Get 5% off in-app
400k+ download
Open app

What Are the Best Cars for New Drivers? 

  • Cars Explained
  • Gerard Stevens
  • 12 minutes

Spread the love

Learning to drive can be quite an experience! However, once done, you will feel relieved and start planning to buy a new car. However, beginner drivers might feel overwhelmed with the numerous options on the market. So what are the best cars for new drivers? We find out.


There are many factors to consider when you buy a car. Is the vehicle in good condition? Is it equipped with all of the amenities required for a pleasant ride? What about the results of crash tests?  

Many people believe that the safest car for a new driver is a big, bulky vehicle like a minivan or a sturdy SUV. However, compact cars and crossovers can be considerably easier and safer for a new driver to operate. So what are the best cars for new drivers? This blog has listed some of the safest, compact, affordable cars! 

Factors to consider while buying the best car for a new driver 

Choosing the best car for a new driver isn’t an easy task. If you’re a parent, understand that the dream car of your young driver is usually not the most practical or safest option. Using your experience to research the best available cars is an excellent method to support your youngster in making mature decisions. So, these are some factors anyone should consider while choosing the best cars for new drivers. 

Sticker price 

It is the most vital factor when buying that perfect vehicle for your child. When comparing sticker prices, remember that manufacturers and models that preserve their value better than others are usually more dependable and last longer.  

Find the best car insurance quotes for starters


Most cars now include basic safety equipment such as anti-lock brakes and airbags, but take the time to research which models are the safest. Examine the car’s history to see if it has experienced any structural damage due to an accident. 

Fuel efficiency 

Fuel efficiency is always critical because it is an ongoing cost. Helping your new driver calculate the fuel cost for various cars they may be considering may guide them in making a more sensible decision. 

Add-ons and features 

Although most options and add-ons surge the sticker price, some may persuade you to choose something more practical if you’re a teen driver. For instance, a used car with an improved music system might be enough to persuade a new driver to choose the more fuel-efficient, safer vehicle. Also, extra safety features, such as a backup camera or GPS, may be worth the extra expense. 

Auto insurance cost 

Insuring a new driver might be excessively expensive. Do detailed research on all insurers before deciding on one. It can save you a significant amount of money. In addition, buying the same model in a different year can sometimes result in significant insurance savings.  


It is the last thing parents are concerned about while choosing the best cars for new drivers. They never want their children to get stranded on the road. Also, some cars are more reliable than others. So do a good study on the reliability of the preferred cars before deciding on one.  

What are the best cars for new drivers? 

The answer to this depends on the factors you prioritize while buying a car. We have listed some cars we found to be good for new drivers.  

  • Toyota Camry 
  • Honda Civic 
  • Subaru Impreza  
  • Ford Fiesta 
  • Toyota Corolla 
  • Mazda 3 
  • Hyundai Sante Fe 
  • Kia Forte 
  • Volkswagen Jetta 
  • Mini Cooper 

Toyota Camry 

Image courtesy: Kevauto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Camry, a mid-size car, is frequently a best-seller. One advantage is its reputation for dependability and resale value. In addition, newer models are more fuel-efficient. Toyota also included various safety features like adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, and lane-keeping assist.  

The 2018 model features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 horsepower or a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 301 horsepower, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and easy handling in traffic or while slipping into parking spaces. The sportier grades have a mesh lower grille and leather seats if you’re looking for a sportier car. 

The 2022 model is comfy, with many user-friendly safety and informational functions. Camry isn’t by chance one of the most popular cars on the road by accident. The base model costs $25,295, while the most costly trim costs $35,720. All these contribute to it being one of the best cars for new drivers.  

Honda Civic 

Honda Civic
Image courtesy: Kevauto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is one of the best cars for new drivers that is also cheap. The cost of the 2022 model starts at $21,700, while the starting price of redesigned Civic Hatchback is $22,900. Older models, of course, would be even less expensive. The 2022 models also have Honda Sensing, which assists in road departure mitigation, lane keep, front collision alerts, and lane departure warnings.  

The Honda Civic has previously received a five-star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, since the 2022 model is a freshly redesigned vehicle, the safety ratings may differ this time. Finally, it comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road rather than your phone. 

Base models are affordable and include basic entertainment and driver-assist features. If you’re looking for performance, get a turbocharged variant. 

Subaru Impreza  

Image courtesy: EurovisionNim, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Subaru Impreza has a few typical features, especially its affordable price. The car feels like a cross between a sedan and an SUV; however, it doesn’t roll over as easily. Subaru Impreza sedan costs $18,795, whereas the hatchback costs $19,295. The top variant trims start at $25,895 for sedans and $26,395 for hatchbacks. 

The car holds a five-star rating for crash tests. So what makes Impreza a top pick among the best starter cars? It includes safety features like adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist. The car also offers an expansive interior and playful handling. One drawback is that the car has sluggish acceleration.  

Impreza can be the best car for a new driver in terms of affordability and features. However, its rivals score better in acceleration. Crosstrek can be a good option, too, if you intend to own a car from Subaru 

Ford Fiesta 

Image courtesy: steve lyon from los angeles, ca, usa, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ford Fiesta can be a good choice if you’re looking for a decent, used subcompact car. It has a sporty handling and an easy-to-use infotainment system. Still, its tight rear seats, limited baggage capacity, and lack of driver-assist features hold it back. And be aware that Ford stopped the car’s production in 2019. 

Expect to pay between $14,260-$21,340 to own a Ford Fiesta. There are five variants available -ST, S Sedan, SE Sedan, SE Hatchback, and ST-Line. Its 1.6-liter Ti-VCT four-cylinder engine transmits power to the wheels through a smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission. In addition, it comes with a 6.5-inch entertainment system in the cabin. 

