Top 10 Cheap Car Insurance Brands UK

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.

  • Admiral car insurance logo
  • Hastings car insurance logo
  • Swinton car insurance logo
  • Elephant car insurance logo
  • Bell car insurance logo
  • LV car insurance logo
  • Admiral car insurance logo
  • Hastings car insurance logo
  • Swinton car insurance logo
  • Elephant car insurance logo
  • Bell car insurance logo
  • LV car insurance logo
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Elephant car insurance logo
Bell car insurance logo
Admiral car insurance logo
Hastings Direct car insurance logo
Swinton car insurance logo
LV car insurance logo

While no single insurance provider is the cheapest or best for everyone, some auto insurance companies stand out for the best combination of good customer reviews, features and cheap quotes.

We've assembled a list of reputable, cheaper car insurance providers by first analysing dozens of UK car insurance brands (most of which are underwritten by the top 10 largest car insurance companies) for price, then ranking the cheaper companies by a combination of customer and professional ratings. Here's what we found.

List of 10 Highest-Rated Cheap UK Car Insurance Companies

RankMotor Insurance CompanyTrustpilot Customer RatingDefaqto RatingFairer Finance Score
1LV=4.7565%
2Churchill4.3561%
3Admiral3.9561%
4Elephant3.5561%
5 (tie)Diamond3.4560%
5 (tie)esure3.9556%
7 (tie)Hastings4.25 (2 for Essential)62%
7 (tie)Bell2.1560%
9Quotemehappy4.6457%
10Swinton4.35 (3 for Essential)53%

Other High Quality Options

There are some excellent brands that didn't quite make the list due to price, but nonetheless are usually competitively priced and offer a higher standard in terms of their product and customer service than some companies mentioned above.

For example, Sainsbury's Bank, Direct Line, and More Than missed the list due to price (just barely, in some cases) and we couldn't confirm prices for Geoffrey, but they all stand out for a high quality product and solid customer experiences with:

  • At least one 5-star Defaqto rated product
  • A customer experience score from Fairer Finance of at least 60% and
  • Trustpilot scores north of 4.1 stars out of 5

Top 10 Best, Cheap Car Insurance Companies

To be included in our list a brand has to have at least one 4 star Defaqto rated product and, according to our analysis of the UK car insurance market, consistently offer some of the cheaper car insurance quotes. We then ranked the car insurance brands according to a combination of ratings by Trustpilot, Defaqto and Fairer Finance. Here's what you should know about these companies before deciding which is best for you.

1. LV

Liverpool Victoria is certainly not the cheapest car insurance provider on the list, but they are arguably the best of the group in terms of customer service and ratings. LV= policies can be purchased direct from the company, through comparison sites or brokers. Existing customers have high renewal rates and LV has recently launched multi-car discounts, helping 10% of customers save 25% (April to June 2019). Customer satisfaction is a stated priority of the company, which helps explain their high Trustpilot rating by customers.

Quick Takeaway: LV= is usually moderately priced, so those looking for the cheapest premium are likely to find a more suitable plan elsewhere. But LV is a solid choice for those looking for great customer reviews and good features who don't mind paying a bit more. If you are happy to pay for wider coverage then LV= offers some extras with their comprehensive cover such as personal injury, uninsured driver promise (you won't pay an excess or lose your NCD) and misfuelling cover.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star

2. Churchill

Churchill is often the cheapest quote on offer at one of the major comparison sites (Moneysupermarket)—so while their customer service and ratings might be slightly lower than the top-ranked brand on our list (LV=), Churchill can be a solid option for those who prioritise price. Churchill policies can be purchased direct from the company or through many comparison sites (but not yet via our partner, QuoteZone). Churchill is one of the "budget" brands of the Direct Line Group. Direct Line is the second largest car insurance company in the UK, and 28.1% of their premiums are sold under the Churchill and Privilege brands via the price comparison website channel.

