Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - ValiantSaint

Hello everyone. A 22 year old work colleague of mine, has just started driving after four years of holding a licence - he's currently on his mum's insurance, but would like a car of his own. He has his heart set on a Subaru, but that's not going to happen, is it?!

Are there any options that look a little sportier, but still low insurance?

Many thanks in advance ;-)

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - badbusdriver

Subaru?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Seriously though, no suggestions without a budget?

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - badbusdriver

Subaru?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Seriously though, no suggestions without a budget?

Sorry, so busy laughing at the thought of a 22 yr old new driver getting a quote for a subaru, i hadn't noticed that you'd used the budget as a thread title,

doh! (been a long day, and i aint getting any younger!)

Re your question, what SLO said!

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - elekie&a/c doctor

I think you need to be a little more realistic. A 22 year old with no Ncd could possibly be paying around £2k for insurance for a basic car in a low insurance group. Set your sights on cars with engine less than 1.2 litres. Fiesta,Corsa,Aygo etc.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - SLO76
Under £4K and young driver but fun to drive...

Mazda 2 1.5 Sport if he can insure it. The 1.3 if not, it's still a great little car in every way, just takes a little longer to get there.

Ford Fiesta 1.6 Zetec S is a hoot but again the 1.25 Zetec is a good little car too.

Suzuki Swift 1.6 Sport is another wee belter but again the 1.2 is still fun and rarely goes wrong.

Seat Ibiza 1.2 TSi FR if he is willing to up the budget a bit is another fun warm hatch but questions still exist regarding longterm reliability, nothing much showing up but it's simply not quite proven itself yet unlike the other options listed.

He needs to get some insurance quotes before making a shortlist though and any notion of a Scooby is out the window until he can A afford to spend a lot more than £4K and B can get insurance at all.

Edited by SLO76 on 22/08/2017 at 20:18

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - Ethan Edwards

Another vote for Aygo...or equivalent.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - Engineer Andy
Under £4K and young driver but fun to drive... Mazda 2 1.5 Sport if he can insure it. The 1.3 if not, it's still a great little car in every way, just takes a little longer to get there. Ford Fiesta 1.6 Zetec S is a hoot but again the 1.25 Zetec is a good little car too. Suzuki Swift 1.6 Sport is another wee belter but again the 1.2 is still fun and rarely goes wrong. Seat Ibiza 1.2 TSi FR if he is willing to up the budget a bit is another fun warm hatch but questions still exist regarding longterm reliability, nothing much showing up but it's simply not quite proven itself yet unlike the other options listed. He needs to get some insurance quotes before making a shortlist though and any notion of a Scooby is out the window until he can A afford to spend a lot more than £4K and B can get insurance at all.

Somehow I think that the OP's friend would be paying at leats half of the £2k on insurance if they bought any of the 'warm hatch' cars on your list. My parents have had a '96 and a '08 Fiesta 1.25 and they're quite nippy indeed, and like its cousin the Mazda2 1.3 is a great little car for the money. For the Fiesta at least, I'd go (on such a low budget) for one with the least amount of toys (A/C at most) as they'd be less to go wrong and it would (a bit anyway) reduce the insurance. The Suzuki's always got good reviews, though main dealerships can be a bit thin on the ground in some parts. At least with the Ford, everyone knows them and main dealerships are a plenty, if rather variable in quality.

I think the only Subaru they'd be able to afford at present is one that comes in a box at their local toy shop!

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - SLO76
"Somehow I think that the OP's friend would be paying at leats half of the £2k on insurance if they bought any of the 'warm hatch' cars on your list."

Agree, but I've sold cars to kids who've been prepared to spend a fortune insuring them just to have a few mph up on their pals and a Sport badge on the rump.
Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - Engineer Andy
"Somehow I think that the OP's friend would be paying at leats half of the £2k on insurance if they bought any of the 'warm hatch' cars on your list." Agree, but I've sold cars to kids who've been prepared to spend a fortune insuring them just to have a few mph up on their pals and a Sport badge on the rump.

Yep, and they wonder why they have no money? I worked with a young guy who said he was forced into changing his 1.4 petrol Fiesta to a diesel-powered car because (other than having an accident that would cost a bit to repair) it just wasn't economic to run (he was doing above average mileage). I asked hom what speed he normally did on the local dual carriageway that we both used and he for most of his journey, thinking dropping from 70 to 60-65 might save him some money through higher mpg, only to be astonished that he regularly did far nearer to 85-90 on that road. He still bought the diesel car, rather than just slow down a bit.

The daft thing is half the time the young'un spend a bit on buying th car, mod it at great expense (often it looks far worse afterwards and can't go over speed humps over 5 mph) to get a car (performance-wise) they could've bought a higher performance standard model for less and spent far less on insurance. It wouldn't be so bad if they looked great, but so many look like this:

drivestart.co.uk/2012/02/27/top-ten-worst-car-modi.../

The 'Saxo mod' being the type I'm thinking of.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - Cris_on_the_gas

Yes it can happen.

