The top five cars – as chosen by students


When you’re living on a student loan, costs are understandably at the top of your mind a lot of the time – and that’s why students who drive really appreciate an economical and reliable car that’s cheap to insure.

Ingenie, which specialises in young driver insurance, asked its users for their favourite cars – and here’s what they chose:

1. Vauxhall Corsa

At 50mpg and comfortably within the lower tax band, the 1.0-litre, 5-door 2008 Vauxhall Corsa is a great pick for students. With an affordable price point, an economical engine and in the extremely cheap insurance group 2, it’s also spacious enough to ferry mates around and available in a huge number of trims. However, it’s best to steer clear of sporty models, which can push up insurance prices – stick to the basics instead!


2. Renault Clio

Another cheap and cheerful car that’s more than capable of handling the student lifestyle, the Renault Clio is an evergreen “my first car”. While slightly costlier than the Corsa, it’s a classy and fun car that offers great value for money. Choose the 2006 model with a 1.2-litre engine to stay in the lower insurance groups.


3. Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta’s had a really impressive run – when the line first launched in 1976, nobody could have expected it to remain a popular entry-level car more than 40 years later. Decently roomy inside, with good fuel economy and an attractive price point, this supermini’s perfectly suited to city living and particularly attractive to students.


4. Ford Ka

With extremely low road tax, cheap insurance and great running costs offsetting its slightly higher purchase cost compared to the rest of the list, the Ford Ka is perhaps something of a surprise hit with students. Particularly popular with female drivers, their elevated seat position offers a great view of the road.


5. Volkswagen Polo

Twice named Auto Express’ Supermini of the Year, the VW Polo is a perennial favourite among students, especially 1.0-litre engine models. Their reputation for sturdiness and reliability is a big plus for the student market –no-one likes getting up to their elbows in engine grease, after all. The Polo also holds its value well, making it a great first car with an eye on trading up after graduation.