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
Aug 14, 2018

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

Latest Peugeot 208 deals from £4,650
Finance from £84 per month

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.
Peugeot 208 buying guide

Skoda Fabia

Best car for young drivers who need space

Latest Skoda Fabia deals from £4,995
Finance from £88 per month

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.
Skoda Fabia buying guide

Seat Ibiza

Best car for young drivers who put safety first

Latest Seat Ibiza deals from £5,495
Finance from £87 per month

One of the safest small cars available, the Seat Ibiza was awarded a full five stars by Euro NCAP in 2017.

One of the major reasons the Ibiza performed so well is because of its overall occupant safety levels. It scored a 95% for adult occupants, out ranking much larger and more expensive machinery like the Kia Stinger and Skoda Karoq.

Testers at Euro NCAP also remarked on the efficiency of its Autonomous Emergency Braking system too. This essentially measures the road around you with radar and can brake the car in an emergency. Seat's system can detect both vehicles and pedestrians, which helped it score higher in the testing.
Seat Ibiza buying guide 

Citroen C3

Best car for young drivers who need protection against prangs

Latest Citroen C3 deals from £7,995
Finance from £132 per month

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.

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 the safety features. Its official price is high too: close to £15,000 in Flair trim, which includes Airbumps and the camera - called ConnectedCAM - as standard.

Alternatively, you can add both of these as options to the cheaper Feel trim, which works out at around £400 less.
Citroen C3 buying guide

Ford Fiesta

Best car for young drivers sharing with their parents

Latest Ford Fiesta deals from £7,995
Finance from £126 per month

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.
Ford Fiesta buying guide

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