Whilst it’s a bit mind-blowing as to the huge choice of potential first cars out there on the UK used car market, we are lucky in that we have this choice and that our British used car market is so rich, well stocked and reasonably priced. You just have to wade through it with a calm head. Here are three gooduns to get you started.
The Ford Fiesta has long been the best-selling supermini in the UK, with the current shape car – just before its recent facelift – being extremely popular with younger drivers that want to look cool, feel safe, and not spend too much money on fuel. But, even the models before this one look good and drive well, it’s just that the newer car is in a class of its own, although you will pay more for one.
One attractive trait that most Fiestas share is driver enjoyment – they’re really fun cars to drive, even though they’re not particularly fast. Speed isn’t everything if you have a grippy chassis and powerful brakes, and a few laps around your favourite back lanes in the nippy little Fiesta will soon put a smile on your face. The newer models are also very cheap to run and service.
We’re keeping our three first car choices in the smaller supermini segment of the market, as these cars are cheaper to insure, easy to drive, and great for nipping around town with your mates. And the Vauxhall Corsa is good at all of these things.
The Vauxhall Corsa, like the Ford Fiesta, is another big-selling car, so you’ll see
Plenty of them around and for sale on the used car market, giving buyers a wide choice of trim levels, equipment and engines to consider.
The Corsa is probably just a little funkier than the pretty funky Fiesta and is very popular with young drivers, thanks to its small capacity engines that are easier going on the dreaded insurance. And it’s the price of insurance that’s the main stumbling block for young drivers.
Vauxhall’s little Corsa is generally considered to be reliable and Vauxhall spare parts are cheap and readily available. However, many Corsas will have been owned by young drivers who may have driven the cars hard and skimped here and there on servicing, so buy with caution.
The little VW Polo is probably the most expensive used supermini on our list, but their great reputation for reliability and build quality make them highly desirable for first time buyers who need to rely on their cars, and want that understated Germanic cool.
Along with a generally higher price than the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, the VW Polo will cost a touch more for servicing than our other two superminis, but thanks to the latest engines and economy tech, should be very good on both petrol and diesel. VW’s are also well known for their sturdy build quality, so chances are, if you find a well looked after one, that it’ll last for a very long time, requiring minimal maintenance.
Another point of note and one that helps keep used Polo prices buoyant is the car’s high resale value. Owners like to keep their Polos for a long time so you’ll find less on the used car market, and the fewer cars there are, the more this drives up their value. However, you should find a good few Volkswagen used cars for sale right here.