Top Cars for New Drivers

Published: Apr 23, 2024 5:00 PM

Learning to drive is an exciting milestone, whether you’re a teenager or an adult. As a new driver, choosing the right car is crucial. It should be safe, affordable, and easy to handle. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best cars for new drivers in Australia, considering factors like safety features, affordability, and insurance costs.

Safety First: Your Fortress on Wheels

Safety should be your number one priority. Fortunately, Australia has some of the highest safety standards in the world, with a mandatory 5-star ANCAP safety rating for all new cars sold. But even within 5 stars, some features offer an extra layer of protection for learners:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB): This nifty tech can automatically apply the brakes if it detects a potential collision with a vehicle or pedestrian in front.
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW): A gentle nudge if you start to drift out of your lane without indicating.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA): Beeps to warn you of approaching vehicles when reversing out of a driveway.
  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM): Lights up your wing mirror if there’s a car hidden in your blind spot.


Many new cars come equipped with these features as standard, but it’s always worth checking before you buy.

Fuel Efficiency and Insurance Costs: Keeping Your Budget on the Road

Let’s face it, as a new driver, you’re probably not rolling in dough. Here’s where fuel efficiency and insurance costs come into play. Generally, smaller, lighter cars are cheaper to run on fuel. Additionally, insurers often consider engine size and safety features when calculating premiums. So, a little hatchback with a sprightly 1.2L engine and a raft of safety features could be your wallet’s best friend.

Top Contenders: Small, Safe and Stylish

1. Kia Picanto: Australia’s most affordable brand-new car. It might be small, but it boasts a 5-star ANCAP rating, AEB, and a 7-year warranty for peace of mind. Plus, the newer models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone integration.

2. Suzuki Swift: A perennial favourite, the Swift is known for its reliability, fun driving dynamics, and excellent fuel economy. Most models come with AEB and various driver-assist features.

3. Toyota Corolla: An icon for good reason, the Corolla is known for its bulletproof reliability and safety. Newer models pack a lot of standard safety features, making it a safe and sensible choice.

4. Mazda 2: A stylish option with a touch of zoom-zoom spirit. It offers a good balance between features, safety (including AEB), and fuel efficiency.

5. Hyundai i30: A great all-rounder, the i30 is known for its comfort, safety features like AEB, and impressive fuel economy. It might be a touch pricier than some on this list, but it offers a lot of car for your money.

Beyond the List: Finding Your Perfect Fit

These are just a few suggestions, and the perfect car for you will depend on your individual needs and budget. Here are some additional tips for your car search:

  • Consider used cars: You can find excellent, safe, and affordable used options from reputable dealerships.
  • Test drive!: There’s no substitute for getting behind the wheel and seeing how a car feels.
  • Factor in running costs: Consider not just the purchase price, but also fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs.
  • Get a mechanic’s inspection: Peace of mind is priceless, especially for a used car.


Finding your first car is an exciting milestone. By prioritizing safety, affordability, and your own needs, you’ll be cruising the streets with confidence in no time. Now, buckle up and get ready for the open road!

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Apr 23, 2024 5:00 PM

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