Best Used Cars for 17 Years Olds

Roman Danaev

Best cars1 October 2022

If you just turned 17 and passed your driving test, you're probably over the moon about getting your driving licence and maybe even your first car. Surely, you want to reward yourself with a car so that you can cruise the open road with total freedom.

However, there are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for a car. These include body type, fuel type (petrol vs diesel), and monthly payments. This makes it especially challenging for 17-year-old drivers.

To make it easier for you, we have compiled below a list of the best cars for 17-year-olds. We want to make sure that there's a lot more to love about your car than to dislike!

Many Teenagers might also be confused about how much to spend on a first car. Thanks to Carplus, obtaining car finance in the UK has never been smoother. To receive the best deals and terms on a car loan, 17-year-old drivers should visit the leading provider's website.

Toyota Aygo

ModelToyota Aygo
Market price on a used carfrom £7,100
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeManual/ automatic
Door3-door or a 5-door body style
Seats4 seats with a 50:50 split rear seat
FuelPetrol/ 57.7mpg

The Toyota Aygo (basically the same car as the Peugeot 108 hatchback and Citroen C1 hatchback) comes in five different trim levels and can be customised in a wide variety of ways, including colour. The Aygo's supportive seats and light steering make it easy to settle into the driver's seat.

Regrettably, not all of your passengers will share your enthusiasm. The two rear seats are, at best, compact, and the boot space is small. There is hardly enough room to load in your weekly shopping.

Still, the Aygo is one of the most dependable compact cars for 17-year-olds, so you can expect low repair costs over the vehicle's lifetime. In addition to having excellent MPG, this Toyota also has low running costs making it a good choice for young drivers.

Skoda Citigo

ModelSkoda Citigo
Market price on a used carfrom £4,695
Body typeThree-door or five-door hatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic/5 Speed ASG
Door3/5 doors
Seats4 seater

The Skoda Citigo hatchback is a fantastic compact city car that won't break the bank. The Skoda Citigo, which comes with either three or five doors and a choice of two efficient engines, can easily transport four of your friends in comfort.

The Citigo is arguably one of the best handling city cars for a 17-year-old, thanks to its responsive steering and well-balanced suspension. The Skoda Citigo's interior design is surprisingly stylish for the low price it retails for. There's a dash of colour thanks to the contrasting light and dark plastics, and the infotainment system is easy to operate.

There is plenty of room up front and in the back, and the driver's seat can be adjusted for optimal comfort. You can drive your friends to the gym and still have room for all their gear in the boot. Regardless of the model of Citigo you choose, you'll be able to save money thanks to the efficient engine.

Nissan Micra

ModelNissan Micra
Market price on a used carfrom £5,995
Body type3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 2-door coupé convertible
Gearbox typeManual/Automatic
Door5 doors
Seats5 seater
FuelDiesel/ Petrol - 42.8 - 52.3 mpg

When it was released, the newest Nissan Micra was a breath of fresh air; the car maker's greatest accomplishment was shedding the stereotype that all Micras were boring and driven by seniors. You might genuinely not mind people seeing you in this.

The Micra N Sport is one of the more expensive options for a 17-year-old because it is one of the new cars. Sporty looks, a rather peppy 115hp 1.0-litre petrol engine, and convenience features like parking sensors, a rearview camera, and heated door mirrors are included in the price.

When it comes to driving pleasure, the Micra falls short of the Fiesta Zetec S, but its sleek cabin gives it the edge. The N Sport trim level improves the driving experience with retuned steering and suspension, making for a lot more fun behind the wheel.

Hyundai i10

ModelHyundai i10
Market price on a used carfrom £6,245
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox type5- speed manual/ Automatic transmission
Door5 Door
Seats5 Seats
FuelPetrol/ 56.5mpg

Hyundai's i10 is another example of the company's tried-and-true formula for success. It's dependable, roomy, and has affordable insurance costs. The Hyundai i10 is an excellent option if you are looking for small cars for travelling and other city chores.

The base model should be plenty for a 17-year-old for short commutes around town, but if you've already planned a few longer journeys with your friends, you may want to look into more powerful alternatives.

The Premium version is recommended if you are a gadget enthusiast with some pocket money to spare. You may use the slick 7.0-inch touchscreen entertainment system that features smartphone mirroring software like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a sat-nav with a seven-year subscription to "live" services like traffic and weather updates.

