Autedia is a credit broker, not a lender. We partner with CarFinance 247 Limited, a credit broker (not a lender), to help find you the best car finance deal for your circumstances from their wide panel of lenders.

Representative example: borrowing £6,500 over 5 years with a representative APR of 29.9%, an annual interest rate of 29.9% (Fixed) and a deposit of £0.00, the amount payable would be £196.34 per month, with a total cost of credit of £5,280.14 and a total amount payable of £11,780.14.

What should I look for in a first car?

Congratulations! Whether you’ve just passed your driving test or you’re ready to buy a car that’s just for you for the first time, buying your first car will typically be both exciting and a little daunting.

Your first car will likely be one of the biggest purchases you’ll make, whether you buy in cash or by taking out a form of car finance.

There are several factors to consider, but overall, most first-time car buyers will be best served by a vehicle that’s cheap, safe, reliable, and economical to run.

But what else should you think about when searching for your first car?


When considering how much you can afford to spend on your first car, finding a model that fits your budget is essential. Don’t just look at the purchase price. You also need to be able to cover running costs like car tax, insurance, fuel, and ad-hoc repairs.

It might be tempting to look for the cheapest possible used car. Still, it’s worth remembering that this might be a false economy. An older used car could be unreliable and leave you at risk of being stranded on the road or facing expensive repair costs regularly.

Even so, used cars are typically better value for money than brand-new models. New cars lose value quickly in their first few years of life, so while they might come with the latest features and a warranty, they are not always the best investment. You might find that your budget can stretch further if you look for a three- or four-year-old car.

Insurance Group

If you’ve recently passed your driving test, you might find that insuring your car costs even more than the car itself! Insurance premiums are highest for newly qualified drivers as they are priced to reflect the risk of having a more inexperienced person behind the wheel. Prices can be even higher if you’re a young driver under 21.

You might want to buy a car in a low insurance group to keep your premium as low as possible. In the UK, every vehicle has an insurance group rating ranging from one to 50. Typically, the lower the insurance group, the cheaper the premium.

Reliability and Safety

As a first-time driver, you’ll probably look for a safe and reliable car which can give nervous drivers peace of mind as they can trust that their car will carry them safely from A to B.

Look for cars with safety features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control. You could also check its Euro NCAP safety rating.

If buying a used vehicle as your first car, find out everything you can about its history. If it has never been in an accident, has a complete service history, and recently had its brake pads updated, for example, it might be more reliable than a model with a more chequered past.

Fuel efficiency

No matter whether you plan to use your new car to drive to work or university or to take longer journeys around the country, fuel efficiency can make a big difference.

Petrol and diesel prices fluctuate, but the more miles your car can drive to the gallon, the more affordable its running costs will be.

If you’d like to lower your running costs, you might want to consider an electric or hybrid car. These can be more expensive to purchase, but you could make this investment back over time with the fuel savings made.

Resale value

While it might not be the most important factor when choosing your first car, its resale value is worth considering. You might not want to keep a first car for the next decade; instead, it could be a good starter vehicle you’ll want to upgrade in a few years.

The market can change over time, and certain cars can fall in and out of fashion, but, in general, a reliable car from a respected manufacturer with a low mileage and classic colour will likely hold its value over time better than a neon green car that’s done a lot of long distances.

Your needs

Finally, but most importantly, think about what you need the vehicle to do before buying your first car. How many passengers do you need to carry? Do you need space for a dog crate or a weekly supermarket shop? Will you be driving a lot of long distances or squeezing into tight parking spaces?

The way you drive the car and how you use it will dictate which type of car is best for you. Make a list of your priorities, must-haves, and nice-to-haves, and use this to help inform your final decision.

How car finance works through Autedia

Get a quote

Complete our short application form and find out if you’re eligible for a car loan in minutes.

Meet your account manager

Here to help every step of the way – look out for their call! You can chat over text or WhatsApp too.

Choose a car

Whether you’re looking for a hot hatch or a chic supermini, explore over 100k used cars in the car search or find your dream wheels from any reputable UK dealer.

Hit the road!

You set the pace; tell us exactly what you’re looking for and we’ll handle the rest. You could be driving away in days!

