We all know students’ budgets are tight, but there are some great small cars out there that are cheap to buy, cheap to run and – crucially – cheap to insure. An easy driving experience is also a must because prospective owners might have only recently passed their driving test.
Here are the best small cars for students on sale right now. Check out carwow’s great savings using our car deals page. For more options, read our list of the cheapest cars to insure and out best cars for learner and new drivers.
1. Skoda Citigo
The majority of the low and mid-level trims for the Skoda Citigo fit into group one insurance, making it an affordable car to run for students. It’s cheaper than the closely related VW Up, comes with the same generous amount of equipment and impressive interior space – including a 251-litre boot.
It looks quirky and has a solid-feeling interior. On the road, the Citigo is easy to drive and its small dimensions mean parking should be a breeze. Plus, it’s a Skoda, so reliability should be rock solid too. In SE trim with a peppy 1.0-litre petrol engine, the car will be priced at a little more than £9,500.
2. Dacia Sandero
The Dacia Sandero is the cheapest new car you can buy and all trim and engine models fit in insurance group two, meaning it’s inexpensive to buy and run. Despite its price, the five-door Sandero is a spacious supermini with more than enough room for four people and a 320-litre boot.
The Sandero is an easy car to drive – important for a student – and has a relatively comfortable ride as well. Being priced at just less than £6,000 for the basic model, the Sandero doesn’t get lots of standard equipment and higher trim levels will increase the price. For the space on offer, it’s a lot of car for the money.
3. Skoda Fabia
The Skoda Fabia is a smart and practical supermini. The 1.0-litre petrol version in basic S trim fits in insurance group two and is priced at £10,750. It feels good to drive and is easy to get to grips with, while the ride is comfortable and has a five-star Euro NCAP rating.
Standard equipment is generous even in entry-level trim and the whole car feels well-built inside and out, while Skoda’s reliability is reputedly strong. There’s a vast amount of interior space for the car’s small dimensions, seating four comfortably. Its 330-litre boot is more than big enough to drag gear between halls, too.
4. Vauxhall Corsa
The Vauxhall Corsa with a 1.2-litre petrol engine in Life and Sting trims, as well as the 1.4-litre petrol in the latter model, all fit in insurance group two. The five-door model is obviously the most practical option, giving easy access to the generous cabin, but the three-door is a little cheaper.
There’s a good amount of standard equipment, even in lower trim levels, and it’s one of the most handsome small cars on sale. Its 285-litre boot is generous too. The Corsa is fun to drive and the small dimensions mean it’s easy to park too. Basic models are priced at more than £10,000.
5. Hyundai i10
The Hyundai i10 is a spacious and practical small car that’ll comfortably seat four people even on long journeys. Its 252-litre boot is good enough for large food shops or weekend road trips, while equipment levels are extensive and it comes with the Korean brand’s five-year warranty.
On the road, the i10 is relaxing and stable while its comfortable ride will be welcome on long journeys. With a four-star Euro NCAP rating, the i10 is fairly safe, too. It’s not the most stylish car but almost all trims with the 1.0-litre petrol fit in insurance group one. Basic models are priced at less than £9,000.
6. Ford Ka+
The Ford Ka+ is a great value supermini, with a good amount of space for the money. It’ll comfortably seat four or five at a squeeze and the 270-litre boot rivals those in the class above. The interior isn’t quite as well-built as some rivals, but it’s decently equipped in all trims.
Driving wise, the Ka+ features fun handling and is incredibly easy to drive – perfect for those who recently passed their tests. It’s also a very cheap car to buy and run, with the 1.2-litre petrol engine in Studio trim fitting into insurance group one priced at £8,995.
7. Renault Twingo
The Renault Twingo is a stylish city car, with an unusual rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout that gives it surprisingly good passenger space. The cute Twingo has a tiny turning circle, meaning parking will be easy along with nipping in and out of traffic.
Boot space is somewhat taken up by the engine and it only has a four-star safety rating, when many rivals have five, but the Twingo is still a good value and attractive little car. The 1.0-litre petrol engine in Expression trim fits into insurance group two, priced at £9,545.
8. Peugeot Partner Tepee
Compared to the other cars on this list, the Peugeot Partner Tepee offers up a vast amount of space and practicality. The 1.6-litre petrol in Active trim comes in insurance group two, so it’s cheap to run and is priced at £15,815.
The Partner Tepee may not be the most stylish option for a student, but there’s loads of interior space and a 675-litre boot. For its size, the Partner Tepee is quite pleasant to drive and there’s a decent amount of standard equipment.
9. Toyota Yaris
The Toyota Yaris with a 1.0-litre petrol engine in Active or Icon trim falls under insurance group two, with the car being cheap to run and fairly inexpensive to buy compared to its rivals. The cheapest Yaris on sale, in three-door Active trim, is priced at £10,995 and comes with all the basic standard equipment you’d expect from a small car.
Passenger space is impressive and there’s a generous 286-litre boot, which is at the top end of the class. It’s a striking looking car with a solid interior. On the road, it’s not the most fun car to drive but it’s easy and nimble enough. Plus, it’s a Toyota, so reliability will be a strong point.
10. Fiat Qubo
The Fiat Qubo offers a huge amount of space for a very small price. Like the Partner Tepee, it’s not the most obvious car for a student, but cheap running costs and a roomy interior – comfortably seating four – make it a strong alternative to smaller and similarly priced superminis.
There’s a vast boot and a decent amount of standard equipment on all trim levels. Its quirky looks set it apart from more bland mini-MPVs and the Qubo is easy to drive. With the 1.4-litre petrol engine in Pop trim, the car fits into insurance group two and is priced at an attractive £11,695.
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