Good First Cars for 17 Year Olds

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Good First Cars for 17 Year Olds

First published on: December 4, 2023

Looking for a good first car for a 17 year old? Well, selecting the first car is an exciting milestone for teenagers. It is their first step towards independence, freedom and responsibility. However, with so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming and confusing to choose the right car that fits both needs and budget.

That’s why, we have compiled a list of the best cars that are both easy to drive and affordable to insure for teenagers. Most of these cars fall into the cheapest (Group 1) insurance category. However, cheap insurance is not the only factor considered for this list.

All the cars included here have other great features as well.  So, let’s take a look.

Good First Cars for 17 Year Olds

Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo certainly merits the top spot on our list. Falling into an affordable insurance category, the Polo is a cost-conscious choice, particularly when opting for the basic 65PS petrol engine.

Despite its compact exterior, the Polo surprises with a spacious interior that comfortably accommodates four adults and a reasonable amount of luggage.

The Polo stands out for its build quality, on par with larger models, and its impressive infotainment screen, once a feature reserved only for luxury cars.

Its performance is steady, if not fast, maintaining a quiet ride at cruising speed, contributing to its economical running costs.

In terms of drivability, the Polo’s small size and light controls make it an easy-to-handle car, perfect for first-time drivers.

Notably, all Polos come standard with automatic emergency brakes, adding an extra layer of safety by helping to prevent low-speed frontal impacts.

Also Read: Can You Test-Drive a Car Without Insurance?

Hyundai i10

Hyundai i10

The Hyundai i10 is another subcompact car that consistently makes the `best cars for new drivers` lists. With its placement in insurance Group 1, it’s an exceptionally economical choice for 17-year-olds.

The i10 appeals with its cheeky looks and five-door practicality, making it an attractive option for young drivers. This car is not only easy on the pocket in terms of running costs but also boasts a modern interior that would impress any teenager.

The i10 is designed with light controls and a tight turning circle, making it easy to handle, especially for new drivers.

Despite its compact size, the i10 offers a surprisingly comfortable ride, with cleverly utilised space that can comfortably accommodate four adults. There’s even ample room for shopping bags in the boot, making it a practical choice for those weekend outings or trips to the supermarket.

All in all, it’s a solid first car that manages to blend cost-effectiveness, style, and practicality in a neat package.

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Ford Fiesta

for fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is a fantastic choice for those who are willing to pay a little extra for insurance. It falls into a Group 2 insurance category, slightly more expensive than the options mentioned above.

However, if you opt for the Style model equipped with Ford’s 70PS 1.1-litre petrol engine, you will likely benefit from the most affordable insurance.

The Fiesta’s exterior design is eye-catching, while its interior boasts a smart and modern layout. It offers ample space for taller adults, surpassed only by the Volkswagen Polo in this list. However, what sets the Fiesta apart is its exhilarating driving experience. It feels sharp and agile in bends, showcasing impressive grip and handling.

Driving the Fiesta is genuinely enjoyable, a sentiment that cannot be said for all cars in low insurance groups. Despite its slightly higher insurance group, its cost-effectiveness in other areas, aesthetic appeal, space, and notably, its driving dynamics, make the Ford Fiesta a highly recommendable first car for 17-year-olds.

Volkswagen Up

Volkswagen UP

The Volkswagen Up is a fantastic contender for a first car, often viewed as a bit smaller version of the Polo. Opting for the Up’s least powerful 60PS engine will ensure the cheapest insurance.

It is inexpensive to run, and its reliability is backed by parts sharing across the Volkswagen Audi Group.

The Up is equipped with a smart infotainment solution. An app allows you to use your phone as an infotainment screen, and Volkswagen provides a phone holder on the dashboard. This innovative feature adds a modern touch to the driving experience.

The car’s interior is surprisingly spacious. There’s enough room for four adults to sit comfortably, and the boot is well-shaped, with a useful adjustable floor for hiding valuables.

The Volkswagen Up is also available as an all-electric model – the e-Up, expanding its appeal to those looking for an eco-friendly option.

Related: Black Box Car Insurance Pros and Cons

Toyota Aygo

Toyota Aygo

Aygo’s greatest selling point is undoubtedly the fact that it’s a Toyota.

Despite its small size, the Aygo surprises with its spaciousness. It comfortably accommodates four adults, and while the boot isn’t vast, its thoughtful design makes the most of the available space.

The car’s narrow body is an added advantage, allowing easy manoeuvrability through tight spaces, a feature new drivers will particularly appreciate.

The Aygo isn’t a speedster, but its 72PS petrol engine delivers adequate performance for city driving.

The basic version of the Aygo falls into lower insurance groups, offering a cost-effective solution for young drivers.

However, do note that opting for the higher-end options also brings the perk of a well-equipped infotainment system, complete with Android Auto and Apple Carplay.

Citroen C1

Citroen C1

The Citroen C1 is a highly dependable vehicle, a result of packing some of the most reliable, tried-and-tested parts on the market. The C1 shares many components with the Toyota Aygo – they’re practically siblings, although the C1 comes with a slightly more modest price tag. This cost advantage frees up some cash which could be beneficial for your insurance expenses.