Best First Cars 2023

Ford Fiesta

There’s a reason why the Ford Fiesta is one of the UK’s most popular cars – and it’s an excellent first car choice.

When it comes to buying a car on a budget, the Fiesta won’t break the bank, and it’s affordable to run. Ford is known for its reliability, meaning you’re unlikely to face huge repair bills every few months, and the Fiesta offers impressive fuel efficiency to cut costs at the pump.

If you’re still working on nailing your manoeuvres, the Fiesta can help new drivers thanks to its agile handling and compact size. Most models also come equipped with various safety features and modern technology.

Toyota Aygo

If you’re looking for a first car with standout looks but without the premium price tag, consider the Toyota Aygo.

As well as being affordable, the Aygo offers fantastic fuel efficiency, and its size and easy handling make it ideal for navigating city driving and tight parking spaces.

Toyota’s reliability provides extra peace of mind for first-time drivers, and even the entry-level trims come with many safety features.

Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa is a popular first car choice thanks to its affordability, compact design, and responsive handling.

Offering a surprising amount of interior space for new drivers with families, it’s still easy to drive on most roads, making it ideal for those still gaining confidence on the road.

The Corsa has a design with universal appeal, is relatively cheap to insure, and is readily available on the used car market.

Hyundai i10

If you’re worried that your parallel parking skills still need some fine-tuning, the compact Hyundai i10 could boost your confidence.

An ideal city car for newly qualified drivers, the i10 comes with an array of reassuring safety features, including airbags, an anti-lock braking system, and electronic brakeforce distribution.

Inside, you’ll find plenty of storage, adjustable seats, and air conditioning. Drivers will also typically get good mileage by the gallon as well as light, agile handling.

Renault Clio

The Renault Clio has a reputation for good looks, with its sleek lines and distinctive grill sure to appeal to new drivers looking for a stylish first car.

Advanced safety features prove the Clio isn’t just a pretty face, while premium trims also come with a host of tech features, including a touchscreen display, navigation, and smartphone integration.

New drivers planning a road trip will appreciate the Clio’s fuel efficiency, and the comfortable, well-designed cabin will go down well with your passengers.

Fiat 500

While the Clio is quietly chic, the Fiat 500 takes design to the next level, taking its iconic shape from the original 1950s model. It’s a small, nimble car ideal for new drivers and the perfect choice for the daily commute.

There are a vast range of options for finding a used Fiat 500 to fit your first car wish list. Hatchback and convertible versions are available, as well as electric and hybrid variants.

Standard safety features are included, too, such as airbags, an anti-lock braking system, and stability control.

Skoda Fabia

When looking for the best first car for you, don’t ignore the Skoda Fabia. A modern, practical, compact car, the Fabia is a good all-rounder with many safety and comfort features.

Inside, the cabin is spacious and comfortable, with adjustable seating and climate control. Skoda is known to prioritise safety and durability, which is sure to reassure nervous first-time drivers, and the Fabia has great fuel efficiency, too, whether you’re driving in the city centre or powering down the motorway.

Why should you choose Autedia for your car finance?

Large panel of lenders

We’ll look to find you the best available deal from a wide panel of lenders.

No effect on credit score

Get a no-obligation quote that won’t affect your credit score unless you choose to proceed.

Total flexibility

HP, PCP, no deposit? We work with lenders that can offer it all – and we consider all circumstances.

Access to more than 100,000 cars

Get access to a car search with over 100k quality used cars stocked by trusted dealers all over the UK.

Dedicated account manager

Get support from a dedicated account manager who'll guide you through the process, take care of all the checks, and handle the paperwork.

Car Finance Calculator

5 years
Total cost of credit2,125.46
Total repayment8,625.46
60 monthly
payments of

Rates from 8.9% APR: the exact rate you will be offered will be based on your circumstances, subject to status.

Representative example: borrowing £6,500 over 5 years with a representative APR of 29.9%, an annual interest rate of 29.9% (Fixed) and a deposit of £0.00, the amount payable would be £196.34 per month, with a total cost of credit of £5,280.14 and a total amount payable of £11,780.14.