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10 Economical Cars for Young & Learner Drivers

10 Economical Cars for Young & Learner Drivers
George Trout
  • On January 13, 2017

In a time where caring for the environment is of the utmost importance, we think it’s worth mentioning what cars young and learner drivers can get, to do their part for the environment. Apart from helping the environment you’ll also be helping yourself, as these cars have some of the best MPGs (Miles Per Gallon) on the market, you won’t be having to constantly stop and refuel.

Cost effective learner insurance

All of the cars on this list were quoted for an ‘owner’ insurance policy, based on cover for 28 days, the driver being 18 and living in Potters Bar. Quotes came from Insurelearnerdriver. Insurance quotes do of course vary depending on your personal circumstance, but we’re confident you should be able to find yourself a good deal on your own learner insurance.

If you’re looking for an older, second hand, model please be aware the prices we state in our list are for 2016 plate cars – older versions may differ slightly in listing price and insurance cost.

Our top 10 ‘economical’ cars

To be featured on our list the car and engine had to have a minimum Extra Urban MPG of 70.

Please be aware these MPGs are based on the specification provided in the vehicle’s brochure, meaning your actual MPG experiences may differ. MPG can be very subjective and it all depends on how, when, and where you drive.

We’ve recommended which fuel and engine to go for, to maximise both fuel efficiency and to keep costs low, but we are aware that not everyone will want to switch to a different fuel type. Therefore under each car we’ve listed an Alternative Engine / Fuel option, if available, which is not our recommended engine and fuel choice.


suzuki celerio on the road - learner insurance

Model – Suzuki Celerio SZ3, 1.0 Dualjet engine (Petrol)

Extra Urban MPG – 83   Urban MPG – 68.9  Combined MPG – 78.4

Price – £8,649

Learner Driver Insurance – £87

Unfortunately there are only two speakers in this variant of the Celerio, which is quite disappointing considering it has a snazzy DAB radio. On the plus side, there is a tyre pressure warning system, stability control, and because it’s the SZ3 variant – you get air conditioning and blue tooth connectivity.

Alternative Option – (Diesel) unavailable on the Celerio


hyundai i20 on road

Model – Hyundai i20 S Blue, 1.1 CRDi engine (Diesel)

Extra Urban MPG – 94.2   Urban MPG – 80.7  Combined MPG – 88.3

Price – £12,745

Learner Driver Insurance – £87

Comes with intelligent stop and go technology, a trip computer and an interesting bit of tech called ‘Impact sensing auto door unlocking’. In the event of a collision the doors will automatically unlock, meaning you’re not left stuck inside if you have a more serious accident.

Alternative Fuel Option(Petrol) 1.2 ’75ps’ engine (not available on S Blue variant – see the S & S Air variants)


toyota yaris in a show room - learner insurance

Model – Toyota Yaris Icon, 1.0 VVT-i engine (Petrol)

Extra Urban MPG – 74.3  Urban MPG54.3   Combined MPG 65.7 

Price – £13,170 

Learner Driver Insurance – £84

With a whole host of active safety features (hill start assist, vehicle stability, emergency braking lights and a reversing camera) you’d think the Yaris would probably cost a lot more than it does. There’s also the option for the Toyota safety sense with a pre-collision system and a lane departure alert.

Alternative Fuel Option – (Diesel) 1.4 D-4D engine


peugot 208 on white background

Model – Peugeot 208 Access, A/C 1.2 PureTech 68 (Petrol)

Extra Urban MPG – 72.4    Urban MPG – 61.4  Combined MPG – 67.3

Price – £13,200

Learner Driver Insurance – £87

The Peugeot 208 has a decent fuel efficiency on the base model. It’s got 15″ steel wheels, electrically operated (and heated) door mirrors, steering wheel controls, and as an added style point, it has LED lights which illuminate interesting patterns and designs.

