The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Which Companies have Cheap Car Insurance for Young Drivers?

Cheap Car Insurance for Young Drivers in Your Area

Quickly compare up to 99 UK insurance providers.

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Most teens can't wait to get behind the wheel of their first car. What may put a damper on their excitement is finding affordable car insurance. Unfortunately for young drivers, car insurance can be expensive. There are some good deals to be found in the marketplace, however, if you know where to look.

For this study we have analysed dozens of car insurance companies to find the cheapest comprehensive plans across major English cities for new, young drivers.

Cheapest Car Insurance Company for Young Drivers

We gathered sample quotes from dozens of UK car insurance companies to discover which are the most affordable for young drivers, based on an 18-year-old male student living at home. The results showed that the cheapest car insurance company overall for young drivers was Acorn Insurance. Overall the data showed that Acorn was on average about 65% less expensive than the national average car insurance quote for a young driver.

chart showing cheap car insurance for young drivers

There is only one of the big UK car insurance companies (i.e., Admiral, Direct Line, Aviva, Hastings Direct, LV/Liverpool Victoria), in the top 5 cheap insurance plans for young drivers—Hastings Direct Smart Miles. Overall big companies like Admiral, Direct Line and Aviva are generally not the most economical for a new, young driver getting their first car insurance policy.

In the table below you can see the 15 cheapest insurance companies for young drivers, and their premiums and excess for our sample young driver.

RankInsurance CompanyAnnual PremiumExcess
1Acorn Insurance£1,737£350
2Hastings Direct SmartMiles£1,919£345
3More Th>n Smart Wheels£2,017£650
4MyPolicy£2,243£463
5insurethebox£2,256£550
6Get Cover Telematics£2,456£150
7Tesco Bank Box£2,515£550
8Hastings Direct SmartMiles£2,532£266
8Carrot Insurance£2,610£700
9Privilege Telematics£2,619£500
10Autosaint£2,713£336
11RAC Black Box Car Insurance£2,799£400
12O2 Drive - Box on Board£2,847£400
13WiseDriving£2,925£500
14Sky - Insure Learner Driver£3,181£500
15Churchill Insurance£3,856£500

Some notable Companies by Area

Unfortunately, not every cheap insurance company is available in every area of the UK. For instance, in our research of the 10 largest cities in England, we found that young drivers in Manchester and Bradford are offered up to 60% fewer quotes—that is, many insurers simply will not offer cover to young drivers in these areas. In addition, average quotes in Bradford and Manchester are 28% and 50% higher than the average cost of car insurance for young drivers in big cities in England.

Best Insurers for Young Drivers in the North

Acorn Insurance is the overall cheapest insurer for young drivers in Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester and Liverpool. Across these cities, the average price for Acorn was £1,800 for a young driver, nearly 67% less than the average cost across all the insurers in our study.

If you live in any of these areas, Acorn may be your best bet for affordable insurance. For those wanting protection from a larger insurance company, More Than's Smart Wheels and Hastings Direct Smart Miles programmes are great alternatives for young driver car insurance, with the second and third cheapest average car insurance for young drivers in northern England, respectively.

Best Insurers for Young Drivers in the South

For those in the South West or South East, Hastings Direct Smart Miles is generally the cheapest car insurance for young drivers. In London and Bristol, rates from Hastings Direct Smart Miles were about 69% less expensive than the average for these cities.

Most Affordable Auto Insurers for Young Drivers Around England

The cheapest insurance in your town may not actually reflect the cheapest overall insurers we list above. While Hastings Direct Smart Wheels, More Than Smart Miles and Acorn are generally in the top three for big cities in England, there are cities like Newcastle where the cheapest company is MyPolicy. Take a look below to see what is the best option in your area.

CityFirst CheapestAnnual PremiumSecond CheapestAnnual PremiumThird CheapestAnnual Premium
BirminghamAcorn£1,767Hastings Direct SmartMiles£1,960More Th>n Smart Wheels£2,032
BradfordAcorn£2,033More Th>n Smart Wheels£2,375My Policy£2,788
BristolHastings Direct SmartMiles£1,245Acorn£1,446MyPolicy£1,626
LeedsAcorn£1,660More Th>n Smart Wheels£1,724Hastings Direct SmartMiles£1,784
LiverpoolAcorn£1,874Hastings Direct SmartMiles£2,052More Th>n Smart Wheels£2,120
LondonMore Than Smart Miles£1,524Acorn£1,606Sky - Insure Learner Driver£2,113
ManchesterAcorn£2,088My Policy£2,918Privilege Telematics£3,433
NewcastleMyPolicy£1,568Acorn£1,606More Th>n Smart Wheels£1,638
SheffieldAcorn£1,392More Th>n Smart Wheels£1,403My Policy£1,604
SunderlandMore Th>n Smart Wheels£1,463Hastings Direct SmartMiles£1,529Acorn£1,767

Tips to Reduce the Cost of Young Driver Insurance

If you haven't bought a car yet, choose carefully because the cost of insurance can vary dramatically depending on the make and model of your car. And you might be surprised by the cost differences. For instance, the ever-popular Ford Fiesta costs on average £200 less a year to insure than the Ford Focus. For more information please see our article on What Does it Cost to Insure the UK's Most Popular Vehicles?

Add a responsible driver to your policy such as your mom, dad or a sibling. You may find that your quote drops by 50% or more, but this varies widely from insurer to insurer and depending on other details in your application. It's certainly worth checking, however.

Installing a black box or telematics system, as required by most of the plans in this study, can lower the cost of car insurance for young drivers. With a black box, the insurance company is able to collect data on your driving style, such as speed, how smoothly you brake, time of day you drive, how often you use your car and how long you drive without taking a break. If they deem your driving to be too risky, they may cancel your policy.

Do not add yourself as a named driver to a policy in your parent's name if you are in fact the main driver of the vehicle. This is known as "fronting" and is illegal. If you are in an accident your cover would be invalid and the insurance company would not pay the claim.

Methodology

In order to determine what a young driver will typically pay for comprehensive car insurance and to pick out the cheapest car insurance companies, we gathered quotes for a sample 18-year-old male driver with a Full UK Licence who drives a 2015 Ford Fiesta, the UK's most popular car. Altogether we collected over 300 quotes for a driver living in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Newcastle and Sunderland, who drives under 5,000 miles per year.

Quotes were gathered from plans from the following car insurance companies:

  • Academy Insurance
  • Acorn Insurance
  • Admiral
  • Advance Insurance
  • Autosaint
  • Aviva
  • Bell
  • Brightside Car Insurance
  • Carrot Insurance
  • Churchill Insurance
  • City Insurance
  • Computerquoteinsurance.com
  • Diamond
  • elephant.co.uk
  • Endsleigh Insurance
  • Entire Cover
  • esure broker
  • Flux Direct
  • General Accident
  • Get Cover Telematics
  • Go Girl
  • Hastings Direct
  • HR Insurance
  • Insurance Factory
  • Insure Pink
  • insurethebox
  • insurewiser.co.uk
  • More Th>n Smart Wheels
  • MyPolicy
  • O2 Drive - Box on Board
  • Peoples Choice
  • Privilege Telematics
  • RAC Black Box Car Insurance
  • Sheilas' Wheels Broker
  • Sheilas' Wheels Broker Model Driver
  • Sky - Insure Learner Driver
  • Smart Miles
  • Tesco Bank Box
  • WiseDriving

Cheap Car Insurance in Your Area

Quickly compare up to 99 insurance providers.

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Comments and Questions

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.