesta

4. Peugeot 107

It may be small, but the Peugeot 107 is certainly a strong contender when it comes to affordable cars for new drivers. Not only is the 107’s retail price lower than many of the others on the market, but it’s pretty cheap to run too.

Peugeot also run their very own ‘Just Add Fuel’ scheme, which, available to 21 year olds and over, is a three year finance package inclusive of everything except fuel (yes, even insurance!). Just Add Fuel starts from £155 a month on the 107 for those 21 and over, so check it out if you fit the description.

If you’d rather not go for a finance plan, the 107 falls into tax band A, meaning your road tax is free anyway. Win-win!

Just Add Fuel price: from £155 per month.

On the road price: £8,220. affordable cars for young drivers peugeot

5. Volkswagen Polo

With Volkswagen’s reliable reputation and simple but strong design, the Polo has long been established as one of the best cars for young drivers. Although they’re a bit pricier to buy outright than some of the other cars on the list, the newest model falls into tax band B, meaning you’ll only pay £20 for the year.

Because Polos come with pretty modest engine sizes, it won’t set you back too much to insure either.

Starting price: £11,100. affordable cars volksvan polo

New Vs. second hand

If you’re sitting there thinking we’re mental because there’s no chance of you shelling out for a brand new car, we’ve got some tips for you too. Buying your first car second hand can be much easier on the purse strings, but you need to make sure you know what you need to look out for before you hand any cash over.

Take a good look at the condition of the vehicle and under the bonnet. If you’re not sure what to look for, take someone who knows about cars with you or pay a mechanic to give the vehicle a once over. You should also make sure you take any car you’re thinking about buying for a test drive first. Get a feel for the car and ensure everything runs well and that it drives smoothly.

The boring bit…

Whether you’re buying from a second hand dealer or from a private seller, it’s essential that you check all of the documents before buying a car. You’ll need to take a look at the service history as well as the V5C document.

Before you buy a car you’ll also need to check the history of the vehicle. Even if the seller tells you the car has never been in an accident and is HPI clear, you should do a check yourself. You can do this online for a few quid, where you’ll be able to run a report on the history of the vehicle, finding out whether it has ever been in an accident or whether it has any outstanding finance on it.

Images via Alan_D, M 93, Benoit Dupont, M 93, Caitlin Regan.