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10 Safe Cars for Young & Learner Drivers

10 Safe Cars for Young & Learner Drivers
George Trout
  • On November 24, 2016
  • http://www.insurelearnerdriver.co.uk

As a learner or young driver you may still be lacking driving experience, so having a safe car is very important. Apart from the obvious sense of relief you’ll have, knowing you’re in control of a highly secure and safe vehicle, a car with a higher safety rating usually carries lower insurance worries.

Safe cars and the Euro N-CAP rating

The Euro N-CAP rating is the European New Car Assessment Programme, it uses a 5 star rating system to determine the safety of a vehicle. The range goes from 1 star, which is the lowest rating (anything below 1 star is not road worthy), to 5 stars, which is the best possible result.

Ratings are awarded to a car’s safety spec as standard and doesn’t consider add-on safety features.

The rating is awarded depending on its score. It’s scored on 4 criteria:

  • Adult Occupant Protection – which assess the protection for adult drivers and adult passengers against frontal and side impacts
  • Child Occupant Protection – assessing the protection offered by the child restraint systems during impact; the ability to accommodate various child restraint sizes & designs and the availability of provisions for safe child transport
  • Pedestrian Protection – protection to pedestrians for most frontal end structures, such as the bonnet, the windshield and the bumper
  • Safety Assist – determined by the safe driving technology available on the car as standard

Safety for Young & Learner drivers

A key selling point for Young and Learner drivers is a car’s price, however don’t always be drawn in by a low price tag. This can often mean the car is old and potentially over worked, making it less reliable and less safe. We would also sugget when looking online for cars to not get one that is a Category C or D; has done more than 50,000 miles and is no older than 3 – 4 years.

Cars included on this list are also

  • Euro N-CAP rated 4 or 5 stars – meaning they get the thumbs up from Euro N-Cap
  • Tested in 2013 or later – so results are still applicable to today’s standards

Here is our list of 10 very safe cars for Young and Learner drivers.


RENAULT MEGANE (2015)

red renault megane on a track

One month learner driver insurance: £102

Suggested Model Variant: Expression+ 1.2 litre

If you’re a young driver getting a Megane we see no reason to get a higher trim than the Expression+. As standard it has air conditioning, central locking and even leather trim. As a vehicle for safety it’s great, there’s stability control, brake assist with 4 high spec brake discs including two ventilated ones to help reduce wear and tear from braking.

Euro N-CAP safety stats – 5*

table of the n-cap rating for a renault megane

Applies to all Megane Variants – see Euro N-Cap for details

Click here for full safety break down


HYUNDAI i10 (2014)

a red hyundai i10

One month learner driver insurance: £91

Suggested Model Variant: SE 1.0 litre

The SE has both a 1.0 and 1.2 litre engine, which gives it an extra 21 bhp. Both engines are suitable for a young driver, however as the 1.0 is the closest to the spec tested by Euro N-Cap that’s the one we’ve suggested. The SE has heated and electric mirrors, there is also the option for parking sensors and cruise control. We’d also just like to note that there’s little LED lights on the wing mirrors to give you extra visibility at night.

Euro N-CAP safety stats – 4*

ncap rating for hyundai i10

Applies to all Hyundai i10s of the specification tested – see Euro N-Cap for details

Click here for full safety break down


SKODA FABIA (2014)

white skoda fabia in a  show room

One month learner driver insurance:  £98

Suggested Model Variant: SE 1.2 litre

The Fabia is anything but lacking in storage space and is a great car for keeping you safe and secure. There are Fabias with more powerful engines than the 68 bhp 12v we suggest, and the Euro N-Cap test was done on such, however insurers would not like a Young or Learner driver going around in the Turbocharged 100 bhp engine the Euro N-Cap test was done on.

Euro N-CAP safety stats – 5*

table of the n-cap rating for a skoda fabia

Applies to all Skoda Fabias of the specification tested – see Euro N-Cap for details

Click here for full safety break down


TOYOTA AYGO (2014)

an orange toyota aygo

One month learner driver insurance: £87

Suggested Model Variant: X-Play 1.0 litre

One thing the Aygo has over a few of the other cars on this list is its style, which constantly gets referenced in reviews; so along with safety you also get beauty. Hill start assist is standard, extremely useful for newbies that struggle moving off on hills. Choose to bump things up a bit with a touch screen dash panel that has a rear view camera and Sat Nav.

