Cheapest cars to insure

Low cost but big on value, these are the cheapest cars to insure in Britain, with quotes of less than £1,000 a year for teenage drivers

John Evans
Aug 29, 2019

You’ve sorted the finance, paid the road tax, and calculated your fuel costs. Then the insurance quote pops up on your screen.

Despite ups and downs, car insurance costs can make up a substantial chunk of most drivers' motoring bills - especially if you fall into certain categories.

Younger, and higher risk drivers pay more. The average insurance premium for our example young driver below is £570 (for the older driver it is £205).

In order to maximise your insurance savings, you’ll need to pick a car in a low insurance group. There are 50 groups, with those in group one being the least risky, and therefore some of the cheapest to insure, and those in group 50, the riskiest and most expensive.

In arriving at our 10 cheapest cars to insure, we considered only those cars in the lowest four insurance groups.

The insurance quotes below were provided by confused.com, a comparison website. These are the cheapest quotes the website provided and have no extras, such as a courtesy car or windscreen cover. As ever with comparison websites, it may be cheaper to buy directly from an insurer.

 

The cheapest cars to insure in Britain

All cars are still in production, costing around £10,000 or less. New car discounts will cut the price, as will buying a used model. Each one comes with example comprehensive insurance quotes for one young and one middle-aged driver, shown below. Our quotes for the young driver assume there is a black box fitted to the car monitoring their driving.

Bear in mind that quotes can vary by several hundreds of pounds, based on factors such as your postcode, parking arrangements, annual mileage and driving history. Insurers are not allowed to discriminate based on gender but many policies will force younger drivers to have a higher excess. The quotes below are for comprehensive cover and are based on two drivers:

  • F19: 19-year old single female living in GU12 (Guildford) with two years’ no-claims bonus and no penalty points, and driving 10,000 miles per year. Voluntary excess: £250
  • M40: 40-year-old married man living in GU12 with five years’ no-claims bonus and no penalty points, and driving 10,000 miles per year. Voluntary excess: £250

 

Fiat Panda 1.2 Pop

Best cheap car to insure for utilitarian chic

Insurance group 1 Premiums F19 £567; M40 £206
Latest Fiat Panda deals from £4,495
Finance from £82 per month

With a list price a shade over £10,000, a Fiat Panda might be a struggle for a younger driver to buy but that’s to ignore the fact that large discounts are often available on new ones, while decent used ones begin from as little as £4,000. So that’s the price objection dealt with.

Turning to insurance, the premium for the young driver is high compared with the VW Up, below, but it’s slightly less than the average premium of £570. On the other hand, the premium for the older driver is just above the average of £205.

So what do you get for their money? The Fiat Panda is an old car now but it feels every inch a fresh one thanks to its cheeky styling, exceptionally roomy cabin and spacious boot, numerous practical touches, sprightly handling and comfortable ride.

Fiat Panda buying guide

Fuel economy 49.6mpg Acceleration (0-62mph) 14.2sec Boot size 225 litres

Volkswagen Up 1.0 60hp Take Up 3dr

Best cheap car to insure for the very lowest insurance premiums

Insurance group 1 Premiums F19 £500; M40 £190
Latest Volkswagen Up deals from £4,295
Finance from £80 per month

Costing just £500 a year for a typical 19-year-old to insure, this little Volkswagen will go straight onto a teenager’s shortlist even before you consider its surprisingly spacious interior, as well as its comfort and stability at motorway speeds.

Less impressive is the basic technology on offer. An auxiliary port is the only way to get music from your phone through the stereo, as USB and Bluetooth for a wireless phone connection are only fitted as standard on higher-specification models which are more expensive to insure.

You’ll also be spending more than you would on an entry-level Skoda Citigo, which is virtually identical to the Up (but does have a USB port), but costs little more to insure.

Volkswagen Up buying guide

Fuel economy 55.4 mpg Acceleration (0-62mph) 14.4sec Boot size 251 litres

 

Skoda Citigo 1.0 60hp S 3dr

Best cheap car to insure for overall value

Insurance group 2 Premiums F19 £500; M40 £180
Latest Skoda Citigo deals from £4,279
Finance from £79 per month

Skoda is part of the Volkswagen Group and the Citigo is little more than a VW Up with different badges.

This is excellent news because the Citigo comes with all of the space, comfort and solidity of the Volkswagen. Although the car itself is cheaper, it costs the same to insure. It comes with a USB port on the cheapest S model, making it a better buy than the equivalent Up.

The Citigo S specification is still basic, though. If you can finance another £1,500 or so (less if it’s a used one) you might be happier with the SE model with the same 60hp engine. It comes with air-conditioning, alloy wheels and a smartphone holder, so you can use your phone as a sat-nav. You’ll pay a little more for insurance, but this may be as little as £20 per year.

Skoda Citigo buying guide

Fuel economy 55.4mpg Acceleration (0-62mph) 14.4sec Boot size 251 litres

 

Kia Picanto 1.0 1

Best cheap car to insure for a lengthy warranty

Insurance group 4 Premiums F19 £540; M40 £199
Latest Kia Picanto deals from £4,699
Finance from £89 per month

Being in insurance group 4 should put the little Picanto at a disadvantage compared with the Hyundai i10 below, which is in group 2 and shares its mechanical parts with the Kia.

However, not only is the Kia cheaper to buy than the Hyundai but it’s also slightly cheaper to insure for both sample drivers. The Picanto is a nimble city car and comes with an industry-leading seven-year warranty. Even in basic 1 trim it has front electric windows, USB and auxiliary ports, and remote central locking.

