OK, so the whole team read Vicki Butler-Henderson’s recent top 20 list on MSN cars. The list was of the Top 20 Used Cars under £5,000(specifically for a 17 year old buying their first car), and you can read it here if you so wish.
It has to be said that we weren’t all that impressed with what we read. After all, the list was, quite frankly, absurd. What 17 year old on a budget do you know who would be able to afford the insurance on an Audi A8. Ridiculous, eh?! If that is silly, then some of the other additions to the list may also get you pretty riled up – Vicki has thrown in a Rolls-Royce, a Subaru Impreza, and a Lotus Elan. Um… yeah right.
Being that there was rather a lot of irritation flying about the office at this terrible list, we thought we would give it a go ourselves, and pick our top budget cars for new drivers. You know, ones they can actually afford to drive, and which will do the trip to school without needing to be refuelled three times.
It isn’t flash. It isn’t fancy. What it is is a nice looking and functional car that is pretty damn reliable. Even better, it is affordable, and the older versions often have a better spec than the newer ones. A 2003 or 2004 model is probably the best bet, and you will definitely have change left from your 5k if you shop around!
This car holds a lot of important memories in my life, being that it was my best friend’s first car. The sports versions are probably available secondhand under 5k too, although I’d like to see you afford this boy racer car on a low insurance budget! It is fun, cheap and sporty though – and you can actually sleep in the back if your tent breaks ona storm Cornish night!
The classic, and it has to go on the list. OK, so the old school mini has to be put away for winter and will break if you so much as look at in the wrong way, but it is also a lesson in labours of love and car maintenance!
Not a typical choice, as most first cars seem to be compact little hatchbacks. However, an Escort saloon is a damn good and damn cheap car, not to mention with a pretty meaty engine and some unmatched aggression.
What a car! Forget the fact that Corsas apparently crumple on impact, and we have a perfect first car. The SXi part makes it cool, nippy and sporty, whilst the Corsa itself is cheap both to run and to buy. Probably the nation’s favourite, although I have just completely made that stat up.
A quirky choice, but these are pretty cheap now., To save you the bills I would opt for the newer release, but whichever you opt for this is going to be a fun yet function addition to the family. Plus, girls will love you for it if this is the first car they get bought!
OK, so these aren’t perhaps the most fashionable cars in the world. However, they are a great choice for performance and reliability, and they are also quite smart and compact. The only problem is going to be getting hold of parts – but if you look after the car this hopefully won’t be too much of a problem, and it does make it cheaper to buy!
One for the boys, the Civic is sporty and fast. Insurance is higher, but not sky high like it would be for Vicki’s option of a TVR! The older versions are suitable for a first car, but the new ones (which you won’t get for under 5k anyway) are far too big if we are being realistic.
Forget secondhand cars, you could probably buy this one new if you wanted to! This makes this probably the best value for money in the list, and at the same time it isn’t a cringworthingly awful car either. Might be a good compromise between the parents and the teenager!
I love this car, and had to include it as a fun alternative. The bubble like shape is cute, and although the performance isn’t brilliant, a first time driver is unlikely to really notice! It is cheap too, meaning you could get a reasonably newish version with your cash.
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