Euro N-CAP safety stats – 4*

Applies to all Aygos of the specification tested – see Euro N-Cap for details

Click here for full safety break down


RENAULT ZOE (2013)

a white renault zoe on the road

One month learner driver insurance: £98

Suggested Model Variant: Expression Electric

The first electric car on our list the ZOE is a little bit more expensive than others on this list. We’d suggest the base model, because even with the Expression you get quite a bit, both inside (cruise control, Sat Nav, even a telephone) and outside (heated mirrors, strong and sturdy steel wheels). A strange feature on the ZOE is that it warns pedestrians of your approach by emitting a noise, so you’ll literally turn heads in the ZOE.

Euro N-CAP safety stats – 5*

table of the n-cap rating for a renault zoe

Applies to all ZOEs of the specification tested – – see Euro N-Cap for details

Click here for full safety break down


RENAULT CAPTUR (2013)

orange renault captur on the road

One month learner driver insurance: £87

Suggested Model Variant: Expression+ 0.9 litre

I’m sure you’re noticing a pattern, Renault are renowned for their vehicle safety and the Captur is no exception. Even with its smallest engine it’s got a decent level of power (88 bhp). We suggest the Expression+ because of some of the extras that come with it over the Expression, like air con and fog lights. It also gets automatic lights and wipers which can potentially make you safer on the roads, as you wont be trying to adjust them on the move.

Euro N-CAP safety stats – 5*

table of the n-cap rating for a renault captur

Applies to all CAPTURs of the specification tested – see Euro N-Cap for details

Click here for full safety break down


RENAULT TWINGO (2014)

blue renault twingo

One month learner driver insurance: £84

Suggested Model Variant: Play 1.0 litre

The Twingo keeps you securely fastened to the road with its ABS and traction control as standard. It also has strong steel wheels and air con. Interestingly you can opt to have an extra Iso-fix child restraint fitted to the front passenger seat, however if you haven’t got children it’s understandable that this would not sway you.

Euro N-CAP safety stats – 4*

ncap rating renault twingo

Applies to all Twingos of the specification tested – see Euro N-Cap for details

Click here for full safety break down


SUZUKI SX4 (2013)

a suzuki sx4 on a drive way

One month learner driver insurance: £109

Suggested Model Variant: DDiS 1.6 litre

We are aware that not everyone needs a small city car, some Young and Learner drivers need something a bit bigger and tougher. The SX4 is a big car with brilliant suspension. It is best for people that do lots of country roads, regularly driving on rough, uneven ground. Interestingly, Euro N-Cap tested a GL model, which stopped being produced in 2009, so you won’t find any 2013 or later GLs. The next best option is probably the DDiS. It’s one of the lowest SX4’s for its insurance, but at an insurance group 15 it’s still one of on of the highest on our list.

Euro N-CAP safety stats – 5*

table of the n-cap rating for a  suzuki sx4

All Suzuki SX4’s of the specification tested + 2015 ‘Special Edition’ – see Euro N-Cap for details

Click here for full safety break down


VAUXHALL VIVA (2015)

ncap rating for vauxhall viva

One month learner driver insurance: £84

Suggested Model Variant: SL 1.0 litre

Between the SE and SL there is a couple hundred pounds difference. If you have the money or find a good second hand SL we would definitely suggest it over the SE. There are far more optional design elements; your drive will be more pleasurable e.g. electronic climate control with automatic air speed and direction and as a bonus you can also get bigger, stronger, alloy wheels fitted, which may last you longer than the SE’s 15 inch structure wheels.

Euro N-CAP safety stats – *4

ncap rating renault twingo

All Renault Twingos of the specification tested – see Euro N-Cap for details

Click here for full safety break down


SMART FORFOUR (2014)

smart forfour - safe cars for young and learner driver

One month learner driver insurance: £84

Suggested Model Variant: Passion 1.0 litre

The Smart ForFour isn’t the cheapest car, as is to be expected when its manufacturer is a brand like Mercedes, though it’s a car that does go that extra mile for its driver. For one it has automatic climate control as standard and it also has leather trim features which most cars at their base level will not. It also comes in a whole range of colours, so feel free to find your favourite.

EURO N-CAP safety stats – 4*

ncap rating for a smart forfour

Applies to all Smart ForFour of the specification tested – see Euro N-Cap for details

Click here for full safety break down

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