The essential kit for small cars
City cars and superminis are popular with young and inexperienced drivers thanks to their low prices and running costs; but these models are the least likely to get electronic stability control as standard. And if you’ve only just passed your test, this safety device is a must. The electronic kit won’t be cheap (it costs £315 on Fiat’s new Panda), but it could prevent an accident if you ever have to change lanes at high speed.
Mobile phone addicts should also specify Bluetooth. It lets you make hands-free calls – and integrated systems are easier to use, with better sound quality, than aftermarket plug-in kits.
Small car buyers should also look out for useful extras like height adjustable driver’s seats, split rear seats and extra rear seatbelts. They’re usually affordable and will make your car more user-friendly and easier to sell.
Don’t spend on… Heated steering wheels: costly luxury that will rarely be used. Parking sensors: not necessary on tiny city cars. Integrated sat-nav: plug-in systems are cheaper.
Our pick: Skoda Citigo Elegance (From £9,470)
We love the Citigo, and the pick of the range is the Elegance model. It has all the basics, including electronic stability control, multiple airbags and an auxiliary input for connecting digital music players. Best of all, you get a brilliant dash-top touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav and Bluetooth as standard.