Alternative Fuel Option – (Diesel) 1.6L BlueHDi engine


kia rio on the road - learner insurance

Recommended Model –  Kia Rio 1 SR7, 1.1 CRDi ISG (Diesel)

Extra Urban MPG – 85.6  Urban MPG68.9 Combined MPG 74.3 

Price – £13,495

Learner Driver Insurance – £84

A dynamic hatchback that puts a focus on the driver’s comfort. It makes things as simple as possible for the driver with steering wheel mounted controls and automatic air conditioning. It also has an impressive (Arkamy’s) sound system with 6 speakers.

Alternative Fuel Option(Petrol) 1.25 ’75ps’ engine


mini one on the road

Model – Mini Hatch One, 1.2 engine (Petrol)

Extra Urban MPG – 70.6   Urban MPG – 49.6   Combined MPG 61.4 

Price – £14,075

Learner Driver Insurance – £91

The classic British Mini. Despite the name, you get quite an impressive bit of power and space. With 102bhp you can also opt for a sport suspension. However, for the sake of your insurance costs, we wouldn’t advise getting a sport suspension. A combination of cloth and leather trim is standard or you can go the whole hog and go full leather for an extra cost.

Alternative Fuel Option(Diesel) 1.4 engine (not available on One variant – see One D variant)


Red Audi A1 for young and learner drivers - learner insurance

Model – Audi A1 SE, 1.0 TFSI engine (Petrol)

Extra Urban MPG – 76.3   Urban MPG – 56.5   Combined MPG – 67.3

Price – £14,530

Learner Driver Insurance – £98

Audi is not usually the first name you think of when you think young and learner driver cars. In contrast, the A1 is actually quite reasonably priced, especially if you decide to purchase it through finance (monthly payments). It’s one of the most expensive cars on our list for learner insurance, however the A1 is a great car to drive. It has Audi’s signature: dynamic suspension, style, and luxurious Zeitgest cloth upholstery.

Alternative Fuel Option (Diesel) 1.6 TDI engine


ford fiesta in a show room

Model – Ford Fiesta Zetec, 1.0 Eco boost engine (Petrol)

Extra Urban MPG – 76.4   Urban MPG – 52.3   Combined MPG – 65.7

Price – £15,145

Learner Driver Insurance – £91

Voted as the international engine of the year, 3 years running, Ford’s Eco boost engine has got a good reputation. The Ford Focus has a DAB radio and Ford sync as standard. It also has voice control and emergency assistance. It’s also improved on its safety, (compared with previous models), with optional active city stop and perimeter alarm.

Alternative Fuel Option(Diesel) 1.5 Duratorq TDCi 120 ECOnetic engine


renault clio on the road

Model – Renault Clio Dynamique Nav, 0.9 TCe 90 ECO engine (Petrol)

Extra Urban MPG – 76.4   Urban MPG – 55.4    Combined MPG – 67.3

Price – £15,265

Learner Driver Insurance – £98

The Clio does have more efficient engines compared to some of the other cars on this list. To buy a Clio from new, the best priced engine option would be the TCe 90 ECO engine. The Clio has a futuristic key card entry system, plenty of storage space, but unlike other cars on this list, such as the Yaris, it doesn’t have a reversing camera as standard, but you can get parking sensors as an optional extra.

Alternative Fuel Option(Diesel) ENERGY 1.4 DCI 90 engine


Vauxhall corsa on the road - learner insurance

Model – Vauxhall Corsa Design, 1.3 CDTi ecoFLEX engine (Diesel)

Extra Urban MPG – 85.6   Urban MPG – 58.9    Combined MPG – 72.4

Price – £15,395

Learner Driver Insurance – £87

The Vauxhall Corsa Design has heated mirrors, remote central locking, audio remote, and a cool service indicator letting you know exactly when to bring your car in for a little TLC. Folding rear seats are optional and so is air conditioning and sports seats.

Alternative Fuel Option – (Petrol) 1.4i ecoFLEX engine

If economy isn’t what you’re looking for in a car, why not check out our top 10 cheap to insure cars or top 10 safe cars?

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