Best cars for young drivers

With built-in dashcams and safety restrictions, see the features included in the best cars for young drivers

BuyaCar team
Jan 10, 2017

As a young driver, you might have a newfound freedom that will take you anywhere there’s a road, but you’re also looked on with suspicion by insurers and parents, with a wealth of crash statistics that suggest you’re not far off being involved in a crash.

Choosing the right car can help reduce those odds of an accident and go a long way to reassuring everyone else that you and your car will remain intact for many journeys to come.

Below, we’ve looked at models that come with features that are most likely to have those effects.

You can also see our recommendations on the best cars for first drivers, focusing on a low price and low insurance costs as well as a separate list of the cheapest cars to insure.

Peugeot 208

Best car for young drivers looking for cheap insurance

You’ve found the ideal car and then you look at the cost of insurance - which can be just as expensive as your finance payments. Peugeot’s Just Add Fuel scheme roll most of a car’s running costs - including finance payments insurance, servicing, breakdown cover and tax - into three years of monthly payments.

For a little over £200 a month, you could be driving a brand new Peugeot 208, with alloy wheels, dashboard touchscreen and cruise control. You have to be 18 or over to qualify, and new drivers will also need to have a black box fitted to their car, which monitors the quality of your driving, such as the speed that you take corners, the heaviness of your braking and observance of speed limits. Your insurance will be cancelled if you get four warnings for bad driving.

For even cheaper monthly payments, Just Add Fuel is also available for the smaller Peugeot 108. It’s not the very best city car that you can buy (that would be the VW up!) but it’s still a good choice if you’re mainly driving in town and comes without the hassle of arranging insurance.

See the latest new and used Peugeot 208 deals


Skoda Fabia

Best car for young drivers who need space

It’s one of the safest cars that you can buy, with a five-star Euro NCAP rating in 2014, but the great strength of the Skoda Fabia is that it feels much larger than it actually is.

Two tall teenagers will easily get comfortable in the back, and even three in a row is a much better option than taking the bus. The 330-litre boot is larger than average for a supermini such as the Fabia, making it a practical for long-distance journeys and weekends away.

Much of the range sits in low insurance groups, including some 90 horsepower petrol cars that can cope with a full car load.

See the latest new and used Skoda Fabia deals


Suzuki Ignis

Best car for young drivers who put safety first

One of the safest small cars available, the Suzuki Ignis was awarded a full five stars by Euro NCAP. The key detail is that this was in 2016 when it was subjected to the toughest tests yet devised by the independent safety organisation. The car went on sale this January.

One of the major features that earned the Ignis a top rating is technology called dual camera support, which uses windscreen-mounted cameras to spot obstacles ahead. The car can slam on the brakes automatically if needed, avoiding crashing into stationary objects at more than 40mph.

It comes as standard on more expensive Ignis SZ5 models, but can be ordered as a £700 option on all other cars in the range, including the cheapest SZ3 which costs less than £11,000 with the safety equipment fitted. Make sure that you tell your insurer is it’s fitted as it may reduce your premium.

See the latest new and used Suzuki Ignis deals


Citroen C3

Best car for young drivers who need protection against prangs

Fitted with plastic protective panels that Citroen calls Airbumps, and with an integrated camera on the windscreen that will record any unfortunate incidents, you’ll want to be in a new C3 if you have a minor car park scrape. Or if someone crashes into you and then claims that it’s your fault.

The car has just gone on sale (the old version doesn't have these features) and its wacky design makes it stand out. An 82 horsepower car will give you enough performance on any kind of British road but it is more expensive to insure than some of the cars on this page - despite he features. Its official price is high too: close to £15,000 in Flair trim, which includes Airbumps and the camera - called ConnectedCAM - as standard (below).

Alternatively, you can add both of these as options to the cheaper Feel trim, which works out at around £400 less. You may be able to save more with the latest Citroen C3 deals.

See the latest new and used Citroen C3 deals


Ford Fiesta

Best car for young drivers sharing with their parents

It’s all very well discussing the merits of the best cars that young drivers can buy but that’s not much good if you’re one of the many who are sharing a car with parents.

If they’ve got a Fiesta, then you might find it a bit easier to prise the keys away, thanks to the MyKey option, which allows parents to restrict some functions and the car’s performance to improve safety and increase the likelihood of them getting the car back in one piece.

By programming a separate key in the car, its top speed can be limited, the volume of the stereo can be limited and all sound turned off if a seatbelt is not fastened. You can also prevent anyone from tapping an address into the sat-nav if the vehicle is moving.

It might feel like a nanny is always looking over your shoulder, but it’s better than sitting at home and staring into your smartphone.

See the latest new and used Ford Fiesta deals



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