I'm somewhat biased here...as thi is one of four Fiats i'm currently running...
My wife has a 2004 Fiat Panda, small, but the 1.2 engine gives good economy and is fine for around town, and the odd bit of motorway. 4 doors, big enough for her and friends when they go out, handles isofix baby seats no problem, mclaren xlr fits in the boot easily with some shopping. We've had it from new, and there's only been the odd niggle, she wants to hold on to it a little longer as it's easy to drive, park, etc. insurance for her, with me as a second driver is about £250 a year.
£2.5k ish gets you an Eleganza with climate control, a nice metallic colour, and a better interior trim.
I'm 26, and only now learning to drive - largely because it is only now that I can afford to. DH is also a non-driver, and is less interested in learning, as his journey to work is easy via public transport. I, However, find not driving very restrictive, especially with a young DD, so am currently learning. I really want to get this issue sorted before I return to part-time work (planning to in about a year). I'm also really scared of being a brand new driver with DD in the car, but that's something I'm just going to have to get over.
Anyway. The main point:
I have NO IDEA which car to buy. We want more of a 'little runaround' than anything especially powerful, something that's cheap to insure. No plans to expand our family, so it doesn't need to be a big car. I understand that Band 1 cars are the cheapest to insure, but I have zero car knowledge and no clue about how to choose.
Can someone even slightly car orientated please, please give me any recommendations/tips?