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learning to drive

Which car you should learn to drive in?

It can be very confusing when deciding which car to go for when you’re learning to drive — there’s just so much choice.

You’ll probably want something that’s flashy but not trashy, something with a bit of pep but not too punishing when it comes to fuel, road tax and insurance, and something with a decent infotainment system.

If you’ve already had a few lessons iit might be a good idea to go with a model similar to one you’ve been learning in. That way you will be familiar with the car’s proportions on the road, the instrument panel and it’s controls.

Insurance is going to be a major expense when you buy a car as a learner, so it probably makes sense to go for something rather more modest than your dream car.

Here the learner driver insurance experts at Adrian Flux pick six modest but well-performing cars in which to learn to drive.

Ford Fiesta

One of Britain’s favourite cars and it’s easy to see why. Updated with technological advances and some amazingly economical models, the Fiesta has to be on everybody’s list of best cars for learners.

Performance is good no matter which engine you go for. The 99bhp Ecoboost is fantastic and will help to keep running costs down. However, the diesel engines can be a little noisy so do bear this in mind.

The handling on the Fiesta is brilliant, quick on its feet, very responsive and comfortable. It’s a cheap car to run and extremely fuel-efficient but its resale value isn’t great.

The cabin is comfortable and spacious, whilet trim ranges from cheap and cheerful to luxury or sporty depending on the model.

Renault Clio

The Clio has been popular with learners for many years thanks to fairly low pricing, decent running costs and attractive styling. Any learner is going to want to pass their test just to get out on the road in this little beauty.

The Clio is roomy though the interior does feel a little cheap and plasticky — but it is a cheap car so you wouldn’t expect the ultimate luxury.

The Clio is an easy little car to drive; steering, pedals, and gear change are all light and smooth. The Clio offers decent visibility and is easy to park.

Citroen C1

The 1st generation C1 was cheap, lightweight, fun, and easy to drive. More modern C1s are still reasonably priced and easy to drive and ideal for learners, especially when it comes to the dreaded parallel parking.

The steering is very light and great on the urban cycle though the soft suspension can make it a little bumpy. This is made up for though by its reliability. The C1, Aygo and 108 all share the same chassis, engine, gearbox, and electrics. And as Toyota has done a lot of the development, it’s safe to say that it shouldn’t break down anytime soon.

A big plus for learners is that it’s in the cheapest insurance bracket! Other running costs are good too thanks to the small engine, which still delivers plenty of power as long as you go for the 1.2ltr option.

Volkswagen Polo

VW has an enviable reputation when it comes to building cars and the Polo doesn’t disappoint. However, it’s higher price tag does limit the number of learners who’ll be able to afford it.

The styling is fairly unattractive, remaining relatively unchanged over time, but the build quality more than makes up for this flaw. The steering is responsive and light, whilst the gears and pedals are smooth and slick.

The flat rear makes reverse parking easier than some of the alternatives and the light clutch helps with parallel parking if you’re still struggling with clutch control.

It’s a great car to learn to drive in, but the rear window doesn’t offer great visibility and the price could be a deal breaker for some.

Fiat 500

It’s been around quite a while now and it has become  a bit of a cult vehicle which still wins plaudits for its styling. The 500 is a funky little car and attractively priced, it stands out from its rivals and has a lovely colour coded cabin.

It’s not all good news though. The clutch isn’t the best, making stalling a frequent possibility. And, once you get going, the steering feels light and the pedals are crammed together in a small footwell.

Manoeuvring is simple thanks to the small turning circle but visibility is poor because of the  small rear window and poorly designed wing mirrors. The 500’s a good car but it will take some getting used to. Not to be recommended for nervous learners.

Vauxhall Corsa

It’s an easy car to drive with a comfortable cabin with easy to manoeuvre seats, mirrors, and steering wheel.

It’s hard to stall as the clutch uses a system that increases the revs slightly as you lift it. Visibility is good once you’re moving, and the steering is pretty good too but it is less agile than the Fiesta.

The engine is quiet and comes in a variety of choices so choose carefully. Braking is good and reliable but the ride can be a little dull?

What now?

The next step is to find out how much your favourite will cost to insure, so call Adrian Flux on 0800 369 8590 or visit the Learner Driver Hub on the insurance intermediary’s website.