Best cars for first time drivers

Best cars for first time drivers

Transport is one of the biggest aspects of adult life. This is particularly the case for students, who are probably emerging from the safety of home to the outside world. By the time they begin studying, young people have probably acquired a driving licence. Yet that doesn’t help much if they don’t have a car they can use. To that end, we should consider what the best vehicles are for the first time driver.

What to look for and focus on

First we should consider what we should look out for in our first car. Considering we’re not earning a great deal, we must prioritise price over almost anything else. This isn’t merely about how much a car initially costs, of course – we still have to maintain the vehicle. To that end, we must think broader. In Kelley Blue Book’s guide to first time buying, they note:

“look at your cost of living in all the more important areas, like shelter, food, health insurance and Happy Hour. Once those are calculated, the remainder could be spent on a car payment, fuel, car insurance and — for cars without a warranty — mechanical maintenance.”

Reliability will then be important. We don’t want to keep paying for parts because the car keeps failing. It’s also advisable to focus on vehicles that don’t require importing of parts.


BMW is often chosen for first time drivers. The company consistently offers high quality vehicles and when people are looking at used BMWs for sale, they often find all the criteria mentioned above met. For example, at the BMW Blog, the E36 3 Series is recommended for any first time driver: “It’s fun, quick enough, has room for at least four people, a good sized trunk and has that old-school BMW driving feel. It’s also relatively reliable. The only really big issue for E36s is their cooling system.”


Many first time drivers choose Hyundai as their first vehicle. The i10 is especially notable since it’s ideal for city driving. As Car Buyer noted in their review: “The Hyundai i10 feels well built and its small, nippy nature makes it rather enjoyable to drive. The price is competitive, too.”

Small is important as it reduces the chances of damaging while parking, costs to repair and so on. And we shouldn’t dismiss “fun” as a factor in driving.


The Ford Fiesta is a very popular choice among students, since it blends high performance with a relatively cheap price. What also makes it remarkable is its safety tech. For example, as Auto Express notes, it includes the MyKey system, “allowing concerned parents to restrict the maximum speed and stereo volume when their children are behind the wheel. [Additional features include] seven airbags and ESP, plus optional autobrake.”

These are just some things students should consider in their choice of first car, as they enter a new world to explore.

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