One for the road: A new driver's first purchase


Chloe Hudson has just passed her test and has saved up £5,000. What should she buy to buzz about in?

A car for the head

Insurance is an issue and one thing Chloe has to do is get plenty of quotes because there is such a variation between models. Ideally she needs something easy to live with and cheap to run. A Kia Picanto is a small and frugal little car which, with the 1.0-litre engine, will officially return 67.3mpg. Examples on sale for £5,000 have the balance of the manufacturer's warranty. A latest-shape 2011 model with just over 30,000 miles would be perfect for Chloe.

A car for the heart

Instead of the obvious practicality of the Kia, the sheer exuberance of the Renault Twingo (above) could have rather more appeal. It might not be as funky as the original but the engines are perky and the running costs marginal. Despite being quite small, it is possible to squeeze quite a lot inside. The 1.2-litre engine will manage 55.4mpg, according to the official statistics. Shop around at car supermarkets and you can find a 2011 1.2 Bizu model for £5,000. The mileage can be marginal, at below 10,000, and the condition pretty much as new.

Looking to buy?

Email James Ruppert at, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested, and your budget