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Browse a selection of suitable first and learner cars from rated and reviewed dealers

Best first cars

First cars should be cheap to run and easy to drive, but that doesn’t mean boring. This list of best first cars will help you find an ideal first car if you’ve just passed your driving test.

Best cars for learner drivers

A car for a learner driver should be above all stress-free and easy to drive, but should also be cheap and safe. If you’re 17 years old, picking from one of the 500+ models on sale can be overwhelming so below you’ll find the five best cars for learner drivers as picked by our car experts.

Best cheap first cars

The cost of simply buying a car isn’t the only concern for young motorists - another is insurance, which is continuing to rise year-on-year. However, we’ve grouped together the best cars in the lowest insurance groups for you. Naturally, they also cost peanuts to run.

Safest first cars

If you're learning to drive or recently passed your test, you'll want to have the peace of mind that the car you or your loved ones are driving is safe. Here are five that come with five-star crash test ratings.

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More advice to help choose your first car

Frequently asked questions about first cars

There are a number of factors that combine to make a good first car. Firstly a good first car should be easy to drive, so the new driver feels confident and comfortable behind the wheel.

You should have a good view out, with controls that come close to hand so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road.

Cars with automatic gearboxes are the easiest to drive but if you learn to drive and pass your test in an automatic car then you can only ever drive an automatic car. You won’t be able to legally drive a car with a manual gearbox, which may restrict your choices years after you pass your test. So a good first car with a manual gearbox could be the way to go – and here, again, the gearshift should fall easy to hand and have clear movement so you don’t get lost between gears as you change.

If you are a 17 year old learning to drive then a good first car will be a car with a small engine. This will be cheaper to insure than more powerful cars and will be cheaper to fuel. If you are a parent buying a first car for a teenager you will want to be sure the car is safe as it can be. Look for the car’s Euro NCAP crash test result. Cars with a five-star score are the safest cars on sale.

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