7 Best Cars for First Time Drivers in 2020

By Sandyford Motor Centre Jan 10, 2020

If you have come across this blog, it seems sure that you have a big decision to make about a big purchase and investment; your first car! This is an exciting time; a milestone moment in your life that has been a long time coming! Theory examinations, hours upon hours of driving lessons and driving test/s have been completed and now; you’re a fully licenced driver looking to get a good first car. Buying your first car, or (if you’re fortunate enough) having your parents buy it for you, can be very exciting but quite difficult too. This is due to the vast array of starter cars to choose from. Don't know where to start looking for the best car for a first time driver? Don’t worry, that’s where Sandyford Motor Centre come in.

First off It is easy to get swept up by swanky features and the trendiest models when looking for a good first car. Remember however, this is your first car, so it needs to be: affordable, functional, safe and simple to drive. Be mindful to remember this when choosing!

Be sure to take into account the cost of running a car as well as just the price of the vehicle itself. There’s a pesky little thing called insurance that every car owner understands the struggle of, and it can often cost you a fortune when you’re a new driver. Insurance cost will decrease as time goes by and you successfully avoid accidents and become a more experienced driver, but for now it's wise to choose a car that has a low insurance group rating (will be insured for less). Factors such as car size, car age and likelihood of theft are what insurance companies will look at in relation to your vehicle to determine the cost of insurance. This means you should perhaps avoid flashy Mercedes to be your first car! New cars are best for first time drivers. If you can swing a new car over a used car, it will end up rewarding you with lower insurance rates; since new cars are less worn, less damaged and essentially safer.

We have made a list of the top 7 best cars for first time drivers according to our experts. They are small, sturdy, affordable and insurance friendly (as friendly as it gets anyway).


1. Peugeot 108 - From €14,480

The Peugeot is always one of the best first cars you can ask for no matter the model. The Peugeot 108 is affordable, and second it has a small compact urban design which makes it ideal for lower insurance prices and easier handling. This supermini is optimal for easier parking with a camera for reverse parking making it safe as well as stylish. Check out our brand new 201 Peugeot 108.


2. Peugeot 208 - From €18,300

The Peugeot 208 has all the same feats as the 108 and more, as well as being a more modern and fashionable model. It has plenty of safety specs to make new drivers feel secure; park assist & reverse camera, 6 airbags and the ESP control system. The 208 received a 5 star Euro NCAP rating which proves the quality of safety as a good car for first time drivers. The design is bigger and ideal for people who need more space for travelling or for sheer comfort. 

Peugeot has a wide range of great cars but what gives them a unique selling point is their “Just Add Fuel Telematics” package. If you don't want to think about all the many additional costs of running a car post purchase, Peugeot has the solution for you. This Just Add Fuel package looks after everything for you and kindly includes all necessary bills such as insurance, 3 year warranty, road tax and maintenance, all in one monthly billing. The Peugeot 108 and Peugeot 208 are both economical, comfortable cars that are attractive yet affordable as a car for first time driver. Peugeot have also just announced new pricing for the brand new 208, and the up-and-coming battery-powered e-208. 


3. Mazda 2 - From €19,755

The Mazda 2 is a fashionable and safe supermini. More on the pricier end, this model is certainly worth the money with some amazing specs such as easy smartphone connectivity and a handy 7 inch central touchscreen. What makes this a good first car is it’s built in safety features such as it’s rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, smart city brake support and hill hold assist. Feel safe and stylish with a Mazda 2 as your first car..

4. Skoda Citigo

There's a reason this model is a beloved and well esteemed car. The Citigo practically has a reputation for being a great car for first time drivers, mainly due to how cheap it is to buy and to run. Skoda are also generally known as a reliable and sturdy brand of car so that’s already a bargaining chip. The Citigo is known as one of the cheapest cars to insure also, which is an ideal attribute of a starter car. Looking for a car that has value for money, are sensible and economical? The Skoda Citigo is the car for you.


5. Kia Picanto 

This car is quite the all round comprehensive vehicle, it's got the youth appeal due to looking sporty, fun and preppy, while also being a highly recommended reliable car for new drivers. It has the added bonus of including a 7 year warranty which gives it that extra bargaining chip. It's affordable to run with its low insurance group rating and definitely a contender for the best first car to buy in Ireland.


6. Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo is a household name much like the Ford Fiesta. They have a wide range of engines but we’d suggest going for the 1.0 litres when picking a good first car. The Polos is a great all encompassing car that's reliable and spacious. The newer models also have a sense of fashion about them, being wider, sportier and looking better than ever while still being safe and economical.


7. Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is a world renowned vehicle and often one of the top selling. It's been this way since forever and many have owned one in their time. Everyone speaks fondly of the Fiesta and it’s many safety specs, making it a sound choice. Parents rave for this car because of the super handy MyKey system where you can actually set a maximum speed limit on the car to obstruct speeding. With 7 airbags, low fuel consumption in diesel models, precise steering and easy handling the Ford Fiesta is undoubtedly one of the best cars for first time drivers.

Now that we have narrowed down the options to some degree, drop in to us at Sandyford Motor Centre to discuss what is the best starter car for your situation. Our staff are always happy to help; making further suggestions and show some of our most new driver friendly cars, even take a few cars for a test drive to see which feels best for you!  Call us on 01 206 9200 or email for more. We wish you all the best in finding the best first car for you.

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