Quick Takeaway: Churchill is usually very competitively priced for the typical driver who doesn't have any significant marks on their record, and customers report pretty good service. However, in our experience Churchill won't quote for around 30% of UK postcodes, so many people across the UK will have to look elsewhere.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star

3. Admiral

The Admiral Group is the largest auto insurance company in the UK with more than 17% of the car insurance market, underwriting policies through their Admiral, Bell, Diamond, elephant.co.uk and Gladiator brands. Technically speaking, Admiral is the trading name of EUI Limited.

In 2018 they grew the number of vehicles insured by 9% to 4.32 million, earning profits of over £560 million before taxes on £2.42 billion of motor insurance premiums written, making them the most popular car insurance company in the UK. One of Admiral's stated corporate goals is to increase customer retention, which is good to know if your policy is up for renewal. Admiral also writes the car insurance for Ford-branded car insurance.

Quick Takeaway: Admiral can be a great auto insurance company for anyone who wants to arrange a car insurance policy quickly online for a good price. Their brands can be found on most price comparison sites, such as our partner QuoteZone and one of their brands may be amongst the cheapest available offers.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star
  • Fairer Finance: 61%

4. Elephant

Elephant is an Admiral Group brand that is marketed as a budget option, with some features like personal belonging or key cover available as extra add ons. Premiums may be lower but there's no onward travel or accommodation after an accident and cancellation fees are on the high side.

Quick Takeaway: Elephant is typically one of the cheaper quotes you'll find and they report that 10% of reporting customers saved 25% with Elephant (July 2019 & December 2019).

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star

5. Diamond

Diamond is another of the Admiral Group's brands. It's aimed at women and safe drivers. As with Elephant, there's no provision for accommodation or onward travel after an accident (although they will move your passengers away from the accident site if it’s not safe to the nearest point of local amenity) and cancellation fees are higher.

Quick Takeaway: Diamond is not just for women, although they do provide up to £300 for handbag cover. Diamond gets you a policy underwritten by the largest UK car insurance company and prices are typically very competitive if you're a safe driver—on par with Admiral quotes, not surprisingly.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 3.4 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star

6. esure

Esure is another of the largest UK car insurance brands, which many people like because of their UK-based claims centres. They also manage a network of motor repairers to handle over 90% of accidental damage claims. If you have a favourite mechanic you might want to find out if they're part of this network. Policies are 5 star Defaqto rated.

Quick Takeaway: esure won't be the cheapest quote compared to other brands in this list, but all of their comprehensive policies are rated Defaqto 5 stars for features such as a courtesy car, windscreen cover and personal injury.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star

7. Hastings

Hastings Essential policies often pop up as one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, car insurance quotes. The Essential policies are only rated 2 star by Defaqto for fewer features, however—for instance, windscreen cover is not included and cannot be added, however legal and breakdown can be added for an extra charge (roughly £20 and £35, respectively). Their Direct and Premier policies are not quite as cheap but have lower excesses and more features.

Quick Takeaway: If you're after very cheap car insurance then Hastings Essential might be one of your best options, but ultimately this depends on how their pricing models calculate the premium for your profile. It's usually best to compare prices with a comparison site like our partner QuoteZone to be sure.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star (2 for Essential)

8. Bell

Bell is another Admiral brand that can offer cheaper prices through the use of black box telematics policies to track safe driving. This black box policy is more attractive than some, because there's no curfew and no mileage limits, plus you typically only need the black box for six months. That said, some other black box providers have snazzier apps to communicate your driving reports.

Quick Takeaway: Bell can be a decent option for safe drivers who don't mind using a telematics black box for a period of time to get a lower price on their car insurance.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 2.1 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 4 star

9. Quotemehappy.com

Quotemehappy is one of Aviva's cheaper car insurance brand. Despite the low price, drivers get a lot of nice features included in their policies, such as legal and windscreen cover. As an added bonus, customer rate their experience very highly at Trustpilot (although this reflects the sales process more than the claims process), despite the fact that this is an online brand with no call centre.

