Data reveals the best car models for new Gen Z drivers

car dealer looking at happy blonde girl holding key near friends in car showroom

The Citroën C1 has been crowned as the best first car for Gen Z drivers (those aged 17-27), according to a new study by Independent Advisor Car Insurance.

The Car Insurance experts at Independent Advisor created an index to analyse factors that determine the suitability of vehicle models for Gen Z drivers, including; median second hand price, insurance cost (second hand) per year, Euro NCAP safety rating and fuel efficiency. Vehicle models included were sourced from a UK government dataset on vehicle licensing statistics.

The ten best car models for Gen Z

RankModelMedian 2ndhand price (£)Insurance cost(2nd hand) £/year with parents on policyFuel efficiencyMiles per gallon(mpg)Gen Z suitability  score/10
1Citroën C1£2,648£2,081698.89
2Vauxhall Corsa£2,127£2,495558.59
3Renault Clio£2,273£3,099608.58
4Smart Fortwo£2,997£2,269698.49
5Honda Jazz£2,997£2,988638.41
6Nissan Note£3,273£2,526688.40
7Toyota Yaris£3,299£2,589638.38
8Vauxhall Meriva£2,873£2,541578.29
9Peugeot 208£3,995£2,522597.89
10Renault Megane£2,493£3,111517.22

The Citroën C1 has been crowned as the best car for Gen Z drivers, with a final score of 8.89/10. It boasts an impressive fuel efficiency of 69 mpg, and an average second hand price of £2,648.

The Vauxhall Corsa ranks second, scoring 8.59/10. While the car has a poorer fuel efficiency at 55 mpg, it is the most affordable for Gen Z drivers to purchase, with a price tag of £2,127.

The Renault Clio ranks as third best, scoring 8.58/10. Despite having the second cheapest average second hand price in the top 10 (£2,273), this model is comparatively more expensive to insure (£3,099), with the Renault Megane being the only vehicle more expensive to cover in the top 10 (£3,111).

Ranking in fourth, the Smart Fortwo has a final score of 8.49/10. Although this vehicle matches the Citroën C1 in its excellent fuel efficiency (69 mpg), its average second hand price is almost £3K (£2,997). However, insurance for this car is among the cheapest on average of those in the top 10, costing Gen Z drivers an average of £2,269 per year.

Contrastingly, the Volkswagen Polo ranks as the worst car for Gen Z drivers overall, scoring just 4.98/10, with one of the highest insurance spends of all cars within the ranking (£5,516). On average, this model sells second hand for around £3,995, with a fuel efficiency of just 48 miles per gallon.

Connor Campbell, expert at Independent Advisor Car Insurance, provides his tips for Gen Z car buyers, and finding the best car model for you:

“Second hand car prices and insurance quotes can vary widely thanks to a range of factors. For new drivers, especially Gen Z, insurance premiums can be especially high. If you are considering buying a second hand car, there are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • Conduct your own insurance research: Obtaining insurance quotes for multiple models that you’re considering is wise, in order to ensure that you can afford both the car payments and the insurance expenses for the year. Insurance is dependent on many factors including age, location, and available home parking, so be sure to check and compare your quotes via comparison websites.
  • Pay attention to the insurance group: every car belongs to an insurance group, numbered one to 50, that’ll make it more or less expensive to insure. Cars in the lower insurance groups are less expensive to insure than those in a higher group. So, when shopping around for a second hand car, try and find one in a lower insurance group in order to keep the cost of your cover down.
  • Consider the nature of your driving needs: These should always be a deciding factor when buying your car. For instance, if you are planning to do a lot of city driving, a micro or a hatchback may be more suited to your use, as opposed to a coupe or SUV.
  • Factor in maintenance costs: Once you have decided on the type of car you are looking for, it is important to look into the running costs that it will incur. If you’re looking to have a cost effective and efficient car, these will often do more than 60mpg. Anything higher than 50 mpg can be regarded as good fuel consumption.
  • MOT and service history: If you have the registration, you can check the MOT history of any car online via the government website. However, the car’s service history may not be so easy to maintain if it isn’t provided by the seller. Most used cars should come with a service log book, so make sure to keep an eye out for this information.
  • Once you get your car, be sure to maintain it: After going through the lengthy process of researching and buying your car, maintaining it is the key to getting as much life out of it as you can, as well as keeping prices down. Some things you can do to maintain the health of your vehicle include; checking the tyre pressure and keeping this at an optimal level for your vehicle, change the engine oil at adequate intervals, change the coolant as needed, and finally, never ignore any warning lights (should they appear) on your dashboard.”

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