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Best cars for students of 2024

With the cost of living crisis putting students off living away from home, as well as the number of places for them to stay not keeping up with demand, many students now commute to their place of study.

If you’re looking to save money, it’s a fantastic option, because you can pick up a tidy motor for less than the cost of a year’s rent. With the average cost of student accommodation equalling more than £5,000 per school year, we’ve put together a bunch of cars available for less than that.

We've selected cars that are affordable to buy, economical with fuel, and offer decent passenger space in a relatively small footprint, as parking around colleges and in university towns is often in short supply.

Some of these cars are also available with low-cost leasing options, so even accounting for the up-front payment, will get you in a brand-new car for less than a room in student halls.

Dacia Sandero

1. Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero review
Hyundai i10

2. Hyundai i10

Hyundai i10 review
SEAT Ibiza

3. SEAT Ibiza

SEAT Ibiza review

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Volkswagen Polo

4. Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo review
Ford Fiesta

5. Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta review
MINI 3-Door Hatch

6. Mini 3-Door Hatch

MINI 3-Door Hatch review
Nissan Leaf

7. Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf review
Battery range up to 239 miles
Toyota Yaris Hybrid

8. Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris Hybrid review
Vauxhall Corsa

9. Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa review
Citroen C3

10. Citroen C3

Citroen C3 review

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Cars for students FAQs

As one of the newer models on our rundown, the Hyundai i10 should be a safe bet, not least because it gets an impressive five-year warranty. You could also consider the Toyota Yaris, though this only comes as a hybrid in newer models. That makes it pricier to buy or lease, but you will have low running costs.

The SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo are great options, with 355 litres and 351 litres of boot space respectively. If you really need the space, though, the Skoda Fabia offers 380 litres

This will come down as much to trim level and engine rather than the model of car, as well as the driver's age, sex, location and history; all of the cars in this list are available in guises that should make insurance as affordable as possible, even for relatively posh cars like the Volkswagen Polo. Check out our list of the cheapest cars to insure for more information.