First-time car buyer? Don't know where to start? We're here to help
If you’re looking for your first car, the choice can be bewildering.
Every major manufacturer wants a slice of the first-timers market and they all offer tempting deals to bag them.
It’s about price, of course, but the cars that are aimed at first-time buyers, especially young first-time buyers, are also packed with kit and customisation options.
Many first-time buyers will be looking at monthly deals rather than buying outright, so here we’ll look at some great options and what they cost both upfront and per month.
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Kia has come a long way since it came to the UK with the Pride in 1991, but the ethos of basic, cheap, motoring still holds true with its successor, the Picanto.
It’s functional, still cheap – you can have one for as little as £9,450 – and offers basic, affordable motoring, but with a 2017 spin.
And it’s still got plenty of charm and is a fun little city car.
For first-time buyers it’s a gem, packed with standard spec.
That means electric front windows, USB socket, auto headlights, hill-start assist, split folding rear seats and six airbags.
For another £1,300, you can add air con, electric rear windows, Bluetooth, heated mirrors, leather trim, alloys and body-coloured bumpers and door handles to that list.
To drive it’s light and lively, even if the base 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, 66bhp engine has to be worked a fair bit
The manual gearbox is light and easy – a four-speed auto is also available – as is the handling, which is precise with little roll.
Kia doesn’t go big on the monthly payment deals, but with a bit of digging you can be driving a Picanto for as little as around £100 a month.
Citroen C1/Toyota Aygo/Peugeot 108
If you didn’t know already, these three cars are pretty closely related – sharing the same underpinnings and many parts.
So, really, it’s down to which badge you want.
All three are great little city cars – small, nimble, light and easy to drive – making them ideal for first-time buyers of course.
They’re offered with lively little engines that are great for nipping about and they have plenty of personalisation options inside and out for those looking to make their first car stand out.
And they can all be had on attractive finance deals.
The C1 can be found from as little as £109 per month, while both Toyota’s and Peugeot’s deals start at around £129.
To buy outright, the starts from £8,570, while the Aygo and 108 are both from £8,995.
VW up!/Skoda Citigo/SEAT Mii
Another trio that are all tough to tell apart at a glance.
They are all part of the Volkswagen Group, of course, sharing the same platform and many parts.
And they’re all great little cars, offering a fun, economical package that will suit first-timers down to the ground.
Unless you’re craving the VW badge we’d recommend the bargain that is the Skoda, but the truth is any of three will serve you well so it’s down to your own preference.
The VW starts at £9,135 outright, while the SEAT is £9,795 and the Skoda £8,635.
Monthly deals can be had from £105 on the up!, £149 on the Mii and £119 on the Citigo.
A bit of Frenchness is hard to resist – and the Twingo has it in spades.
It existed in France for many years before finally making a break in the UK in this carnation.
It’s cute, fun to drive and different – not least because of its unusual rear-wheel-drive, rear-engined setup.
It’s good-looking, bearing more than a passing resemblance to a Fiat 500, and is a five-door dressed up as a three-door, sharing the bigger Clio’s hidden handles.
The rear-drive, rear-engine configuration means that the handling takes a bit of getting used to – you have to remember where the weight is.
The front end feels lighter than usual, as you’d imagine, but get the hang of it and it’s good fun.
The interior is fun and individual and the engines are lively and frugal.
You can buy it outright from £9,995 and there are monthly deals starting from around £129.
If ever there was a go-to car for first-timers, the Vauxhall Corsa is it.
Chances are you might have even learnt to drive in one – they’ve always been a favourite of driving schools.
And the other appeal is that Vauxhall often has great finance offers going.
At the moment, for example, you can currently have one for £185 a month.
The other good news is that the Corsa has come on in leaps and bounds over the previous generation.
The latest Corsa is now nearly three years in to what is probably going to be an eight-year lifespan if previous experience is anything to go by.
The interior is much better than before, with quality materials and switchgear and a nice touch screen infotainment system.
There are lively and efficient engines to be had as well.
If you want to buy one outright, prices start from £10,635.