There’s no escaping it: when you’re buying your first car, cost matters. Even beyond the purchase price, you have to weigh up fuel economy, maintenance and, of course, insurance.
And for teenagers, unfortunately, insurance is expensive. Young new drivers are statistically more likely to have an accident than those with more experience, which means premiums are high.
One of the best ways to keep costs down is to choose the right vehicle. To help out, we’ve compiled this list of the best first cars for teens if low-cost insurance is your top requirement. These cars can be insured cheaply by us, whether you’re still learning to drive or you’ve recently passed – call us for our best quotes.
The Fiat 500 is a staple for many teen drivers. This retro Italian car is plenty stylish – but don’t worry, there’s substance too. Introduced in 2008 and revamped in 2016, the Fiat 500 has won numerous awards for its performance, including European Car of the Year. Fun to drive and cheap to run, the 500 is a top choice for teenage drivers.
In terms of value for money, as well as offering affordable insurance, the car tends to hold its value. It may not be the cheapest on the market, but when the time comes for an upgrade you have a good chance of getting a lot of your money back.
The Peugeot 107 is no longer available new (they stopped making them in 2014), but it’s still a great little city car. Prices are cheap second-hand, and you’ll save lots on the insurance, too.
A natural choice for newbie drivers, this car is easy to control, with superb handling. It also has excellent fuel economy: the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine delivers 65.6mpg with CO2 emissions of only 99g/km. Note that the automatic gearbox variant brings the figure to 62.7mpg and 104g/km.
The Renault Clio is a great car for teens, being small and easy to manoeuvre. The light steering and 360-degree surround-view camera system make parallel parking much easier, while the firm suspension offers a sportier feel.
Although it’s small on the outside, the car feels more spacious than some of its competitors, and the technology on offer also sets it apart – the vehicle features pedestrian and cyclist detection as well as a navigation touch screen.
Not only is this car cheap to insure, it’s also very affordable to purchase, with used car prices starting at £2,000. Due to its affordability and practicality, we even featured the Clio in our list of the best cars for new drivers.
While the KA can no longer be bought new as it fell out of production in 2016, it’s a reliable vehicle to purchase second-hand and could cost you around £2,000.
The KA’s compact size makes it the ideal city car and it can also offer some impressive handling – ideal for more rural driving. The suspension finds an ideal balance, being soft enough to provide comfort yet firm enough to keep the car a fun ride. It’s also cheap to run! The Mk2 model, released between 2008 and 2016, offers 57.7mpg in terms of fuel efficiency.
The Volkswagen up! is popular among teenage drivers. The car is reliable and can be depended on for years to come – perfect for a potential first car. The vehicle is also compact and the suspension makes it comfortable to drive. Despite being small, the visibility is surprisingly clear.
The vehicle comes in a range of colours, is easy to connect to your smartphone and is the cheapest of the German manufacturer’s range. Not to mention, the up! is also in the lowest insurance group.
The Citroen C1 is a hit with teens as it is stylish, fun to drive and simple to use. The C1 is described by the French manufacturer as being “designed for the city” and the 5-door vehicle is a little more spacious than some of its competitors.
The 1.0-litre petrol engine can achieve emissions of 106 g/km of CO2 while offering 72 mpg. The C1 has also topped lists for its low breakdown rating compared to other small car classes – another reason it’s a great option for a teenager.
The Polo is the second Volkswagen to feature on the list, and it’s even cheaper to insure than the first.
The Polo has been around since 1975, so there are plenty of second-hand models to choose from in addition to Volkswagen’s latest release. Whichever model you plump for, it’s likely to be roomy – the Polo is noted for its spaciousness, especially in recent years. Not only that, but the car is both comfortable and easy to drive, due to its suspension and light steering.
The Nissan Micra is a stylish car with impressive qualities to match. Surprisingly comfortable given its small size and easy to drive with light steering, the Micra is a super choice for teens.
The latest models also feature a range of smart technologies to improve safety and connectivity, including the manufacturer’s Intelligent Mobility and an easy-to-use touch screen display. Thankfully, the vehicle lacks the hefty price tag that often come with these features.
The car’s insurance falls into the 1E insurance group, the lowest possible bracket – meaning premiums should be relatively low.
Another discontinued car, the Škoda Citigo ceased production in 2019. Comparable to the Volkswagen up!, the Citigo is a compact vehicle suitable for driving around the city and beyond.
This pocket-rocket has some of the same offerings of its larger competitor, all in a smaller size and with impressive handling, desirable comfort and a fun driving experience. You can also select between 3-door or 5-door models, depending on your preferences.
The Citigo falls into the first insurance group, making it one of the cheapest cars to insure on the market.
The Vauxhall Corsa is a classic choice for teenage drivers and, having been in production since 1982, you should easily find one second-hand.
While the newest models feature the latest tech, such as a rear view camera, much of what makes the Corsa special has stayed consistent over the years. The car is comfortable yet fun to drive, as well as being spacious. Reviews constantly praise it for its cost efficiency – ideal for cash-strapped teens.
Cheap classic cars to insure for 17-year-olds
They may not have Bluetooth, automatic lights or even electric windows, but classic cars do have a lot of character and low insurance premiums, making them among the best cars for new drivers. At Adrian Flux we say the older the better when it comes to affordable policies for teenage drivers – we’re pretty good at insuring classics too!
Here are a few of the cheaper classic cars to insure:
- Toyota MR2
- BMW Z3
- Ford Fiesta Mk1
- Renault 5 Mk1
- Land Rover Defender.
Tips to lower your monthly insurance costs
If you’re a teenage driver trying to get on the road, there’s plenty more you can do to reduce your premium:
- Install a black box, which feeds daily information, such as good driving and mileage, to save money on your second year’s premium. Read more about Adrian Flux’s Fluxscore black box policy.
- Take a limited mileage policy if you can commit to driving less than 1,500, 3,000 or 5,000 miles a year.
- Join a car owners club to reduce your premium by up to 15%.
- Keep your car in a safe place, for example the garage or driveway, and improve its security features, such as fitting an alarm to decrease the risk of theft and keep costs down.
- Add a parent with driving experience on the policy to further reduce your premium.