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For €5,000, what automobile would suit my wife, just learning to drive?

I want to buy the missus a automobile. She is just learning to drive and she'll need to ferry our one-year-old around too. I don't want to spend too much, about €5,000 maximum, no real preference for make or model, but I want something safe, easy to drive, with good visibility. Low tax a bonus. Any ideas?

Filed under learner - Asked by Johnny B (Dublin) - Tue, 09 Apr 2013 13:43

Neil Briscoe Answered by: - -


Hi Jonny,

Right, there's a couple of easy answers to this question and they are Volkswagen Polo, Toyota Yaris and Ford Fiesta. There are tonnes of them around, they're all safe and the Yaris can be had with a 1.0-litre engine so low tax and insurance rates are assured.

But... But there are a couple of possibilities that are a bit more fun and a little more interesting. How about a Suzuki Swift? Not as spacious as the above trio, but as your child is only one that's not really an issue for now. Besides it's way more fun to drive than any of the others and Suzukis are super reliable.

Or you could go for something a bit more trendy and exciting. €5,000 is the absolute bottom end price for a Fiat 500 but you might be able to track one down, and it's fun and funky as well as safe and cheap to run. Or there's the mother of all fun hatches, the MINI. €5,000 gets you lots of choice but we'd go for a MINI One (it avoids the extra insurance loading of a Cooper) and have a good shop around to find one with decent equipment. Fun, just about spacious enough (if you juggle the seats around), safe and with a great chassis and great all-round visibility, it's ideal for a learner.

Come back to us if need help to narrow things down further.

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