Ford Fiesta

ModelFord Fiesta
Market price on a used carfrom £5,298
Body typeHatchback/sedan
Gearbox typeManual/Automatic
Door3- and 5-door forms
Seats5 seats
FuelDiesel/Petrol 43 - 88 mpg

Ford's affordable, fashionable, and sporty Fiesta model must be doing something right because it is one of the best-selling vehicles in the UK.

The Ford Fiesta is an exceptionally enjoyable ride for a 17-year-old thanks to its fast handling and accurate steering, and its suspension is so tough that it can take on potholes like a pounding SUV. The EcoBoost engines are fantastic, making this the most enjoyable vehicle to drive on our list.

The dashboard's soft-touch plastics add a classy touch, contributing to the overall upscale atmosphere of the cabin. While front passengers will enjoy ample headroom, those riding in the back will find that there isn't enough room for three people without their knees scraping the back of the front seats.

Volkswagen Polo

ModelVolkswagen Polo
Market price on a used carfrom £6,998
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic
Door5 doors
FuelPetrol/Diesel 42.8 - 57.6 mpg

Volkswagen keeps making the sporty Polo seem better and better. Polo is capable of competing with any rival because of its quality and elegance.

Even the cheapest engines have more than enough power to get a 17-year-old around town. However, if you want something with a little more muscle, the more expensive turbocharged models make short work of the highway.

The Polo keeps developing in stature and style. The smooth steering wheel and cushioned seats are just the beginning of the luxurious experience that awaits you behind the wheel.

The digital cluster board is clear and responsive, and the buttons on the dashboard are all conveniently located. Every Polo comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen and satellite navigation; for a small premium, you can add support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Polo’s price tag is a value, especially considering the car's respectable fuel economy and cheapest insurance costs.

Vauxhall Corsa

ModelVauxhall Corsa
Market price on a used carfrom: £5,400
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeSix-speed manual/automatic gearbox
DoorFive doors
Seats5 seats
FuelDiesel/Petrol/LPG - 52.3mpg

Likely, you've already spotted a handful of these in the school parking lot. Like its main competitors, the Vauxhall Corsa has upped the ante with some high-tech kit and ample features, making it one of the most popular cars for young drivers.

The Corsa is a great choice for a 17-year-old since it has competent engines, is quick around town, and rides and handles nicely on the highway. They offer excellent fuel economy and require low monthly payments.

Vauxhall's base model Corsa has simple FM/AM audio with a CD player, USB input, and Bluetooth connectivity. Upon further inspection, you'll find that every other Corsa model level comes with Vauxhall's cutting-edge infotainment system as standard, which features a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Peugeot 108

ModelPeugeot 108
Market price on a used carfrom £6,125
Body type3-door hatchback/ 5-door hatchback
Gearbox typeFive-speed manual/automatic gearbox
DoorThree or five-door
Seats4 seats
FuelPetrol - 57.3mpg

The Peugeot 108 is stylish, comfortable and economical to maintain for a 17-year-old, not to mention being in the lowest car insurance groups.

You can squeeze four adults inside the cabin, small items can be stashed in the numerous compartments, and the boot can hold all your shopping bags. The Peugeot, like the Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1, offers a proper infotainment screen in all except the most basic model.

The 108 is most at ease in the city since it is excellent at slipping between barriers and squeezing into tight parking places. At these speeds, the 72-horsepower petrol engine feels shockingly eager, and it will use fuel like a camel consumes water.

Citroen C1

ModelCitroen C1
Market price on a used carfrom: £6,150
Body type3-door hatchback 5-door hatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic/Manual
Door3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback 5-door
Seats4 seats
FuelDiesel/Petrol - 68.9mpg

The Citroen C1 and the Toyota Aygo are mechanical twins; both use many of the same components. However, the C1 is a little less expensive to buy outright for young drivers who can save up this money.

Adults will be able to fit inside comfortably in the front, and your friends should also be able to fit in the back. Meanwhile, the boot can accommodate a few shopping bags. The infotainment systems in all but the most basic models feature a seven-inch touchscreen that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing you to mirror your smartphone's display and run its apps on the car's larger screen.

The C1's small size and nimble steering make it ideal for navigating city streets, and the car's 72-horsepower petrol car provides a sporty driving experience with low operating expenses. This means that the C1 is eligible for the lowest possible monthly payments.

Seat Ibiza

ModelSeat Ibiza
Market price on a used carfrom £6,895
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox type5/6 speed manual/automatic gearbox
Door3 and 5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelPetrol/ Diesel - 42.2 - 61.4mpg

The Ibiza, which serves as Seat's iconic car, has repeatedly shown that it possesses both high quality and comfort. The entry-level engine gets the job done for a 17-year-old to go around town, even if it isn't as powerful as the optional turbocharged 1.0-litre engine.

