Top 10 cars for young drivers
You've been waiting for so long, you've finally managed to get your precious sesame. No matter how many times you fail your test, it is now time to look for a car of interest, whether it is a sports car or a classic car. Unfortunately, the obstacles are numerous and the list of required vehicles is getting shorter. Budget, reliability, consumption, insurance... are important criteria for a young driver's license holder. The Benzin team has therefore come together to offer you the best choices.
Written by: @Tom_garm // Instagram
Toyota Celica 145 VVT-i
For those who want an offbeat coupe with commendable sporty qualities under the 5,000 euro mark, the 7th (and last) generation Celica is an excellent choice! On top of that, the insurance companies will be very lenient with you because this vehicle is unknown in their database... And yet, it does not lack qualities: 143hp, a manual gearbox, a contained weight of 1100kg, 4 seats and a large trunk!
Important points : Avoid models with too many miles on them because the engines may have suffered and avoid models with hazardous modifications!
Estimation : from €2,500 to €5,000
Peugeot 206 S16
The 206 S16 is the worthy heir of the 205 GTI and is surely a future collector like the GTI of the 80s. For the moment its price is at its lowest, but for how long? Besides having a light, powerful and agile car, the 206 has all the qualities of a "normal" car. It will be able to blend in and not attract too much attention from the police.
Important points : The S16s are excellent bases for rally or track use and have often been modified accordingly. These cars should be avoided for road use!
Estimation : from €2,000 to €3,500
Fiat Seicento Sporting Abarth
Agile, practical yet sporty, the Seicento Sporting in Abarth trim is not lacking in qualities. It continues the line of fun, easy-to-maintain cars that Fiat launched with the 500 in the 1950s. Sure, you're not going to set any lap times with this micro-car, but the sensations are there, just like a certain Mini Cooper. Anyway, with its 735 kg and its tiny wheels, you won't want to exceed 150 km/h! Enough to maintain your probationary license which has only 6 points...
Important points : Beware of rust! Don't forget to take a look or ask for pictures of the underbody and the wheel arches. The highway not being its strong point, prefer this small car for urban journeys.
Estimation : between €600 and €2,000
VW Golf Cab
The 1st and 2nd generation Golf are already icons of the 80s. So when designer Karmann took the Golf and made it a convertible, the result was an offbeat car with a timeless look. Powered by engines ranging from 75 to 112 horsepower, the idea is not to go fast but to "cruise" at a reasonable pace on small sunny country roads.
Important points : Once again, inspect the condition of the chassis and make sure there is no corrosion. Also, look for original models.
Estimation : between 4.000 and 9.000 € (depending on engine)
The Mini is an excellent car to learn to drive. It is often said that karting is the best driving school there is, and that's good because the Mini is a kart! For those who don't want to make a compromise between doing karting on the weekend and having a "normal" car during the week, the Mini is an excellent choice. Easy to maintain, this little English car should not ruin you; as long as it is healthy. As far as the engine is concerned, we have a preference for carburettor models, which are more reliable than the latest fuel-injected Mini (MPI).
Important points : Be very careful about corrosion. Check the underbody, the lower part of the car, the windshield, the bottom of the trunk... Avoid Mini's invaded by rust. On the other hand, avoid parking your Mini outside because the bodywork is very exposed.
Estimation : between 5.000 € and 12.000 € (depending on engine and finish)
Saab 900i 16S
If you want to create amazement and surprise in your circle of friends, the Saab 900 may be the solution. This Swedish big rig is without a doubt the most offbeat car in this top. And for good reason, it looks like no other car on the market. In addition to asserting its differences from the automotive standards, the Saab 900 has excellent road qualities and is known to be reliable. The various chain-driven engines only require "standard" maintenance.
Important points : Even if these cars are reliable, avoid models with more than 300,000 km... Also prefer atmospheric models: this will limit the list of problems in case of breakdown. Please also make sure that the vehicle is complete.
Estimation : between €2,500 and €4,000
Mazda MX-5 NA & NB
The recipe of the MX-5 is simple: a contained weight, 2 seats and rear wheel drive. Thanks to this recipe, the MX-5 is a real treat to drive and is quite efficient on small roads. Its incisive steering, short-travel gearbox and racy engines make you want to practice heel-toeing at every turn. Available with engines ranging from 90 to 140 hp, you'll be spoilt for choice depending on your budget.
Important points : Watch out for the gruyères! MX-5s have a tendency to rust, so be careful on this point. Also avoid models with questionable preparations.
Estimation : Between 3.000 € and 8.000 €.
Ford Escort XR3i
At the time of the GTIs, when the 205, Golf and other Super 5s were fighting each other, Ford decided to enter the battle with its Fiesta and Escort XR3i. Equipped with 110hp injection engines and weighing only 900 kg, the Escort had a great card to play. With the Escort, Ford also made a technological leap as it adopted independent rear wheels, an alloy cylinder head and front wheel drive.
Important points : Again and again, corrosion. Beware, some parts can be difficult to find.
Estimation : between € 3.000 and € 4.000
Audi TT 1.8T 8N
The TT is a car that divides opinions. Adored by some and hated by others, the TT was very innovative when it came out, both in its design and in its technical specifications. Equipped with 4 cylinders Turbo 20 valves from 150hp to 225hp, you will be spoilt for choice on the second hand market. Especially since these engines are known to be reliable and are common to other models of the VAG group.
Important points : There are a lot of TT's on the second hand market, and a lot of cars at the end of their life... Be patient and choose models that have been maintained, otherwise the bill can quickly become exorbitant.
Estimation : 3,500 and €5,000
All things considered, a horse as your first "vehicle of interest" may be THE solution? At least you won't have to pay for insurance, registration, maintenance and gas. Indeed, horses only feed on love, fresh water and hay. All the more so as all the horses have a Crit'air 0 sticker, so they can circulate freely in the big agglomerations.
Important points : Make sure the horse has not competed too much. It should also have been fed quality hay. The eyes and ears should also be bright.
Our selection of sporty, offbeat and fun cars for young drivers is now complete. With these cars, you are sure to have fun while remaining reasonable. As a matter of fact, there are many alternatives to that sad Clio 1.5 dci that your parents are trying to sell you.