RAC Cars News


Best First Car For £5,000

By raccars Published

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Young drivers who have recently passed their driving test usually have different priorities when looking for their first car, compared with older drivers with families, for example. While what they need is something economical and safe, what they often hope for is speed, style and a decent speaker system...

In the real world, £5,000 can stretch a long way for young drivers to get a sensible car in an affordable insurance group. The following can all be found on a budget of £5,000 and fall within insurance groups one, two or three.

Seat Ibiza

The 2008 model Ibiza is good looking, well equipped and comfortable for a first driver. It achieved five stars in Euro NCAP safety testing and, with a 1.2 litre petrol engine, falls into insurance group three. It's no race car but is very affordable, starting at £3,500.

Vauxhall Corsa

A long time favourite among new drivers, the 2006-2014 model Corsa is relatively spacious for its class and scored five stars when tested by Euro NCAP. There are lots of them around and 1.0 litre petrol versions can be found within insurance groups one and two. Prices start at £3,500 but, on the downside, the interiors can be a little dingy.

Volkswagen Fox

The 2005-2011 Fox was not one of VW's stellar performers, lacking the charisma of the Lupo. However, the Fox has aged well and benefits from group one insurance in 1.0 litre format, and group three insurance for the 1.4 litre version. It's cheap to run and famously reliable, and scored four stars in Euro NCAP crash tests.

Toyota Yaris

The 2006-2011 Yaris is practical and user friendly rather than smooth and sophisticated. The 1.0 litre petrol model is frugal and gets insurance in group two but won't get you anywhere in a hurry - for which the parents of young drivers will be hugely grateful! It has plenty of safety equipment and five stars from Euro NCAP, and is a good, reliable choice. Used Yarises also tend to have been well looked after and boast relatively low mileage.

Fiat Panda

The 2004-2011 Panda has a kind of cult following, thanks to quirky looks and a pretty entertaining driving experience. Go with petrol models for reliability and the lowest insurance. Standard kit can be stingy in lower trim levels, so go for a higher spec model from a dealer at £3,500 or more, for a rewarding and trouble free experience.

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