Quick Takeaway: Quotemehappy.com frequently returns one of the cheapest quotes for car insurance, but this will vary from person to person.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 4 star
  • Fairer Finance: 57%

10. Swinton

Swinton offers policies underwritten by a range of insurers, and while they closed their last branch in 2019, they still have a customer-focused vibe. They've been helping customers find insurance for over 60 years—even those with convictions or those needing specialised cover. Swinton's Essential cover is their cheapest policy, and while it is lacking in some features it does include a few nice-to-haves for such a budget plan (e.g., a courtesy car during accident repairs and windscreen cover, but only up to £150).

Quick Takeaway: Swinton can be a great brand to consider if you need specialist cover and want to pay less. Swinton is perhaps the best option in this list for situations like high-risk drivers with a conviction, young drivers, modified cars, etc.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star (2 for Essential)

We are not recommending any one brand in particular and these brands are certainly not guaranteed to give you a cheap price and you may find cheaper cover elsewhere. Please just use the information in this study to support you in learning about the market. Remember to shop around for car insurance, since some companies may be much more affordable than others for your profile. Choosing the best car insurance for your needs will depend on factors like price points and car insurance features you desire, such as breakdown, motor legal or courtesy car cover.

Where to Find Cheap Car Insurance

Finding a car insurance policy that fits in your budget can take a bit of legwork, but there are lots of tools available to help you out. For example, getting quotes from a comparison site (e.g., our car insurance partner QuoteZone) can give you access to dozens of quotes in just a few minutes, as opposed to checking prices with each brand individually. Also check out our top tips to save money on car cover.

If you have a specific car insurance company in mind (e.g., one of the top-rated brands in our list above), you can see which car insurance comparison quote systems include them in our article on Best Car Insurance Comparison Sites.

Those with an unusual situation such as a modified car or a poor driving history might have fewer options available to them. If you’re finding it difficult to get suitable car insurance, try contacting the British Insurance Brokers' Association. Their "Find a Broker" service can be reached at 0370 950 1790 or biba.org.uk.

How To Pick a Cheap Car Insurance Company

Why is some car insurance cheaper than others? In the car insurance market, the cheaper brands are able to offer lower prices by reducing their operating costs or expenses using some of the following methods:

  • No customer service phone lines (webchat and/or email only)
  • Higher cancellation and administration fees
  • Fewer features included as standard
  • Requiring a telematics black box to track your driving style
  • Higher excess (the amount you pay towards a claim)

Some insurance companies will focus on providing a low-cost product by eliminating customer service call centres altogether, leaving you to contact customer service via webchat or email. Or they may not include features like breakdown, legal expenses or a courtesy car as standard. Others may offer less beneficial terms, such as no guarantee on repair workmanship or only providing Third Party cover if you drive to Europe. By learning about how products and terms can vary, you can pinpoint which features are most important to you.

Before you sign on to the cheapest plan you can find, be sure to figure out which of these money-saving tactics are at work—and be sure you're happy with the situation. For example, if you prefer talking on the phone to fix any issues that arise or discuss questions you may have, then an online car insurance brand is probably not for you.

Cheap Car Insurance in Your Area

Quickly compare 99 UK insurance providers.

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Who Gets the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Drivers around 55 years old typically get the cheapest car insurance, according to NimbleFins analysis. While the average cost of UK car insurance is around £500 per year, prices vary widely depending on many factors, including the insurance company, type of cover (TPO, TPFT or Comprehensive), details of your car (age, make, model, trim level, value, etc.), driving record—and your age.

For example, in the table and chart below see how cheap car insurance quotes change according to the age of the driver of a used Ford Fiesta. For more information on other popular vehicles, see our article on the Cost to Insure the UK's Most Popular Vehicles.

Average Cost of Cheap Comprehensive Car Insurance, by Driver Age
20 Years£851
25 Years£719
35 Years£639
45 Years£575
55 Years£468
65 Years£491
75 Years£752
chart showing how car insurance quotes depend on age
How Car Insurance Prices Change with Driver Age

Cheap Car Insurance in Your Area

Quickly compare 99 UK insurance providers.

