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Five great used cars for young drivers

  • Five used cars that are cheap to insure
  • Insurance group 7 or lower
  • Stylish choices for less than 5k
Words ByRory White

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With money tight for many first-time motorists, one of the biggest ways to save cash is to shop for a good quality used car. With a budget of up to 5000, we've pulled together a top five of used models which are desirable and affordable.

All five small cars were great buys when new and still have plenty to recommend them today. If the budget allows however, why not consider a new model?

1. Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 3dr
Typical price: 08/58, 40,000 miles, 5900
Insurance group: 6
Road tax: 125 PA
The Ford Fiesta isnt just one of the sweetest handling small cars around, its also cheap to run and insure. You dont need to avoid the good-looking models with all the toys, either. Zetec cars get alloy wheels and air-con as standard but sit in insurance group 6, meaning young buyers can enjoy these features, too. Having been on the market since 2008, there are plenty of good-quality, typical-mileage cars to choose between, keeping price tags low.

2. Renault Clio 1.2 TomTom 3dr
Typical price: 09/09, 50,000 miles, 5400
Insurance group: 7
Road tax: 125 PA
Renault is famed for making small, chic superminis, and the Clio it produced between 2009 and 2013 is no exception. This three door model is even sleeker than the five-door version and comes kitted out with TomTom sat-nav as standard, as well as alloy wheels and air-con. It isnt just the kit list thats generous, though, because the 1.2 litre petrol engine is good for nearly 48mpg and with CO2 emissions set at 139g/km, road tax is an affordable 125 per year, too. You can also drive safe in the knowledge the Clio offers a five-star NCAP rating.

3. Toyota Aygo 1.0 Sport 3dr
Typical price: 08/08, 50,000 miles, 4200
Insurance group: 2
Road tax: 20 PA
If outright affordability is key, youll struggle to find a car on the used market that is quite so cheap to buy and run. The Aygo has been on sale since 2005, meaning its possible to treat yourself to a few extra inside and out while keeping the price as low as possible. Sport models get desirable extras such as air-con, alloy wheels and a CD player, and as every Aygo comes with a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine, fuel economy is a massive 62.8mpg. That little engine doesnt have to haul around much weight, either, so the Aygo is surprisingly nippy, and the equally tiny 106g/km CO2 means a road tax costs of just 20 every year.

4. Citroen C2 1.1 VTR 3dr
Typical price: 09/09, 50,000 miles, 4000
Insurance group: 3
Road tax: 125 PA
From 2009, Citroen took its sporty VTR trim and applied it to the C2s smallest petrol engine, the 1.1. Thats good news for those on a budget, as standard kit includes air-con, CD player, electric windows and mirrors, and the 48.7mpg fuel economy and 125-per-year road are pleasingly cheap. Thanks to that tiny engine, this C2 sits way down in group three for its insurance, meaning even those just starting out should keep their premiums as low as possible.

5. Peugeot 207 1.4 Sport 3dr
Typical price: 08/08. 60,000 miles, 4700
Insurance group: 6
Road tax: 140 PA
Peugeots famous GTI models are out of reach of those just starting their driving, their insurance groups returning excruciating premiums. The 207 GTi is included in that, but the cheaper Sport model gets some of the look, without the cost. Outside you get alloy wheels and body-coloured bumpers, while inside theres air-con, a CD player and sportier seats. Stick with Peugeots 1.4-litre petrol and officially youll achieve almost 45mpg and be spending 140 a year on road tax.

By Rory White