Driving tests are due to be permitted again from 22 April (don’t forget your face mask), so we’ve been trawling the classifieds for £5000 cars suited to new drivers.
Does that sound like a lot of cash? It’s only the amount that those lucky enough to have been in work during the lockdown could have saved. In any case, who wants the apple of their eye driving an old banger?
Our five selections are all modern things in low insurance groups. A low group matters, but it’s not the only thing that insurers consider. The driver’s tender age is the biggest issue, but where they live is also a major factor – although there isn’t much you can do about that.
First up is a Vauxhall Corsa. Its intended recipient might well have learned in one, making this 2014 car with 16,000 miles feel instantly familiar. The fact that it has only three doors might discourage rowdy mates from joining them, too – not that you need to tell them that…
The fact that its 1.0-litre petrol engine produces just 64bhp for a 0-62mph time of 18.2sec is a double-edged sword. It may deter the novice driver from driving too enthusiastically, but what if they need a dab of power to escape some fast-developing situation?
With that in mind, we considered the more powerful 1.0i Turbo, which has 113bhp to provide 0-62mph in 10.3sec. However, it’s nine insurance groups higher (group 11 instead of the lower-powered car’s group two), which put the lid on that idea.
Fifth-generation Corsa weak spots are a leaky radiator and loose trim. There have been a few recalls, too, so check that they’ve been followed up.
Hyundai i10 1.0 SE £5195: The best thing about an i10 is that its previous owner is likely to have been a sensible soul who looked after it, and this 23,000-mile 2015 car is no exception. The i10 is surprisingly spacious and fun to drive, too. Cool? Not very, but then who’s paying?