Kia Picanto buying guide

Fuel economy 56.5mpg Acceleration (0-62mph) 13.8sec Boot size 255 litres

 

Hyundai i10 1.0 66hp S 5dr

Best cheap car to insure for unlimited mileage warranty and practicality

Insurance group 4 Premiums F19 £544; M40 £203
Latest Hyundai i10 deals from £4,766
Finance from £89 per month

It might be the cheapest Hyundai to insure but, in basic S trim, the i10 isn't at its best, despite having a five-year warranty, a roomy boot and spacious interior.

Like the cars above, it lacks a Bluetooth wireless phone connection and air-conditioning. The i10 S even goes without a light in the boot, which is fitted to the rest of the range.

It means that a higher-specification SE model is a better car, particularly as it’s barely more expensive to insure. However, you’ll need to find another £1,100 for the privilege of owning a new one, although discounts of around £1,000 should soften the blow. Go used and it shouldn't cost much more to go for an SE version.

Hyundai i10 buying guide

Fuel economy 50.4mpg Acceleration 14.7sec Boot size 252 litres

 

Vauxhall Viva 1.0i SE 5dr

Best cheap car to insure for standard equipment

Insurance group 3 Premiums F19 £608; M40 £202
Latest Vauxhall Viva deals from £4,980
Finance from £85 per month

The Viva is the second most expensive car here, so it should come as no surprise that features including Bluetooth, cruise control and electric front windows are standard. Upgrading to SE A/C typically costs less than £500 and brings air-conditioning.

Unfortunately, the good news stops with that high insurance premium for a younger driver. For the older one, it’s just below average.

It’s also not as characterful as rivals such as the VW Up and Skoda Citigo, both of which have more space, are more economical and are nimbler than the Viva.

Vauxhall Viva buying guide

Fuel economy 46.3mpg Acceleration (0-62mph) 13.1sec Boot size 206 litres

 

Renault Twingo 1.0 SCe 70 Play 5dr

Best cheap car to insure for manoeuvrability

Insurance group 3 Premiums F19 £556; M40 £207
Latest Renault Twingo deals from £4,850
Finance from £84 per month

With fresh, individual styling, a tight turning circle that offers great manoeuvrability and a reasonable amount of space inside, the Renault Twingo is an ideal first car, with cheap insurance available too.

Play trim is basic but crucially includes Bluetooth and a phone cradle, so you can wirelessly connect your phone, play music through the car’s speakers and safely use it as a sat-nav.

What’s more, despite being the most expensive car here, the Twingo’s £556 premium for a 19-year-old driver is less than the average premium here.

Renault Twingo buying guide

Fuel economy 47.9mpg Acceleration (0-62mph) 14.5sec Boot size 219 litres

 

Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i x 3dr

Best cheap car to insure for distinctive design

Insurance group 3 Premiums F19 £606; M40 £217
Latest Toyota Aygo deals from £4,700
Finance from £82 per month

Among the small city cars listed here, the Aygo is the most expensive to insure for both sample drivers. However, the price of the car is relatively cheap and that’s before the discounts you can get on the model.

It’s one of the most distinctive-looking small cars on the market with X-inspired styling and the option of bold colours. The little engine is really energetic around town, too. Underneath the dramatic styling are the same mechanical parts as the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108. Like those cars, the Aygo also has a lack of space in the back, too.

As the cheapest version, the Aygo-x is really basic but an impressive five-year warranty is standard, so it might still be worth a look.

Toyota Aygo buying guide

Fuel economy 68.9mpg  Acceleration (0-62mph) 14.2sec  Boot size 168 litres

 

Dacia Logan SCe 75 Access

Best cheap car to insure for a large boot

Insurance group 2 Premiums F19 £634; M40 £225
Latest Dacia Logan deals from £5,395
Finance from £99 per month

It’s the only estate car in this list and costs less than £9,000 when new, so this Dacia Logan has a lot going for it; especially since it’s cheaper than the very closely related but smaller-booted Dacia Sandero (below) for our young driver to insure.

Fashionable it’s not, but the Logan does offer plenty of space in the rear seats and a sizeable boot. An extremely sizeable boot when you consider the alternatives for the price.

Access trim brings a new meaning to “basic”, as the shortlist of standard equipment doesn’t include a radio. That’s nothing that a trip to Halfords can’t resolve, though, where you’ll be able to find an aftermarket stereo with digital radio and Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity.

Dacia Sandero buying guide

Fuel economy 45.6mpg  Acceleration (0-62mph) 14.7sec  Boot size 573 litres

 

Dacia Sandero SCe 75 Access 5dr

Best cheap car to insure for interior space

Insurance groupPremiums F19 £640; M40 £217
Latest Dacia Logan deals from £5,395
Finance from £99 per month

Britain’s cheapest new car may be inexpensive to buy but it's not the cheapest to insure: in the example above, a teenage driver will pay £140 per year more than they would for a Volkswagen Up.

However, where most of the models in this list are tiny city cars, the Sandero is a much larger car – about the size of a Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa.

Our featured example is the cheapest version and lets you know it by not even having a radio, as with the Logan above. Upgrading to Essential level only raises the insurance to group 4 and brings vital equipment including a wireless Bluetooth phone connection, electric front windows, remote central locking and a digital radio.

Dacia Sandero buying guide

Fuel economy 45.6mpg  Acceleration (0-62mph) 14.2sec  Boot size 320 litres

 

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