Subaru Justy

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - SLO76

Yes it can happen.

Subaru Justy

Even comes with go faster stripe! Auto Trader: www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170809819...1
Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - Nobby Clark

That Scooby Justy might not be the coolest motor around for a youngster but i bet it would be very reliable!!

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - Gibbo_Wirral

Don't assume a small engined or low insurance group instantly means low insurance premium.

The 1L petrol Corsa, for example, is a popular first choice car for many, and as a result involved in more accidents.

I've known a few new drivers (young and old) find a Group 6 2L diesel to be cheaper to insure than a 1L Corsa.

Its all down to risk, and the Corsa is a bad risk for insurers.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - Engineer Andy

Don't assume a small engined or low insurance group instantly means low insurance premium.

The 1L petrol Corsa, for example, is a popular first choice car for many, and as a result involved in more accidents.

I've known a few new drivers (young and old) find a Group 6 2L diesel to be cheaper to insure than a 1L Corsa.

Its all down to risk, and the Corsa is a bad risk for insurers.

I wonder if that is partly because certain cheap to buy 'yoof' cars are modded, often without telling their insurer. I would say the Corsa is one, along with that perrenial fave, the Saxo and the 106 & 206. A new ECU chip here, a new intake manifold there, etc etc. The problem is that most never upgrade the safety features to the level in newer and higher performance cars, but then drive as if they were driving one. Just my view.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - barney100

Pie in the sky...sporty car...young driver...cheap insurance? Suggest checking the list of cars in the lowest insurance band and looking for one of those.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - expat

Rather off topic but my son got a 7 year old Ford Falcon 4lt over here in Australia as his first car when he was about 20. He visited the UK later that year and people were amazed that he had a car that size and even more so when he told them that his 3rd party insurance was about $150! He kept the car about 5 years, drove sensibly and never had any accidents.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - SLO76

Rather off topic but my son got a 7 year old Ford Falcon 4lt over here in Australia as his first car when he was about 20. He visited the UK later that year and people were amazed that he had a car that size and even more so when he told them that his 3rd party insurance was about $150! He kept the car about 5 years, drove sensibly and never had any accidents.

With a population density of 3.2 people per sq km compared to 413 per sq km in England I guess there's just fewer things and people to crash into... sound glorious to me.
Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - RobJP

Rather off topic but my son got a 7 year old Ford Falcon 4lt over here in Australia as his first car when he was about 20. He visited the UK later that year and people were amazed that he had a car that size and even more so when he told them that his 3rd party insurance was about $150! He kept the car about 5 years, drove sensibly and never had any accidents.

With a population density of 3.2 people per sq km compared to 413 per sq km in England I guess there's just fewer things and people to crash into... sound glorious to me.

Ah, but lies, damned lies and statistics, as they say.

The sheer size of Australia is shocking. For example, roughly 35% of Australia is desert. You could fit the UK into that area 12 times over.

About 85% of the population of Australia lives within 50km (31 miles) of the coast. It's basically a thin ribbon of habitable coastline

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - klu01dbt
Fiat panda 100hp might be a good fit. Never driven one, although the lesser pandas are great little runabouts and the reviews for the 100hp are good, although it has some compromises. Group 5 insurance if I remember correctly, not sure what that would mean insurance wise at his age. They start from about £2000 on auto trader.
Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - Cyd

My younger son takes his practical test in a month and (you may be surprised to hear) that we have just bought him a 2006 Fiesta 1.6 Ghia.

It would seem that because first time drivers are almost universally monitored by "black box" now, the engine size is less of an issue. The difference in quotes between a 1.25 and a 1.6 litre were only about £100.

The car itself is okay. It's nippy and easy to drive. Nice stereo and a goodly number of 'toys'. Reasonably comfy and economical. Somewhat noisy though. Our elder lad's Polo1.2 is much better on the NVH front with better materials and better put together I'd say.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - argybargy

My suggestion would be to spend less than half the 4k on the car, and keep the rest for insurance and unforeseen costs, such as a major fail on your first MOT.

You can get a really good car for much less than two grand, some of them mentioned above. My son had a Punto which during his ownership threw up the standard drawbacks of the model: blown head gasket, perforated sump etc etc. Once we sorted those out he managed to actually enjoy running it.

If he's someone who has time in the evenings and at weekends and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty, he could maybe pick something up that needs work, buy a Haynes manual and spend some of his leisure hours learning about how cars work. It can be very rewarding.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - ValiantSaint

Thanks for all the brilliant replies - I'll see if I can talk him round. He's found this Polo.....

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170830879...2

Are the newer 1.2 polos any good?

.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - badbusdriver

I think, while this is a much more sensible 1st car than a subaru, even ignoring the reliability question for the moment, your friend will soon come to dislike it.

