Best cars for first-time drivers

Toyota Aygo

The best car for first-time drivers is the Toyota Aygo, according to research by CarGurus

The leading automotive marketplace in the UK surveyed 1,000 motorists who passed their driving test in the past three years.

Low price topped the list of most important criteria, according to 30% of those surveyed. And with budget top of mind, most said they would prefer to stay under £8,000 for their first car.

Insurance cost is next among top priorities (27%), followed by the number of miles on the clock (24%), and fuel consumption (24%).

Reliability is also important (22%), as are factors like MOT history (19%), service history (18%), and vehicle age (18%).

When asked about the top preferred extra features, drivers noted Bluetooth connectivity (45%), parking sensors (44%), and parking cameras (41%) as the most important.

And when choosing between types of gearboxes, the majority (57%) would opt for an automatic. The study also revealed that new drivers would choose a petrol-powered car (46%), followed by electric (19%), diesel (19%), and hybrid (16%).

In terms of body style and size, new drivers have a preference for SUVs (21%) and hatchbacks (20%) and primarily prefer vehicles that seat four (37%) to five (52%) people.

New drivers, on average, would be willing to insure their car for a maximum of £1,100 and they would expect to travel an average of 70 miles a week in their vehicle.

For those paying for their first car on finance, the average a driver would be willing to pay per month is £371.

According to CarGurus, the Toyota Aygo excelled thanks to reliability, as the Japanese brand makes some of the most dependable cars on the market.

The Aygo’s affordability is another key factor. According to CarGurus Instant Market Value data, buyers should be able to purchase a six-year-old petrol-engined Aygo with an automatic gearbox within the budget specified by survey participants.

The 71bhp 1.0-litre Aygo returns a very competitive 64mpg when paired with the X-Shift automatic gearbox, making fuel costs affordable.

As insurance groupings stand between six and nine for an Aygo of this spec, this low classification means that premiums should be realistic for new drivers – around £1,500.

In addition, for buyers looking for extra peace of mind, Toyota’s Warranty can be extended by a year or 10,000 miles when the car is serviced according to schedule at an authorised Toyota dealer, up to a maximum age of ten years or 100,000 miles.

No 1 car for first-time drivers
Toyota Aygo (2014-2021)

Runners-up (in no particular order)
Peugeot 108/Citroen C1 (2014-2021)
Kia Picanto (2011-2016)
Hyundai i10 (2014-2019)
Nissan Micra (2017-2022)
Volkswagen Up (2012-2023)
Ford Fiesta (2008-2017)
Renault Clio (2013-2018)
Renault Zoe (2013-2019) – electric
Kia Soul EV Mk1 (2014-2019) – electric

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