Qualified Cars


For new drivers, choosing a first car can be a particularly exciting time. However, in an age of high insurance costs and hefty fuel bills, it’s essential to look at the practical aspects: is the car in a low insurance group, is the fuel consumption good, and – just as important – does it have good safety features? New drivers are among the most high-risk in terms of accidents, so making sure your car is reliable and safe is a high priority. This article features five cars which meet the criteria required.

1. Ford Fiesta

The ever-popular Fiesta is omnipresent on Britain’s roads, and with good reason – there is a tremendous range of styles and models to suit most budgets; basic models are cheap to insure, have a reasonable specification and are frugal with fuel.

If you have a reasonable budget, consider investing in a more modern diesel which will have terrific, class-leading economy and very good safety features for a car of this size. The Fiesta is also cheap to insure and service, making for very reasonable running costs. The Fiesta’s big brother, the Focus, is widely considered to be among the leading cars of its class, particularly for safety and quality of ride, and is worth looking at if you have a decent budget.

2. The Kia range

Once considered a very low-budget brand, the Kia group is now one of the most respected producer of small and mid-range cars in the UK. From the incredible economy of the newer Rio to the fantastic specification of the Cee’d models, these are excellent cars. One of the biggest selling points is the famous 7 year warranty, which makes these a great long term bet. Insurance levels are also very reasonable, particularly for the entry level models.

3. Peugeot 206

With learner driver insurance for new drivers at a premium, finding a reliable and cheap vehicle is often a must for drivers on a smaller budget. The Peugeot 206 has been around for a good few years, meaning that there are plenty of good bargains to be had. Shop around and you could find an economical diesel at a comparable price to many cars of this size. A wide range of trim and specification levels are available.

4. Vauxhall Corsa

Another car that you can spot just about everywhere, the Vauxhall Corsa has been a top seller in the UK for a decade. The post-2006 models are much more refined than their predecessors, with an appealing design and roomy interior making them feel anything but a small car. With good economy, cheap servicing costs and a competitive second hand price, this is a very good option for the new motorist.

5. Toyota Yaris

If you’re after a car that doesn’t look or feel quite like every other small car on the market, why not go Japanese and invest in a Yaris? Its once-revolutionary digital display may well have become much more commonplace now, but it is still a very fun car to drive, with a solid feel and a roomier cabin than you might expect. It is extremely good on fuel consumption, has excellent reliability and safety features, is cheap to insure, and is thus a very strong contender as a first car.