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Best first cars for all budgets

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

-Under £500

The Mini hatch is a great cheap car as it is very nippy (with a 0-60 time of around 9 seconds) about the same as a modern day VW UP! GTI. As Mini is owned by BMW, you can expect parts from other BMW's-the suspension is from BMW Z-division. The interior is rather similar as today too with its signature circular design and leather seats. If you're prepared to pay more you may find one with a panoramic roof. It's retro styling may be controversial but other rivals such as the Ford KA and VW beetle are too. What may put you off is the practicality. The rear seats are small and so is the boot. But there is also a similar problem with its rivals. On the whole, the driving pleasure makes it win above its rivals which cars in a much higher price range can't match

One I found:

Category N with 49,000 miles and £500

-Under £1000

The VW Golf is also a great first car as it is a solid, reliable and easy to maintain. There are various engines for the 1998-2004 models, most commonly the 1.6 TDI and 1.4 petrol. It is also vastly practical as it has a square design unlike the Ford Focus-a key rival. It also emphasis comfort more than rivals such as the Vauxhall Astra and again the ford focus. However, the emphasis on comfort does mean it doesn't handle as well as the Ford.

One I found:

2002 1.4 petrol with 80,000 miles and £999

-Under £3000

The Alfa Romeo Mito would be my choice of car for under £3000, despite what other reviewers may think because it trades practicality and all other aspects which are ultimately a bit dull, for driving experience and looks. The design is retro and seems as if it is a modern take on a predecessor like the Fiat 500 or VW beetle. The interior, despite not having the best build quality is very stylish with brushed steel effects, it is especially stylish if it has optional leather seats in upper trims. It also holds onto its value well too. On the other hand, it has a rather high insurance group (around 20) but overall I believe it is worthy of being on this list.

One I found:

2010 1.4 petrol with 50,000 miles and £2,995

-New car

The Dacia Sandero was Britain's cheapest car because it was poorly equipped and generally cheap. However, these days on this Renault Clio based Sandero it has a load of equipment and infotainment upgrades. On the 8 inch touchscreen (Available in comfort trim) , there is apple car play and android auto so all apps on your phone can be shown on screen. This means that you can have google maps up which is better than the class leading Mercedes-Benz and BMW systems. It is also very practical with a boot space of 328l-132l more than the Citroen C1 rival. Overall, it is a great first car and once a year old there should be a decent decrease in price.


Entry level access trim is £7,995 and comfort trim is £11,995

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