Best first car recommendations

Coldste Forumite Posts: 14
Fifth Anniversary First Post
edited 4 June at 5:24PM in Motoring
So I’m finally going to learn to drive embarrassingly at 30 years old, to motive me more I’m looking at getting a first car an automatic, nothing fancy just something to use day to day but must be petrol won’t be driving enough to get value from a diesel and electric isn’t worth it yet. However I don’t know where to begin because I hear different cars can either be expensive or cheaper than others especially when it comes to the insurance.

Are any of these cars cheap to run on insurance, MOT (if it fails) or needs something fixing in general, fuel don’t want something that’s going to be a gas guzzler. Road tax I can sort (tells you on auto trader). I’ve seen a few on auto trader, I’m looking at Vauxhall Astra’s and Corsa’s, Volkswagen Golf possibly Polo, Ford Focus, Fiesta, Nissan Qashqai.   
Me mum drives Vauxhall Mokka and insists I get one of them since their high up, yet I’m not really a big fan of them but feel like whatever car I get will have to please her

Heard mixed things in regards to these two cars, some places have said these two cars are great run around for a first car but are expensive insurance wise Mercedes-Benz A Class A45 or a BMW Series 1 

So can anyone recommend any decent first cars brands and models. My dad passed away from cancer in April and he wanted to leave us well provided for so he’s left us with more than enough to get a decent car with, however I’m only looking at going up to the £10k mark, at a push I could go to £11k (adding a thousand I have saved from my own money) if that helps


  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Forumite Posts: 12,075
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Small autos aren't something UK buyers buy many of and too many autoboxes are trash.

    If your budget stretches to one as a first car auto I'd have a Yaris Hybrid.  The problem is used prices are silly so there may not be much of a decent choice.
  • Car_54
    Car_54 Forumite Posts: 7,801
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    daveyjp said:
    Small autos aren't something UK buyers buy many of and too many autoboxes are trash.

    Do you have any evidence for either of those assertions?

    The first one certainly used to be true: now I'm not so sure.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Forumite Posts: 13,202
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    With the Mercedes and BMW, you are paying for the badge.

    I'd second the Toyota Yaris idea, or Auris if the budget will stretch.
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Forumite Posts: 7,518
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    You might consider an older car. There are some low milage Honda Civic 1.4 Automatics on Autotrader for less than £3,000.

    My neighbour has a 53 plate Civic that is in great condition and seems to be totally reliable. (Honda's were once abyword for reliability). One advantage to an older car is that you won't feel precious about the paintwork. It's not unusual for learner and new drivers to have the odd accident at the start of their driving career.

    I run a 2006 Ford Mondeo that cost £900 four years ago.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • Goudy
    Goudy Forumite Posts: 1,183
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    When you pass your test you will be a newly qualified driver with little experience, insurance on any car will be very high. 

    Cars for insurance purposes are grouped, generally the low the grouping the cheaper the insurance, so you will want to focus on the lower groups until you gain experience and hopefully a few years no claims discount on your insurance.

    The Yaris Hybrid is an excellent choice, but they are expensive compared to similar sized non hybrid hatchbacks.
    Your budget isn't going to go as far as you hoped with one of these.
    Though they tend to handle big mileages really well, but you will probably be looking at older, higher mileage cars.

    Another choice might be the Hyundai i10 automatic or it's sister car, the Kia Picanto automatic, both are in low insurance groups and should be pretty cheap to run.
    Both came will long manufacturer warranties as standard and your budget could get you into one with some warranty left on it or close to it's end.
    This means it's likely been kept in the dealer network for servicing to keep the warranty alive, which should mean it's been looked after fairly well.

    Although a lot of people have a opinion on the Corsa that might not be all good, they are a good choice in terms of insurance and are really cheap to run and repair, so insurance companies love them.

    They sold them by the millions, so it shouldn't be hard to find a good one well within your budget.

    As already mentioned, there are different types of automatic gearboxes and some don't drive well at all.
    Steer clear of anything described as an automated manual (like the Fiat 500) and Ford did have lots of trouble with what they called their Powershift (in certain Fiestas around your budget).
  • rikkib05
    rikkib05 Forumite Posts: 1
    First Post First Anniversary
    Seriously, forget the germans. You should be thinking Skoda, Seat, and the like. Cheaper to buy, run, maintain, and the same cars underneath, but without the badge premium you would have to pay.
    Personally, I would always advise learning and taking the test in a manual. That way you can drive either stick or auto, but that's obviously your prerogative. 
    Happy car hunting. 
  • rigolith
    rigolith Forumite Posts: 2,409
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    A Nissan Leaf is a good buy. They are cheap to run and reliable. Check the range is okay for you.
  • ididgetwhereiamtoday
    ididgetwhereiamtoday Forumite Posts: 111
    100 Posts First Anniversary
    rigolith said:
    A Nissan Leaf is a good buy. They are cheap to run and reliable. Check the range is okay for you.
    A good shout, a decent 24 KW leaf can be had for 7 or 8 grand, this may seem like a lot of money but in this day and age it's hard to find a decent car for less money. The Leaf is supremely comfortable and very easy to drive. Insurance will be on the higher side though but I think it will be worth it considering there will be no petrol to buy and servicing will be negligible. 
    You should expect a range of around 60 to 80 miles and you would need off street parking or a reliable local chademo charger.
  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Forumite Posts: 1,912
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Coldste said:
     must be petrol

    And OP it getting recommended electric!
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • ididgetwhereiamtoday
    ididgetwhereiamtoday Forumite Posts: 111
    100 Posts First Anniversary
    It’s good to think outside the box with alternatives. 
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