What is the best first car for a new driver?

While CarAdvice specialises in reviews and comparisons of cars in all price brackets, it's often important to consider the perfect first car for somebody new to driving. CarAdvice reader Emily e-mailed us wanting to know what car she should buy as a first car.
- shares
Q: What is the ideal car for someone just getting onto the road? I'm looking for an automatic car under $20,000 that is small to midsize.

A: Thanks for getting in touch, Emily. You really are spoiled for choice in this price bracket. A number of manufacturers have vehicles that have either just been released, or have been released recently that are worth checking out.

Light hatchback group 2

The new Mazda 2 is a standout, as is the Toyota Yaris, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio and Honda Jazz. There are also a number of models that have been on the market for longer that would be available for competitive prices and with extended warranties.

The Kia Rio is a perfect example of a car that you can haggle the dealer for and it also comes with a seven year warranty for peace of mind.

Kia Rio 41b

Not long ago we published a mega light car comparison that included the new Mazda 2, Volkswagen Polo, Honda Jazz, Renault Clio and Toyota Yaris. You can read that light car comparison here.

The other comparison we published that you could should read is the Kia Rio against the Toyota Yaris. You can read that comparison here.

The vehicles in this segment generally hold their value well and come with a raft of great features to keep you safe and make parking and manoeuvring around the city a breeze.

Other vehicles also in this segment include the Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i20, Holden Barina and Suzuki Swift.