Five great cars for young drivers

* Five great cars for young drivers * Stylish small hatches from sub-10k * Up to insurance group 8...

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Rory White
25 June 2013

According to Confused.com, the average premium for a male aged between 17 and 20 living in inner London is currently 4211. Even female drivers, of the same age, living in the North of England can expect to pay on average 2278 for a yearlong policy.

However, it isnt just age and location that determines insurance costs your cars insurance group rating is important too. Cars are assigned to one of 50 groups, decided by The Group Rating Panel, which meets once a month. They consider damage and parts costs, repair times, the cars value, its performance and security levels before coming to a decision.

Changing your age or where you live is not an easy way to cheaper cover, but buying right in the first instance can help. Its not as simple as picking the smallest engine in the range or the longest list of safety kit, though.

These first-cars are quirky and cool enough that folk need not be embarrassed to slip behind the wheel, too. If your budget doesn't stretch to a new model, we've compiled atop five used models too.

1. Volkswagen Up! High up 1.0 75 3dr
List price: 10,900
Insurance group: 2/50
Road tax: First year free, 20 PA thereafter
The Volkswagen Up is our 2013 Car of The Year, and for good reason. No matter which trim you go for, the Ups insurance rating remains at most group two, with the majority actually sitting in group one. This High Up model comes with heated seats, Bluetooth phone and music connection, sat-man, air-con and allow wheels making it fantastic value. Officially, VWs higher-powered three-cylinder engine in this version manages 60.1mpg and emits just 106g/km CO2, so running costs are low, too.

2. Fiat 500 1.2 Pop 3dr
List price: 9960
Insurance group: 5/50
Road tax: First year free, 30 PA thereafter
The Fiat 500 is no secret. It has sold, literally, in its millions, combining retro looks with affordable running costs. At the forefront of those cheap bills is 500s insurance group, which stands at group five for this 1.2 Pop model. It comes with a short kit list, but options arent too pricey. Being so small and light, the engine isnt worked too hard, either. That means fuel economy is 58.9mpg and CO2 emissions are a respectable 113g/km.

3. Skoda Fabia 1.2 Monte Carlo 3dr
List price: 13,560
Insurance group: 5/50
Road tax: First year free, 105 PA thereafter
The Skoda Fabia offers good interior space and comfortable ride and an easy-to-use dash, and Skoda itself has performed well in both our JD Power and reliability surveys. This Monte Carlo Fabia is based on the normal SE-trimmed car, but adds a host of sport touches inside and out that turn up the style, but not the insurance bracket. Skodas 1.2-litre petrol engine is capable of a combined 51.4mpg and emits 128g/km, so private buyers will enjoy running the Monte Carlo as much as driving it.

4. Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Limited Edition 3dr
List price: 14,650
Insurance group: 7/50
Road tax: First year free, 105 PA thereafter
The Vauxhall Corsa range is vast, ranging from the frugal 1.0-litre petrol model, to the turbocharged VXR version. Vauxhall can also do you a Corsa has the looks of the range-topping VXR, without the associated running costs; namely, the Limited Edition range. It adds 17-inch black alloy wheels, sports suspension and tinted windows, but can be teamed with Vauxhalls 1.2-litre petrol that manages 51.4mpg and emits 129g/km CO2. Best of all, despite the added desirability, the Limited Edition gets a low group 7 insurance rating.

5. Mini 1.6 First hatchback 3dr
List price: 11,870
Insurance group: 8/50
Road tax: First year free, 105 PA thereafter
The Mini is particularly popular with young drivers, but its desirability makes it expensive to insure. It seems Mini realises this, and launched the Mini First as the cheapest way into the range. It doesnt come with much kit even air-con will cost you extra but it is considerably cheaper than the other models, and sits in group 8 for its insurance, while the rest start at group 13. It can return 52.3mpg and emits a wallet-friendly 127g/km CO2.

By Rory White