The fact that he wants a subaru suggests he is interested in performance, but, as we have already established, there is no way he will get an affordable insurance quote for one of them. So the best option for him is to get a car which is in a low insurance group, not necessarily much power, but, and this is key, doesn't weigh much.

That polo is certainly going to have affordable insurance, and it does only have 60bhp, but it weighs 1070kg or thereabouts. To put that into perspective, the wilfully staid looking suzuki celerio has nearly 10bhp more (from its 1.0 engine), but weighs over 200kg less than the polo!. How will your friend feel if he gets comprehensively blown away by someone's Granny in a celerio?!. I'm not suggesting he should buy a celerio, but if he wants any driving enjoyment, he needs to be looking at something which doesn't weigh much, to alleviate the lack of power. Think citroen C1/peugeot 108/toyota aygo, all 3 share the same mechanical bits, shouldn't cost much to insure and are a hoot to drive.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - SLO76
"Are the newer 1.2 polos any good?"

Yes, they are. The Mk V Polo is a much better car all round than the Mk IV. It's particularly good with regard to ride comfort and high speed stability both assets often lacking in superminis. The 1.2 3cyl petrol is a bit wheezy but it's basic, reliable and gives off a not unpleasant offbeat thrum when extended, which is fortunate because you'll need to extend it constantly to get anywhere. They don't seem to suffer the burnt valve issue the earlier model was known for and to be honest it's rare they go wrong in any major way.

I've owned one as a commuter for over two years and it's been an excellent little car. We chose the 1.2 TDi mostly due to my higher mileage and largely motorway commute but also because the petrol options both 1.2 and 1.4 were rather flaccid. The boot handle switch is a common issue and rear brake cylinders fail early but neither is expensive so it's not much of a worry.

The reason why I didn't mention one to start with is they're rather lacking in performance terms. A 1.25 Fiesta or 1.3 Mazda 2 would run rings round a 1.2 Polo both in the performance and in handling stakes. A good sensible first motor though and this one sounds spot on if it's genuine. They're always easy to sell on too if kept tidy with history.

.
Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - ValiantSaint

Thanks again, SLO76. He's got his heart set on one of the newer 1.4 minis, now. Never even knew they did a 1400 engine. Decent, or not?

I'm trying to get him to buy the 1.25 Fiesta. That motor, or the mini?

Edit: Just found a 2008 1.2 (turbo'd) Twingo for 2.5k with 20k on the clock - no go?

Edited by ValiantSaint on 11/09/2017 at 17:11

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - SLO76
I wouldn't touch the Mini. They're prone to plenty of issues as they age and the jointly developed PSA/BMW engines are prone to timing chain problems among others. The Fiesta, Mazda 2 or Suzuki Swift would be much more robust.

The Twingo is a cheaply built little disposable city car. Buy the most basic non-turbo model you can as cheaply as you can and run it til it drops. It's not a wise bet for an enthusiastic young driver.

I wouldn't recommend either of these two.

Edited by SLO76 on 11/09/2017 at 17:24

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - Avant

You should be able to put him off getting a Mini by telling him that it's a girlie car (I thihk the majority of owners are female - nothing wrong with that of course but a 22-year-old man may be conscious of his image!).

The 1.4 Mini is the Mini One, which adds sluggishness to the vices set out by SLO.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - ValiantSaint

Hi Avant. I've tried the girly line with him and the Mini, but he's not having it! I've noticed that there's two different engines for the Mazda 2 (1.25 and 1.3) What's the difference? And which is better? Does the '2' have any major faults? Thanks again.

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - badbusdriver

Don't worry about the 1.25, it is a lovely engine by all means, but was fitted to the mazda 2 generations back. Seeing as how it is a tall, family friendly 5 door hatchback, your friend definitely wouldn't want one!.

The 1.3 and 1.5 were the options of the previous generation mazda 2, this is the one most likely to appeal to your friend. They have no real vices apart from being a little less spacious than its rivals.

But, to be honest, it sounds like your friend wants to choose his own car and not whatever sensible choice forum members (or you) recommend, so maybe now is the time to take a step back and let him get on with it?.

At least you can say that you tried!

Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - SLO76
The 1.25 is the same Yamaha designed unit as used in the Ford Fiesta and as BBD says it is an excellent wee engine with few vices. It is however only available in the 1st gen 2 (03-07) which is a rather boxy offering that I can't see a younger driver wanting to be seen in. They're due a timing belt at 8yrs so prove it in if offering on one. It wasn't used in the later 2nd gen cars.

The 1.3 is a totally different motor and is an excellent chain driven Mazda unit again with few vices. With fresh oil regularly these will run and run but the car they live in is a much more modern and stylish effort. Available from around £2k these are probably the best used supermini under £6k along with the Ford Fiesta 1.25/1.4.
Best car under £4k for young driver with no NCB? - Gibbo_Wirral

Just tell him to make sure he's got plenty of money spare for repairs and that he should make sure there's a good public transport service in his area!

 

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