Make your first car a memorable one

Rapid Finance on 21 September 2016

What are the best cars for new drivers?

New drivers are significantly more likely to be involved in a vehicle collision. So, safety and affordability should be at front of mind when choosing a first car. The dream car can wait.

At Rapid Finance, we regularly provide car loans for first car buyers, and our advice regarding choice of vehicle is often the same. Key safety features such as multiple airbags and anti-lock brakes are essential.

The good news is that there are no shortage of good value used cars that come equipped with these safety features and others. Many are available for below $15,000.

Here are our picks for the top vehicles for first car buyers.

Alternatively, if you'd like details on how to finance your first car, you can find information on car loans for first car buyers on our car loans page.

1. 2010 Subaru Forester X

2010 Subaru Forester X

The Subaru Forester is a classic first car and has been for over a decade in Australia. It's easy to see why. It's well-equipped, practical and also comes with a range of safety features as standard.

The Forester does what all great first cars should, it strikes a balance between the essentials you need and the practicalities which you'll enjoy, such as a big boot, cupholders and great audio system.

2. 2012 Ford Falcon XT EcoLPi (Auto)

2012 Ford Falcon XT EcoLPiA good option for uni students, apprentices and other new drivers on a budget, the Ford Falcon EcoLPi combines the benefits of a full sized sedan with the low running costs of an efficient LPG powered engine.

Plus, it's a Ford Falcon. Falcons have been an institution amongst young drivers in Australia since the 60s. Buy one, and you'll never again be lampooned for 'driving your Mum's car'.

CarPracticalitiesSafety featuresANCAP safety ratingFrom price*

2010 Subaru Forester X

Plenty of boot space

Bluetooth/iPod port

Electric seats, windows and mirrors

5 airbags

Anti-lock brakes (ABS)

All wheel drive

5 star


2012 Ford Falcon XT EcoLPi

Spacious full sized sedan

LPG for low running costs

Classic Falcon appeal

5 airbags

Anti-lock brakes (ABS)

Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)

5 star


*From prices based on used car valuations on

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With access to hundreds of loan products, we could help you to finance your first car, fast.

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3. 2011 Hyundai i30

2011 Hyundai i30Shop around, and you can get a good quality, 2010–2011 model Hyundai i30 for about $10,000. That makes for an affordable price for young drivers who are saving using wages from their after-school jobs.

Unlike other 'cheap' cars, though, it's not under-equipped, notoriously unreliable or lacking in safety features. The right i30 can offer great value for young drivers and peace of mind for their parents.

4. 2012 Holden Cruze CD

2012 Holden Cruze CDAs with Fords, locally made Holdens have long been a favourite amongst young drivers in Australia. We've chosen the Cruze for this list as it features the less powerful 4-cylinder engine (unlike the Commodore's 6).

The Cruze is ideal for city drivers, who can appreciate the smaller profile and tighter turning circle. However, if you're wanting to chuck surfboards in the back, you may want to consider the roomier Forester.

CarPracticalitiesSafety featuresANCAP safety ratingFrom price*

2011 Hyundai i30

Low purchase price

Clever storage areas


5 airbags

Anti-lock brakes (ABS)

Electronic stability

control (ESC)

5 star


2012 Holden Cruze CD

Ideal for city driving

6 speaker stereo

Cruise control

5 airbags

Anti-lock brakes (ABS)

Electronic stability

control (ESC)

5 star


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Unsure of how much car loans for first car buyers cost? Try our car loan calculator.

You'll get an estimate of how much it would cost to finance your first car.

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5. 2009 Toyota Camry Altise (Auto)

2009 Toyota Camry AltiseToyota has built its reputation on building durable and reliable cars. Treat your Camry right and it will give you years of service. And, if anything does go wrong, the replacement parts won't break the bank.

The Camry is a big sedan with plenty of practicalities. Sure, it's not the most exciting vehicle on this list, but if you're after a safe, reliable and affordable family car, the Camry is hard to go past for value for money.

6. 2014 Suzuki Swift GL

2014 Suzuki Swift GLThe Suzuki Swift is a reasonably sized and well-priced small car, which punches above its weight because of its unique styling and tight handling. It's comfortable with a smooth and responsive engine.

It's worth noting that the front seat belts also feature pretensioners, which reduce slack in collisions. Additionally, the rear centre seat features a full three point seat belt for the protection of passengers.

CarPracticalitiesSafety featuresANCAP safety ratingFrom price*

2009 Toyota Camry Altise

Big enough for a family

Cheap parts/servicing

Toyota reliability

5 airbags

Anti-lock brakes (ABS)

Advanced seatbelt reminders

5 stars


2014 Suzuki Swift GL

Unique styling

Well priced

Tight handling

5 airbags

Anti-lock brakes (ABS)

Seat belt pretensioners

5 stars


"Safety and affordability should be at front of mind when choosing a first car."

Ready to finance your first car?

At Rapid Finance, we provide a wide range of finance options, including car loans for first car buyers. Whether you want to finance your first car or fifth, we could help.

We've been finding finance for our customers for more than 20 years, and over that time we've built our reputation on tailored solutions and personable service.

For more information on car finance for first car buyers, visit our car loans page or call 1300 467 274