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What are the cheapest cars to insure?

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Last updated: 13/11/2023 | Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

After a home, buying a car will likely be one of the biggest investments you will make in your life. But once you've paid for the vehicle itself, you have to pay for a whole host of other things, from fuel to insurance. Car insurance rates can vary significantly, so to give yourself the best chance of getting a cheap car insurance policy, choose a car that's cheap to insure. These are usually the smaller and less powerful models, and ones less likely to be targeted by thieves.

In This Guide:

Why is car insurance so expensive?

In June 2019, the average car insurance premium in the UK was £709 (for the second quarter and across all age groups). It may be due to a number of factors; the rise of whiplash-style claims and costs, average theft claims increasing by 32% over the past year and a higher insurance premium tax of 12% levied by the government (according to the Association of British Insurers).

Car insurance groups

There are 50 car insurance groups set by the Group Rating Panel, and every car belongs to one of these groups. The lower the car’s insurance group number, the cheaper it usually is to insure. Cars in insurance group 1 will likely be the cheapest to cover because they are smaller, more economical, have less powerful engines and are easier to repair.

Cars are assigned to different groups based on a range of factors. One of these is repair costs – the cost and time it would take to repair a car is considered. Another factor is the cost of 23 of the most common car parts - the lower the cost of car parts results in a lower-numbered insurance group. The value of the car as new is used to indicate how much it will cost to be repaired or replaced.

The performance of the car (including top speed and acceleration) is another factor, since faster cars are more likely to be involved in accidents. Car security also determines the insurance group and therefore the insurance cost. The cheapest cars to insure have built-in security features such as high-security locks, alarms or immobilisers which prevent the car from being hot-wired. The security rating of a car is either E (exceeds), A, P, D or U (unacceptable). Cars who have an E or A rating will be in the cheaper car insurance groups.

What else determines the cost of insurance?

Besides the car’s specifications, there are a number of other factors that determine the cost of car insurance cover. The driver’s details and driving history are key in deciding the total cost of their insurance. A car’s age will also affect how much insurance is, along with any modifications made to its appearance or performance. Your address (area) and average yearly mileage also influence the insurance cost.

The 10 cheapest cars to insure in 2019

Kia Rio – this is a cheap car to insure for small families. It has models starting in group 2 and has received praise for its low CO2 emissions, large boot space and affordability. The Rio ‘1’ costs just under £12,000, while the GT-Line S is £18,000 and includes rain-sensing front wipers and a touchscreen Sat Nav.

Hyundai i10 – the second generation i10 is in car insurance group 1, so it’s much cheaper to insure than previous models. It comes with a 1.0 or 1.2-litre engine and has entertainment features, so it’s an ideal first car for a young driver. It’s compact, affordable and convenient, and easy to navigate around busy towns. It ranges in price from just below £10,000 to a little over £14,00. There are manual and automatic versions available.

Jaguar XK8 – the average insurance price is just £301.63. Jaguar is best known for its range of classy premium cars, but it can also be a good deal.

MG TF – this car costs around £323.02 to insure on average. It’s one of the UK’s most popular low-cost cars due to low running costs and it’s decent fuel economy.

Skoda Yeti – this costs £353.78 to insure on average. The car is practical, and the brand has a reputation for providing value for money, which means you could get a cheap car insurance deal.

Mazda CX-3 – this is a small SUV with a lightweight bodyshell and sharp handling. The average insurance cost is £355.15, and it has an impressive fuel economy of around 40-64 mpg.

Darcia Logan – the average cost to insure this car is £358.26. As well as a cheap car insurance deal, it’s a practical car with a 573-litre boot space and foldable rear seats. 

Fiat Panda – this car is in insurance group 3, and the latest version (available from £9,500) includes gadgets such as the Uconnect radio and is marketed as both a city car and SUV. The average cost to insure a Fiat Panda is £599.38.

Skoda Citigo – this car is in insurance group 1. The Skoda Citigo costs between £9,500 - £11,000 and it costs around £646.06 to insure. There are three and five-door versions, the possibility of an automatic gearbox, and a choice of two 1.0 litre petrol engines and other trim versions.

Volkswagen Up! - this car is in insurance group 1 and is known for being economic, spacial and fun. There is a choice of six models and seven engines, including three and five-door options. The car costs around £9,000 and the average premium is £650.58.

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