Are you in your teens and dreaming of owning your first car? Perhaps you're a parent or guardian seeking a runabout for your dependent? Either way, it's worth researching the many options available before you part with your cash.

As you might expect, the type of car that is suitable for a teenager is also about right for a 'new driver' in general - unless, perhaps, you're getting your first car at the age of 40! So it's worth reading those 'new driver car' top 10's, too.

Low cost, high efficiency

Cars are in general not cheap to buy or run, but there are still some more economical options for teenagers. The ideal candidate is small, compact, easy-to-manoeuvre, cheap to buy, cheap to insure, cheap to fuel, and offers a high degree of reliability, and of course, safety.

Whether you’re buying for yourself, or you're a parent or guardian about to splash the cash, there are a number of other things you'll want from a teen car.

It should have a high Euro NCAP test score - ideally a '5-star' rating. This means if the car was involved in a collision the occupants would have the best possible chance of avoiding injury - or worse.

It should also be fun to drive, and come with safety features and driver assists such as autonomous emergency braking.

And for teens, tech is important too. Look out for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, alongside USB ports - important for being able to play tracks on the car's speaker system.

And while all carmakers strive to make their cars easy to drive, this is especially important for new drivers, who won't need a complicated cockpit for the first few years of driving.

Here we rank the best 10 cars for teens, available to buy in the UK right now.

 

Seat Ibiza

It may look small, but it has a surprisingly large boot (355L). This tardis-like space situation is apparent in the cabin too, where both driver and passengers enjoy plenty of leg and head room. Styling will please most - although the entry-level kit is a little lacking, so consider investing more for a better spec. Oh yes, and it's cheap to run.

 

Ford Fiesta

The latest iteration of the Fiesta is just as fun and economical as it forebears. Fun to drive and cheap to buy and run, it’s a real winner with teen drivers. It also looks rather cool, and even the entry-level variant features a Thatcham alarm, USB slots; digital radio, touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

 

Volkswagen Polo

Arguably the quintessential hatchback, the Polo offers oodles of personality, great styling and superb build quality. Its boot is generous - at 331L - as is the interior, adding to the pleasant driver/passenger experience. It does cost a little more than a Fiesta - and indeed most other cars on this list, but at least the entry-level version includes air conditioning, autonomous emergency braking and electric front windows.

 

Skoda Citigo

The Citigo is basically the same car as the Seat Mii and the VW Up - but is noticeably cheaper. It's also cheap to run and boasts great safety features. Visually it looks neat and sporty, and is available in a wide range of colours - ideal if you want to express yourself with a lime-green or cerese paint job!

 

Peugeot 208

The 208 costs a little more than the likes of a Citigo, but it's worth considering if you have the finances. It boasts a fantastic safety record and is cheap to run. The entry-level variant features Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, LED lights, cruise control and air conditioning. If you want rear parking sensors - a real winner with new drivers - you'll have to invest a little more for the next spec level up - Allure.

 

Volkswagen Up!

The Up is the VW version of the Seat Mii and the Skoda Citigo. Indeed, VW developed the platform and brought it over to Seat and Skoda, both owned by the Wolfsburg car giant. The Up offers pretty much the same benefits as the Mii and the Citigo, but costs a little more. Note that you can buy electric versions of all three cars, too.

Honourable mention: Seat Mii - it’s essentially the same car as the Up and the Citigo.

 

Suzuki Ignis

Light, agile and easy to handle, the Ignis occupies a rather unique position between SUV and small urban runabout. The Ignis can easily carry up to four people, and the optional safety upgrade gives it a 5-star Euro NCAP rating. On the downside, the entry-level variant only garnered it a 3-star safety rating. Additionally, noise from the engine and road can be quite loud.

 

Hyundai i10

This one is great for road or music festival trips, offering as it does a 252-litre boot, and space in the rear for three passengers. It's also highly maneuverable - which is ideal for teen drivers. There are also a number of great deals on the i10, including things like insurance and servicing. One downside is the 4-star Euro NCAP rating.

 

Toyota Aygo

The Aygo is based on another multi-brand shared platform - with the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 108. The distinctive X shape across the front of the Aygo will not be to every teen's taste, but it's certainly quirky. Notable downsides include the 3-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and the poky 168-litre boot.

 

Peugeot 108

While cheap to buy and run, the entry-level variant comes with scant equipment and only three doors. However, you can upgrade to the Allure version, which includes auto headlamps, keyless fob, reverse camera and digital radio. Safety is mediocre with a 4-star Euro NCAP rating.