Getting on the road – new cars for new drivers

New drivers can be somewhat restricted in their initial choice of first car, as the cost of insurance for anything too fast ‘n’ flash may well put some cars out of reach. For the first car and the first few years of motoring, it’s probably a better idea to go for something small, chic, safe and frugal. Here are some ideas for inspiration.

The Citroen C1

The C1 is Citroen’s best-selling car, even after all these years on sale and second hand models can offer great value for money at places like Car Shop. The concept of a very small car with a small and frugal engine – aimed at good value city motoring – is entirely familiar to us now, but when the Citroen C1 first came out into the new car market several years ago, it was a small and cheeky chunk of forward thinking by the famously chic French motoring brand.

A 1-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine has enough pep to power the C1 along at reasonable speeds and if you drive it with one eye on the frugal side of things it will return you some very good fuel economy. And that’s so important for the less well-heeled first time motorist out there.

Citroen C1

Citroen C1

The C1 is available as a 3-door or a 5-door which makes it an easy choice for young families, and while the interior is very well laid out and can accommodate up to five passengers as a bit of a squeeze, the boot is rather small. However, pack your cases and the car carefully and you’ll be surprised as to how much the little C1 can carry.

It’s good fun to drive too with its light weight and peppy engine making for quite quick and easy progress when the car is lightly packed, while its wheel-at-each-corner chassis design makes for go-kart-like handling. The engine makes a great noise, too.

The Peugeot 107

If perhaps your French car-making brand allegiance connects you to Peugeot rather than Citroen, but you are still rather taken with the style and frugal nature of the Citroen C1, fear not, Peugeot make exactly the same car, but with a lion badge on the front rather than the Citroen chevrons.

The Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1 were built by partnership of both companies, with each brand bringing many years of small car making experience and frugal engine knowhow to their cheeky little city car models.

Peugeot 107

Peugeot 107

If you are in the market for a new small city car but don’t really mind who built it, then it’s worth visiting both the Peugeot and Citroen dealerships to see which one can offer you the very best deal on their smallest and best-selling cars. Vehicle financing and even free insurance may also be offered by these dealers, so there are definitely good deals to be had on these excellent little cars.

VW up!

Silly name aside, the new VW up! is the latest generation of super-frugal city car that’ll beat even the miserly C1 and 107 on fuel economy. It is, however, as a brand new model with a VW badge on the front, more expensive than the similar sized cars from Citroen and Peugeot.

VW Up!

VW Up!

Perhaps a little more refined and modern inside and, of course, packing all the safety devices and latest tech that VW can offer, if you want a nippy little city car and perhaps one with a few more of life’s little luxuries – and you’re prepared to pay for it – the new VW up! models are the small car of choice.

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