How capable a spanner monkey are you? The car you are most likely to crash/damage is your first one... spend as little as humanly possible on it. Learning to fix it yourself can and will save you a huge amount of money over the years.
Example: Last year I bought a 1994 VW Golf 1.9 Tdi for £180. To put various bits right and get it through it's MOT (including the cost of the MOT test) bumped that up to a whopping £347 and a weekend's mucking about with spanners and getting a bit oily.
If driven like it's been stolen (Aberdeenshire to Cumbria in 'ahem' and a half hours) and it returns 53.8 mpg. Driven exceptionally carefully between motorway service stations and it made nearly 70mpg.
It's not flash, has no 'driver aids', isn't very fast (14s to 60mph... ish - might make a ton if you push it down a mineshaft or put it on top of the 9.15 Reading to Penzance) but it IS a bit of a Tardis when it comes to interior space, handles really well and even including business use costs me under £300 a year to insure.
It's also incredibly disposable... I'm certainly not going to cry much over it should it get totalled by Studly McNonuts in his mum's corsa pretending he'd Jenson Button in Asda's carpark.
"Donít take life so serious, son, it ainít nohow permanent." Walt Kelly