Passing your driving test is an exciting time for anyone. Gaining your license affords a new level of freedom and independence. The next step is to find and purchase your first car. First-time drivers are often subject to expensive car insurance policies owing to their inexperience. Insurers very much follow a guilty until proven innocent rationale when coming up with the policy cost. As a result of this, and in order to minimize expenditure, first-time drivers often consider a similar range of vehicles.

When selecting the first car, there are a number of key considerations that need to be factored into the decision-making process. Top of many buyer's lists is affordability, both in terms of purchase or lease price along with the insurance premium. Safety is another top priority, with inexperience potentially increasing the likelihood of a collision. Similarly, drivers look for cars that are easy to drive, with good visibility and straightforward controls. Parking is one of the most common causes of vehicle damage in the new driver, not yet being able to judge distances properly and experiencing many new parking situations, a scrape is more than a possibility. Therefore, selecting a model with parking aids is likely to pay dividends. Here are some of the best 2022 compact cars that check all the boxes for a fresh and inexperienced driver.

10 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Toyota Corolla Front
Via: Toyota Media

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback range begins at just over $20,000, making it a great value new car. Affordability is likely to be high on the consideration list for new drivers, having paid for driving tuition and facing expensive first-year auto insurance. The car provides enough interior and cargo space to satisfy a small family, with 361 liters available with the rear seats upright.

Toyota Corolla Rear
Via: Toyota Media

Every Corolla comes with a good range of infotainment features. As standard, a touchscreen display with integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is provided. As well as the touchscreen control, there is a range of physical buttons throughout the cabin, helping to minimize distraction and allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road.

Related: 10 Things To Know Before Buying The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

9 Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo
Via: Volkswagen Newsroom

The Volkswagen Polo is a long-term favorite within the supermini segment. The car combines a classy interior, with a refined ride. The cabin is made up of lots of pleasing soft-touch materials, and there is an overall feel of quality. The Polo manages to feel like a big car in a compact package. The quality does however come at a cost, with the range starting at approximately $24,000.

Volkwagen Polo Rear
Via: Volkswagen Newsroom

To help the younger driver, the optional Driver Assistance Package comes complete with parking assist.

8 Ford Fiesta

Via: NetCarShow

A major competitor to the Volkswagen Polo, within the supermini segment, the Ford Fiesta is an excellent all-rounder. Offering a reasonable 292-liter boot, the Fiesta has enough space to transport all of a young driver's essentials, folding seats increase this to 1,093 liters. The car being a compact size is easy to park, and you can even option acoustic parking sensors or automatic parking.

Via: NetCarShow

The car's handling characteristics are class-leading, the steering is well-weighted and drivers have the confidence to throw it about in the corners. An improved infotainment system brings the cabin up to date, all Fiestas get an 8-inch touchscreen complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Related: The Best Feature Of The 2021 Ford Fiesta ST Has To Be Its Engine

7 Volkswagen Jetta

Via: Volkswagen Newsroom

The Volkwagen Jetta starts at just over $21,000, for this, buyers get a very complete car ideal for the new driver. The ride is refined and comfortable, and for a car in this class more than satisfactory.

Volkswagen Jetta Red
Via: Volkswagen Newsroom

Reassuringly for new drivers and those who know them, both forward-collision and autonomous emergency braking systems are included as standard. This not only improves safety but reduces the associated insurance risk factor rating, in turn minimizing the cost.

6 Ford Puma

Via: NetCarShow

The Ford Puma sits in between the Fiesta and Focus in terms of the space offered. The Puma will take sales away from both of these models owing to its modern crossover form. The car has a sporty design and will no doubt appeal to younger drivers more than some of the more drab, cookie-cutter crossovers on the market.

Via: NetCarShow

As standard, the car comes equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen with smartphone integration. The car's steering is light and direct, making urban maneuvering a breeze. Higher specification models come with LED headlights, helping drivers get the best view of the road ahead possible and minimizing the risk of a collision.

Related: Here’s How The Ford Puma Stacks Up Against The Competition

5 Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR Sport GT7 Edition
via: Toyota

The Toyota Yaris is the most compact car on our list, making it great for a first-time driver. Negotiating tight urban streets and parking bays should be no issue in this supermini. Avoiding a bumper scuff is of paramount importance to new drivers given the cost of auto insurance levied against them

Toyota Yaris GR Sport GT7 Edition
via: Toyota

Despite the compact externals, the Yaris can adjust to suit most drivers. The steering wheel adjusts for both reach and rake, and a height-adjustable seat aids visibility. Helping the inexperienced, all models come with automatic headlights, windscreen wipers, and electrically adjustable heated wing mirrors.

4 Subaru Legacy

Via: NetCarShow

The base model Legacy starts at just under $24,000. A particularly attractive selling point for not just new drivers, but all drivers, is the 5 star National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rating. Helping it achieve this rating is a range of safety technologies that are included as standard. The technology includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with lane keep assist, and lane departure warning.

Subaru-Legacy- Rear
Via: NetCarShow

All-wheel drive comes as standard, like most Subaru models. This provides drivers with the best grip levels possible, making driving a safer experience and is fairly unique within the segment. The Legacy is not off-road focused, however, like the Outback and Forester.

3 Mazda CX-30

Via: NetCarShow

The CX-30 offers younger drivers a more premium experience. What really elevates the CX-30 is its well-crafted cabin, composed of high-quality materials. As standard, the CX-30 comes fitted with an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, this is easily controlled by a rotary knob in the center console.

Via: NetCarShow

All models of the CX-30 are all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard, this helps ensure the inexperienced driver has maximum traction and stability. For such a complete package, the CX-30 represents good value for money starting at just over $23,000.

2 Honda Civic

Via: NetCarShow

Popular Japanese hatchback, the Honda Civic, makes a great first car. Firstly, the starting price of just over $22,000 makes it a relatively affordable vehicle, especially considering the list price of many other new cars. The Civic is both reliable, while also being cheap to repair should you encounter an issue, reassuring to the new driver's pocket.

Via: NetCarShow

The car achieved a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), providing reassurance should the worst happen.

1 Mini Cooper

Via: NetCarShow

As the name would suggest, the Mini Cooper is a compact car, albeit not as small as its predecessor. The car has been developed with the urban environment in mind, and it is more than at home in the city. Returning around 32 MPG combined, the car minimizes the amount of time and money needed to be spent at the pumps.

Via: NetCarShow

One particular strength of the Mini is how well it holds its value. Buyers are perennially attracted to the car and its styling, demand and therefore values stay strong. The Mini is one of those bucket list types of cars, that every true driver must experience. Why not tick it off early as a first car?

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