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Best Budget Cars for First Time Drivers in the UK

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Passing your driving test can be an exciting and challenging time. You’re suddenly hit with incredible costs for more than just your new car, including insurance, fuel, and parking. All of this can add up so quickly that you may even consider looking into short-term small loans to cover these initial starting costs. However, these should only be used for financial emergencies. Instead, try saving money by considering some of the best budget cars for first time drivers.

Ford KA

The Ford KA has a 1.2-litre engine that can get up to 55 miles per gallon, making this a cost-effective car to drive no matter the distance. The new model even comes with Auto Start-Stop, a feature that means your car will shut off when waiting in traffic without having to be restarted manually when you start to move.


2018 Volkswagen Polo SE 1.0

Photo: Vauxford

Volkswagen Polo

Starting at around £16,300 for a new model, it is on the higher end of affordability, but with available finance options, you can be sure that you are getting the reliability and luxury you need. With amazing gas mileage as well as enough space regardless of your daily errands, this is a great option.


Fiat Panda

Another strong choice when looking to pick a car is the Fiat Panda. Its small, compact design makes it easy to move and the 1.2-litre petrol engine makes for exceptional mileage. What’s more, with cheap insurance, this is the perfect car for a first-time driver to get where they need to go.


2018 Kia Picanto 3 Automatic 1.2

Photo: Vauxford

Kia Picanto

The Kia Picanto is a definite favorite for those who want style, comfort, and drivability. With 56.5 miles to the gallon on average, a 1.2-litre petrol engine, and the choice of an automatic or manual transmission, there’s an option to suit any driving style.


Citroën C1 PureTech 82 Airscape Feel Edition

Photo: M 93

Citroen C1

Another smaller car on this list, the Citroen C1 is the perfect combination of everything that a first-time driver needs. Not only does it have outstanding mileage but it also has a large amount of trunk space while five seats make transporting your friends around easy. The maneuverability of the C1 makes this a fantastic car for those with a busy lifestyle, particularly in the city.

It can be difficult to find the right car that works for your budget when adding in costs like insurance, tax, fuel, and overall maintenance. It’s important to ensure you do your research to find the car that ticks all the boxes.


This is a collaborative article.