Good first cars

Passing your driving test is one of the best feelings in the world – but the joy of finally getting your licence can quickly disappear when it comes to finding a car.

Astronomical insurance costs can put many models out of teenagers' reach, but don't despair too much – there are options out there!
You need to accept the fact that insurance is going to cost you more than the car, but you can help cut the price by taking a Pass Plus course or asking to be added to your parents' policy as named driver. That will mean talking to them first though...

If that sounds too challenging there are new insurance schemes that place a black box in your car to monitor your driving style and charge you accordingly – this can be a great way of cutting premiums.

But what cars make sensible buys? Here, Autoblog has scoured the classifieds to hunt down a few options you may want to consider.

Ford Ka – from £300
Cheap to buy, run and fix and there's thousands on the road to choose from. Even models with air conditioning and CD players can be had for under a grand, but keep an eye out for rust under the sills, behind the bumpers and around the fuel filler cap. And buy the latest one you can afford.

Fiat Cinquecento – from £400
Made famous by TV show The Inbetweeners, this little city car wasn't Simon's Dad's motor of choice without good reason. It's extremely cheap to run and insurance won't be too painful either. Don't expect much in the way of equipment and remember these Fiats can be a little unreliable, so budget for repairs.

Citroen C1 – from £2,700
This Citroen is the sister car of the Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo – not much changes apart from the badge. It's good to drive and being relatively new it's one of the safest options. However, insurance will be a bit more expensive than others and you'll be hard pressed to find one with air con. Fuel economy will make up for the lack of equipment, but they are still pricey.

Toyota Yaris – from £750
One of the most bulletproof models here, if you want to avoid running repairs a Yaris is a sensible choice. They're roomy inside and if you can stretch to a diesel variant trips to fuel stations will be relatively infrequent. Insurance costs are surprisingly affordable and it's a safe option, but prices can reflect that.

Peugeot 106 – from £300
They can be picked up for next to nothing and with a choice of engines and trims to suit most budgets, a 106 is a tempting option. Most are a bit basic, but they're entertaining to drive and reasonably affordable to insure. However, they're not known for their reliability so try and buy one with service history and get it checked over before handing over your cash.
And finally, a couple of tips if you're buying your first car: Always take someone with you who knows what they're looking at even – and don't laugh – if that means your parents. Get the car checked over by a mechanic too – it's often worth half an hour's labour in a garage to save you big bills. And for more expensive cars get an HPI check to ensure it's not stolen (ask your gran to pay for it).

Happy hunting!
Read Full Story