First car ideas – head to head comparison

You’ve been aiming for this for the past few months and you’re now ready to buy your first car, but what do you buy?

We’re putting two of the favourite first cars head to head to give you some help. Now I’ll try and be totally unbiased but as any male who remembers being young, you’re either in the Fiesta group or the Corsa group (sitting in Mcdonalds).

Both cars have been firm favourites for many years thanks to low purchase costs along with reasonable insurance prices. We’re going to be looking at two similar cars, both 3 years old with around 36,000 miles, with a 1.2 petrol engine.

Car one – a 2014-(64) Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.2 petrol with 28,000 miles on the clock

Car two –  a 2015 (15) Vauxhall Corsa Sting 1.2 petrol with 8000 miles on the clock

When buying a car there’s lots to consider and it’s far too easy for salespeople to convince you its the right deal to make and you can only make it right now – this is always wrong but if you go in with a clear idea of the facts you should know it will make your decision easier.

Cost to Buy Corsa vs Fiesta

One of the most important factors when buying a car, for most of you it will be the most expensive thing you have ever bought, but the cost of the car is not the only thing to consider – it is also its residual value when you come to sell it.

The ford fiesta is one of the best selling cars around and people pay the premium for the Fiesta, the Corsa has really upped its game in recent years to close the gap in quality but the Corsa remains over £1000 cheaper for a car 6 months newer with 20,000 miles less – the Corsa wins this one hands down.

Insurance Corsa vs Fiesta

The most important thing you will need, we have done some example insurance quotes based on a 19 year old female in an L4 postcode with 0 no claims bonus, a new driver who passed her driving test 3 months previously and no added drivers, the car is kept on the road outside her house, with fully comprehensive insurance with social, domestic and commuting cover.

Corsa insurance cost £2631.56

Fiesta insurance cost £3,389.99

Insurance is always going to be expensive in your first year and bear in mind these cars are 3 years old, an older car should be cheaper to insure (a 12 year old fiesta on this insurance was quoted at £2200). The Corsa wins this one hands down with £758.43 saved over the first year alone.

Specifications Corsa vs Fiesta

Both of our cars are red with a 1.2 petrol engine. The Corsa is a Sting model so it comes with white stripes, alloys and mirrors which can put some people off, but inside you find bluetooth, leather steering wheel with controls, electric windows and mirrors.

The Fiesta comes out on top here with the same basic features but also adding in air conditioning and quick clear windscreen.

Maintenance / Upkeep Corsa vs Fiesta

Buying the car can be expensive, but running it day to day can cost just as much, we start with a simple win for the Fiesta here as it costs just £30 a year to tax compared to £115 on the Corsa.

The Fiesta comes fitted with a 195/55/15 tyre with a mid level tyre costing around £49.28 fully fitted. The Corsa comes with 195/55/16 tyres and cost £51.91 fitted – Not a huge difference but one for the fiesta to take home!

Servicing at main dealers is expensive and you may wish to take the cars to a different garage, but the Corsa wins this with a £169.99 main dealer interim service compared to fords £188

Overall the Fiesta will be cheaper to keep on the road but the cost difference based is marginal with the tax being the biggest difference. The Fiesta wins this round.

Kerb appeal

The Fiesta has a huge following from new drivers to elderly drivers and everyone in-between. Whilst the Corsa has always struggled to keep up it has made improvements and is now a popular first car – although it does still attract more boy racers. Based on our two cars alone – the Fiesta has to win it with its less is more styling based on not having the white stripes, wheels or mirrors.


I hate to say it but for a first car the Corsa wins hands down – with nearly £2000 difference in purchase price and insurance costs the Corsa is hard to beat – obviously its down to your personal preference too – but our first car award for 2018 goes to the Vauxhall Corsa!

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