Good First Cars For Australian Drivers: Our Top 5 Picks

Getting your first car is an exciting time. Maybe you've just passed your driving test, or maybe you've moved out of home and no longer have the keys to mum's car. Either way, deciding which car is right for you can be difficult.

In this article, we are going to look at some of the most popular first cars for Australian drivers. In We'll outline 5 of the best first cars for Australian drivers based on things like price, safety, and reliability.

However, before we get underway let's address some common concerns and questions from first-time car buyers:

What is the best car for a first-time driver?

First and foremost, the best car for a first-time driver is one that is safe and reliable. Furthermore, easy-to-maneuver small cars tend to be better options than larger vehicles. That's because they are cheaper to buy and fuel, easier to park, and not overly powerful so as to not be intimidating for new drivers.

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    What good first cars are cheap?

    One of the most important factors for first-time car buyers is cost. Therefore, you'll be glad to know that there are plenty of cheap first cars that are still safe and reliable. Some of these include hatchbacks, small sedans, and compact SUVs. Of course, buying a quality used car is another great way to save money without compromising on safety or reliability. However, this might mean missing out on all the benefits of buying a new car, like capped price servicing.

    What's the best car for a 17-year-old?

    When it comes to buying a car for someone who is still in high school, there are many factors that come into play. For example, your teenager may want a car that is easy to drive and has low running costs, or maybe they simply want something cool. Either way, the best thing you can do is to talk to your teenager about their needs and preferences and then help steer them toward the safest and most suitable option

    Are minis good first cars?

    Mini cars are definitely a popular choice as first cars for many drivers. They are relatively affordable, easy to drive, and fuel efficient. However, there are a few downsides to mini cars that may make them less ideal than other cars. For example, they can feel cramped and limited storage space can become an issue. Additionally, they are often underpowered and lack the safety of a larger vehicle. So while minis can be good first cars for some drivers, they may not be the best option for everyone.

    With the above considerations in mind, let's take a look at our top 5 picks for first cars in Australia:

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    5. Toyota Corolla

    If you are looking for reliability and affordability then look no further than the iconic Toyota Corolla. This small car is one of the most popular first cars in Australia due to its high level of standard equipment, safety features, and low running costs. 

    Priced from $25,395 the Toyota Carolla Ascent Sport features an array of great safety equipment for the new driver like reversing camera, autonomous emergency braking, as well as cyclist recognition. Plus, with a fuel consumption rating of just 6L/100km, the Corolla is also one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class.

    4. Mazda 3

    The Mazda 3 is a hatchback that has long been one of the best-selling cars in Australia. It boasts great handling, advanced technology, and excellent practicality at an affordable price point. The G20 hatchback costs just $29,590 before on-road costs. At 6.2L/100km, it's not as miserly on fuel as the Toyota Corolla, but it strikes a great balance between performance and economy. 

    In terms of safety, the Mazda 3 has a five-star ANCAP rating and comes fitted with blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, as well as smart brake support and a reversing camera.

    3. Hyundai i30

    The i30 is certainly no low-spec car for new drivers. With a host of great infotainment technology, performance features, and safety equipment, this is one new car that strikes a beautiful balance between style and safety. Apple Car Play and Android Auto are fitted as standard to the i30, while its safety kit comprises features such as cyclist recognition, dusk-sensing headlights, lane-keeping assist, and a vehicle stabilising system. 

    All this comes in a very affordable package too. The i30 Active is priced at only $27,220 and achieves 7.4L/100km.

    2. Toyota Camry Hybrid

    If you're looking to make your first car an electric motor-powered one, then the Camry Hybrid is a perfect choice. Priced at $33,490 the Toyota Camry Hybrid Ascent can achieve an impressive fuel economy of just 4.7L/100km. This, combined with its impressive technology and safety features, makes it a great option for new drivers. 

    For starters, it has a lane keep assist and also benefits from autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Then there's the techy stuff, such as a 7" touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, and Apple Car Play. With a spacious interior and a 5-year factory warranty, the Camry Hybrid is a great car for new drivers who want both quality and practicality.

    1. Volkswagen Polo

    Coming in at number one on our list of the best first cars on Australia is the Volkswagen Polo GTI. This stylish hatchback offers new drivers a great blend of safety, technology, style, and performance. Priced at $38,750 (plus on-road costs), it may not be the cheapest on our list, but it certainly is one of the best. For starters, it has a 9-star ANCAP crash safety rating and comes fitted with a host of driver assistance technology, such as autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist and more.

    Powered by a zippy 2.0L petrol engine, it’s capable of outputting 147kW and 320Nm of torque. On top of this, it's also a very stylish car and one of the most popular in its class. If you are looking for a first car that is not only safe and affordable but also one that will make you look forward to city driving every day, then the Volkswagen Polo GTI is perfect.

    Final thoughts

    For first car buyers, buying new cars need not be a stressful or difficult experience. Armed with our list of the best first cars in Australia, you'll have no trouble finding a model that ticks all the right boxes when it comes to safety, technology, performance, and practicality. 

    Now, the only thing left to do is get those finances in order and hit the showroom floor!​ One of the best ways to begin your journey toward car ownership is by using a car finance calculator. This will help you work out your monthly repayments and allow you to budget for your ownership costs appropriately. You might be surprised at just how affordable owning a car can be!​

    At Driva, we're passionate about helping Aussie drivers get behind the wheel of their dream first car. If you're thinking about buying your first vehicle, then let us help you to find the best finance deals out there. We've made it simple to get your perfect car loan with Driva in just a few easy steps. We'll match you to the best pre-qualified rates, plus you can choose from 100% transparent options provided by lenders who are committed to providing the best possible rates. All you need to do is fill in our short form, and we'll take care of the rest!

    Declan Flaherty

    As the Digital Marketing Manager at Driva you can find Declan during the day transfixed by a flurry of spreadsheets, mar-tech, Slack emojis and graphs all pointing in the right direction and keeping up to date with the latest car finance trends.

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