Regarding security features, the car has central locking, power door locks, an anti-theft device, and an anti-theft alarm.  

Toyota Corolla 

Toyota Corolla
Image courtesy: Gold Pony, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Toyota Corolla has the reputation of being one of the most dependable cars available. It may last a decade or longer if you properly maintain it. Furthermore, it is inexpensive. The price of a sedan model starts at $20,025. At the same time, the Corolla hatchback can cost you around $20,665.  

The Corolla hatchback price starts at $23,615, and the sedan at $25,925 for the top-of-the-line XSE specification. The Toyota Corolla 2021 features simple touchscreen controls and a pleasant ride. Still, it lacks many of its competitors’ power, speed, and practicality. The car also features Toyota Safety Sense. It offers a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alerts, and automatic high beams.  

Many experts name Corolla one of the best cars for new drivers considering the price, features, safety, and compactness.  

Mazda 3 

Mazda 3
Image courtesy: Alexander Migl, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Mazda 3 can be a good choice if you prefer a sporty car. It comes with a 155 horsepower 2.0-liter or 184 hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It is available as a front-wheel-drive sedan or hatchback. In addition, the car’s safety package includes automated emergency braking and the i-Active sense suite of safety technologies. 

This sporty sedan is a delight to drive because of its swift acceleration, engaging handling, and excellent steering feel. The suspension system absorbs road imperfections, making this car pleasant for daily driving. The car also features an easy-to-use entertainment system. The only drawbacks in sedan models are a cramped back row and limited cargo capacity. 

The base model of the 2022 Mazda 3 sedan starts at $20,800, while the hatchback model starts at $22,750. Mazda 6 and Mazda CX-30 are also some good choices from the carmaker.  

Hyundai Sante Fe 

Santa Fe Hyundai
Image courtesy: Gold Pony, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Santa Fe can be one of the best cars for first-time drivers if they love big cars! The base model of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe costs around $27,200, making it the most affordable car in the mid-size SUV segment. The top-of-the-line SEL trim costs $29,000, while the Limited and Calligraphy trims cost $38,960 and $40,960, respectively. 

Some reasons make Santa Fe one of the best cars for new drivers. Firstly, NHTSA has given a 5-star rating for it in crash tests. Also, it delivers excellent fuel economy for an SUV, with 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.  

The base version has several safety features like the forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection. But, it is better to go for the SEL trim. Because it comes with features like the forward collision warning, driver drowsiness monitoring, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.  

Kia Forte 

Kia Forte
Image courtesy: Kevauto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It can be one of the best cars for new drivers as it is compact and affordable. With a starting price of $19,090, the base Kia Forte model is one of the most economical cars in the class. So what other factors make it a good car for starters? It sports a big upmarket cabin, an easy-to-use entertainment system, and excellent fuel efficiency. 

The Kia Forte also has many standard safety features, like forward-collision alerts and automated emergency braking. It also has lane departure warnings, and lane keep assist. You must shell out extra dollars to get other safety features like blind-spot monitoring. The Forte also has many useful features like Bluetooth and a rear camera. 

Some drawbacks of the car are like shaky ride and a sloppy transmission. If you’re looking for better performance, buy the GT variant. 

Volkswagen Jetta 

Image courtesy: Kevauto, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What makes Jetta one of the best cars for new drivers? Compared to the larger sedans, the Jetta is a more affordable option. Aside from the brand, many people prefer Jetta because it has good fuel economy and safety features, including a crash-optimized front end. In addition, you’ll receive many safety and infotainment features with the SE model for just $23,795. 

The car has a five-star rating from NHTSA in crash tests. But, it would be best if you choose a newer model because this car has improved crash test results on IIHS. The car’s other features include synthetic leather upholstery, a sunroof, dual-zone climate control, and proximity keyless entry. 

The car sports a  professional appearance and feel, so it may grow with a new driver as they progress through life. It is a daily driving car with plenty of space for adults in both rows and powerful, fuel-efficient engines.  

Mini Cooper 

Mini Cooper S
Image courtesy: Loadbeta, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

It will be a dream car for a new driver. But unfortunately, the price of the car may be the factor that stops many young drivers from buying this car. But is Cooper that costly? The price starts at around $22,900, less than some cars on our list.  

The performance of the car makes it most attractive to starters. The Hardtop 2 Door, Hardtop 4 Door, and Convertible are the three body styles available. All three feature powerful engines, dynamic handling, and a luxurious interior. It also has an easy-to-use regular touch screen. 

What are the major downsides? The car has a poor fuel economy and a lack of cargo and passenger room. Nevertheless, the Mini Cooper is an excellent pick, particularly if you want a driver’s car that can turn on a dime. Go for Mini Clubman or Mini Countryman if you want a Mini with more space.  

Getting an insurance for your new car 

So, the task ends by buying the best car for your new driver? No! The real challenge is in buying auto insurance for the starters. Ideally, first-time drivers pay more for insurance as they are considered high-risk drivers. So, finding the most affordable insurance that provides enough coverage will be a pain.  

Don’t worry! That’s where Way.com can help you. Visit Way, and you can find the list of insurers, compare their quotes, and buy the cheapest auto insurance among them. Also, being a starter, you can talk with the help of our agents, who will explain insurance terms, coverages, and discounts. 

So, why wait for more? Find your ideal insurance policy via Way today!  

Save more on auto insurance while buying the best car for a new driver

Here’s more info on top-rated airport parkingthe best parking spots in your city, the most affordable auto insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.


Related Posts


Press ESC to close