The car’s interior offers a comfortable space, both in front and back seats. There’s also a manageable boot space that can easily fit in a few shopping bags.

The C1 doesn’t skimp on technology either, as all models, barring the most basic one, come equipped with a seven-inch infotainment screen, compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

While you’re zipping around town, you’ll appreciate the C1’s responsive steering and diminutive size, making it exceedingly nimble in urban environments.

Under the hood, the 72PS petrol engine delivers sufficient zip for city driving and is impressively economical to run. All these features, coupled with the car’s placement in the most affordable insurance group (Group 1), make the Citroen C1 a compelling choice for a first car.

Also Read: What To Do If You Break Down on The Motorway?

Skoda Citigo

Skoda Citigo

Citigo is known for its chiselled looks and chunky body that gives this tiny titan a substantial appearance. The Monte Carlo models, in particular, resemble hot hatches but with the added bonus of lower running costs.

Inside, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the spaciousness. There’s plenty of room for both front and back passengers to sit comfortably, a rarity in this segment.

To sweeten the deal, the Citigo even offers a relatively large boot, so your shopping trips or weekend getaways are taken care of.

But what really sets the Skoda Citigo apart from its rivals is the interior quality for the price. The materials used and the finish scream premium, making every ride an enjoyable experience.

The lightweight 60PS model is quick off the mark and nimble in town, making it an absolute breeze to navigate through those tight city streets.

However, one word of caution; the Citigo might not be the best choice if fast motorway overtakes are your thing. But, it’s relatively quiet during cruises, ensuring a peaceful ride.

Selling Your Current Car?

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Rounding out the VW Group’s compact trilogy is the SEAT Mii, which confidently holds its own alongside its siblings, the Volkswagen Up and the Skoda Citigo.

The Mii offers ample space for four adults, ensuring a comfortable ride without compromising on performance.

Sure, the interior might seem a notch below the Up’s, but the differences are hardly deal-breakers.

In fact, the Mii has a charm of its own, boasting a roomy boot that belies its compact size.

What really gives the Mii an edge is its economical pricing, especially when you consider the agile handling of the 60PS model, perfect for zipping around those tight corners.

But the Mii is more than just urban-friendly, it provides a serene cruising experience, offering stability that is commendable for a car this size.

Peugeot 108

Peugeot 108

Peugeot 108, a city car that ticks all the right boxes. It’s a smart-looking ride that shares many of its parts with the Toyota Aygo, which means you’re in good company.

You’ll be chuffed to know that it’s cheap to run and even qualifies for Group 1 insurance.

Under the bonnet, you’ll find a 72PS petrol engine that feels surprisingly eager at these speeds.

Inside, there’s room for four, plus a reasonable number of smaller storage areas for all your bits and bobs. Pop open the boot, and you’ll find there’s enough space for a few bags of shopping.

As for the tech, you can count on an infotainment screen, as long as you avoid the basic model.

Also Read: What will Help You to Keep Your Car Secure?

Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra

The Nissan Micra is seriously underrated. It’s ready to surprise you with its sharp styling and roomy interior. This small car, with its chic design, is not just a car you’d learn to drive in – it’s a car you’d genuinely want to own!

Larger than your typical city car, the Micra boasts ample interior space, comfortably accommodating adults and providing a boot that can handle more than just a few shopping bags.

The smartly designed interior further accentuates its appeal.

The Micra excels on the road, particularly during long drives. With its quiet cabin and suspension that effortlessly handles bumps, your journey is sure to be comfortable.

However, if you’re aiming for Group 1 insurance, you’d need to opt for a second-hand car fitted with the old 71PS petrol engine.

Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa is a versatile workhorse that checks a lot of boxes for first-time car owners.

One of its most notable features is its engine options – you have the choice between a 1.2-litre or a 1.4-litre engine, both offering a blend of performance and efficiency.

In terms of running costs, Its fuel efficiency and low maintenance requirements make it easy on your pocket, which is always a big plus.

Handling this car is incredibly easy, with smooth controls that make manoeuvring a breeze, and it earns high marks for reliability too.

Some models come with alloy wheels, a neat DAB digital radio, and privacy glass for a touch of sophistication. And if you’re into exclusivity, keep an eye out for models with the limited edition trim.

Fiat 500

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is like packing a retro-modern twist on the classic 1950s design. This compact, three-door car is affordable to run, with its wallet-friendly fuel economy and low insurance cost. However, taller adults beware as rear space might feel a bit of a squeeze.

Performance-wise, the Fiat 500 might not win any drag races, but it brings a certain charm to city cruising. You might notice a bit of road and wind noise on the motorway, and while it’s not the quickest off the mark, it compensates by making parking an absolute breeze.

The boot space isn’t its strongest suit, but it’s enough for a few shopping bags.

Final Thoughts

We hope our list of top picks has helped you narrow down your options. 

But ultimately the perfect first car is one that checks all your boxes and fits your budget. 

There are plenty of other great options out there. Make sure to do your research and consider all the factors before making a decision on your first car.

If you already own a car and want to switch to one of our recommended models, consider selling your car with us at ExchangeMyCar.

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