One for the road: A starter car for the first-time buyer

 

Emily Stephens is 22 and wants to buy her first car. She is baffled by the situation and doesn't understand the difference between makes, models and engine sizes. All she knows is that she wants an economical car that will be good value. Though she has £8,000 to spend, Emily would prefer to spend below £5,000.

A car for the head

When choosing a first car, especially in the current climate, it would be possible to fill up most of this magazine with advice about what to pick.

First Emily has to check out her status as regards insurance: young drivers attract the biggest risk and therefore the largest premiums.

Recently, confused.com averaged the first-year premium at £4,000. Essentially, she needs a car that slots into the lowest insurance group and is regarded as the cheapest to fix. In that case it would have to be the Ford Ka.

Here is a basic little hatchback, which is not quick enough to get most young drivers into trouble, but the handling is safe and secure and it comes at the very least with anti-lock brakes and a driver's airbag.

Emily can buy a basic 2004 Ka 1.3i for just £2,000 with 36,000 miles, including a warranty and enough change to join a recovery service.

A car for the heart

Emily just needs the cheapest car possible that will be the cheapest to insure. So if the Ford Ka isn't to her liking, there are plenty of other small-hatchback alternatives. Perhaps she would prefer something a bit more contemporary but just as safe, slow and insurance premium-friendly.

Well, the obvious choice is the Citroën C1 . It comes with a small 1.0 litre engine and should be purchased in three-door Vibe specification for the cheapest insurance quotation. In many ways the C1 is an update of the Ka with an agreeably funky exterior and interior. It is incredibly cheap to run, the engine returns around 60mpg and the insurance group is 1.

Servicing is cheap and it would be simple enough for Emily to do weekly checks of the fluids and tyre pressures, which is a great way of avoiding trouble. With £3,000 to spend, a 2006 Vibe with around 60,000 miles from a dealer with a warranty will be easy to find and give Emily peace of mind. She must remember, though, to shop around for a competitive insurance quote.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

    £40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

    Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

    £26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

    £17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

    Day In a Page

    Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

    ‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

    Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

    ... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
    12 best olive oils

    Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

    Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
    Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?