Its sleek design and responsive handling make it feel like you're driving a much more expensive vehicle. The dashboard is coated in hard, scratchy plastics, but the capacious cabin more than makes up for it. Spend a little more on the SE trim, and you'll get an 8-inch screen with optional Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto features, whereas the base trim comes with a monochrome system that looks and feels dated.

The Seat Ibiza is an excellent choice for young drivers who want cheap insurance premiums. The base Ibiza model offers extremely affordable premiums.

Skoda Fabia

ModelSkoda Fabia
Market price on a used carfrom £3,162
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic/Manual
Door5 doors
FuelPetrol/Diesel - 44.1 - 55mpg

Despite being in the same parent company as the Volkswagen Polo, Audi A1, and Seat Ibiza, the Skoda Fabia is often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts. Since the Fabia is reasonably priced yet solidly constructed and practical, it's hard to see why this would ever be the case. Truly, this is the best car for young drivers.

The current generation of the Fabia debuted in 2014 and had an upgrade in 2018; as part of the makeover, Skoda reduced the number of potential engine displacements to a 1.0-litre petrol engine while still offering three different output levels (roughly 60hp, 95hp and 110hp).

Standard on all engines is a five-speed manual transmission, except in the most powerful model, which has a six-speed manual. The 95-horsepower model is likely to be less costly to maintain and feels just as speedy on regular roads as the 110-horsepower version.

Honda Civic

ModelHonda Civic
Market price on a used carfrom £6,990
Body typeSedan, coupe, hatchback, and station wagon
Gearbox typeSix-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic
Seats5 seats
FuelPetrol/Diesel - 42.2 – 62.8 mpg

Practical, efficient, and dependable transportation for the majority, the Honda Civic also happens to be a lot of fun to drive for many young drivers.

Both the petrol engines are pleasant to use and powerful enough, but the 1.5-litre is the better choice if you spend a lot of time on the motorway. The diesel engine is still a safe bet if you drive a lot. The manual transmission is more pleasant to operate than the CVT, which is, like most automatics, best suited to driving in congested city traffic.

The base S trim has standard adaptive cruise control, steel wheels, automated headlights, and autonomous emergency braking. It comes with 16-inch alloys, air conditioning, front and rear parking sensors, and a digital audio broadcast radio (DAB), while the SR adds 17-inch alloys, automatic wipers, dual-zone electronic stability control, navigation, and a rearview camera. The EX model level adds a leather interior, heated front seats, an opening glass roof, and adaptive suspension, while the Prestige adds heated rear seats.

Mazda MX5

ModelMazda MX5
Market price on a used carfrom £8,290
Body typeLightweight two-passenger roadster sports car
Gearbox typeSix-speed manual/automatic transmission
Door2 doors
Seats2 seats
FuelPetrol - 44.8mpg

The Mazda MX 5 has been one of the best cars in its class since it was first introduced, making it a true classic among roadsters. The fact that it's so entertaining to drive makes it the top choice among 17-year-olds. With its compact dimensions, this Mazda stands out in a world where cars are increasingly large and boxy. It has what is widely considered the ideal formula for a sports car: rear-wheel drive and manual transmission, and it's a blast to drive for younger drivers since it's quick and responsive without being dangerously reckless.

It's a practical and pleasant roadster in every way. The ride is soft and supple, and the overall level of refinement is satisfactory, especially in the hardtop RF version. Thanks to its low curb weight, it should be quite cheap to operate, with excellent fuel economy estimates of more than 40mpg in regular driving.

Another selling point of the MX-5 is its reasonable price. LED headlights, keyless entry, and a seven-inch touchscreen featuring wireless smartphone mirroring are just some of the features that come as standard. For young drivers seeking the excitement of a sports car without breaking the bank, pre-owned versions offer excellent value, with working examples going for as little as £2,000.


Choosing their first cars is a major life event for many young drivers. Picking a car is a big deal, so make sure you do your research and find something that fits your style, performs well, and doesn't break the bank.

There is a delicate line between an affordable car with low running costs and low car insurance costs and the cheapest cars that are prone to breakdowns.

Young new drivers also need to figure out the most effective method of car purchase, whether to pay cash, use a credit card, or get car finance.

If you're looking for a way to avoid paying road tax or having to worry about an MOT for three years, a lease agreement may be for you. The monthly payment is less than if you financed the purchase completely. Get in touch with Carplus today to receive a no-obligation price quote on the best car offers in the UK.

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