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Car Insurance Company Reviews UK

Before choosing a car insurance company, it's a good idea to read about the pros and cons and what customers have to say. In addition to reviewing customer ratings at sites like Trustpilot and Reviews, you may want to read our in-depth comprehensive car insurance reviews. We continue to add to our library, but here are some car insurance companies we've reviewed so far that might offer cheaper quotes, listed in alphabetical order:

Car Insurance Reviews

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{"items":["\u003Cdiv class=\"node-teaser teaser-review block row\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"block teaser-review--image\" \u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"block\" href=\"\/diamond-car-insurance-review\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_190,q_auto,w_190\/v1\/referral_logos\/uk\/diamond-1\" alt=\"Diamond Image\" \/\u003E\n \u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"h4 teaser-review--label\"\u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"teaser-review--link\" href=\"\/diamond-car-insurance-review\"\u003EDiamond\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/h3\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","\n\u003Cdiv class=\"node-teaser teaser-review block row\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"block teaser-review--image\" \u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"block\" href=\"\/doddle-car-insurance-review\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_190,q_auto,w_190\/v1\/referral_logos\/uk\/insurance\/doddle-2\" alt=\"Doddle Image\" \/\u003E\n \u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"h4 teaser-review--label\"\u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"teaser-review--link\" href=\"\/doddle-car-insurance-review\"\u003EDoddle\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/h3\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","\n\u003Cdiv class=\"node-teaser teaser-review block row\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"block teaser-review--image\" \u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"block\" href=\"\/elephant-car-insurance-review\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_190,q_auto,w_190\/v1\/referral_logos\/uk\/elephant-1\" alt=\"Elephant Image\" \/\u003E\n \u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"h4 teaser-review--label\"\u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"teaser-review--link\" href=\"\/elephant-car-insurance-review\"\u003EElephant\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/h3\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","\n\u003Cdiv class=\"node-teaser teaser-review block row\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"block teaser-review--image\" \u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"block\" href=\"\/esure-car-insurance-review\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_190,q_auto,w_190\/v1\/referral_logos\/uk\/insurance\/esure-1\" alt=\"Esure Image\" \/\u003E\n \u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"h4 teaser-review--label\"\u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"teaser-review--link\" href=\"\/esure-car-insurance-review\"\u003EEsure\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/h3\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","\n\u003Cdiv class=\"node-teaser teaser-review block row\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"block teaser-review--image\" \u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"block\" href=\"\/general-accident-car-insurance-review\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_190,q_auto,w_190\/v1\/referral_logos\/uk\/generalaccident-1\" alt=\"General Acc. Image\" \/\u003E\n \u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"h4 teaser-review--label\"\u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"teaser-review--link\" href=\"\/general-accident-car-insurance-review\"\u003EGeneral Acc.\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/h3\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E"],"offsetPercentage":20}
{"items":["\u003Cdiv class=\"node-teaser teaser-review block row\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"block teaser-review--image\" \u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"block\" href=\"\/geoffrey-car-insurance-review\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_190,q_auto,w_190\/v1\/referral_logos\/uk\/insurance\/geoffrey-1\" alt=\"Geoffrey Image\" \/\u003E\n \u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"h4 teaser-review--label\"\u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"teaser-review--link\" href=\"\/geoffrey-car-insurance-review\"\u003EGeoffrey\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/h3\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","\n\u003Cdiv class=\"node-teaser teaser-review block row\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"block teaser-review--image\" \u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"block\" href=\"\/hastings-direct-insurance-review\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_190,q_auto,w_190\/v1\/referral_logos\/uk\/insurance\/hastingsdirect-1\" alt=\"Hastings Image\" \/\u003E\n \u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"h4 teaser-review--label\"\u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"teaser-review--link\" href=\"\/hastings-direct-insurance-review\"\u003EHastings\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/h3\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","\n\u003Cdiv class=\"node-teaser teaser-review block row\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"block teaser-review--image\" \u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"block\" href=\"\/esure-car-insurance-review\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_190,q_auto,w_190\/v1\/referral_logos\/uk\/insurance\/esure-1\" alt=\"Esure Image\" \/\u003E\n \u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"h4 teaser-review--label\"\u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"teaser-review--link\" href=\"\/esure-car-insurance-review\"\u003EEsure\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/h3\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","\n\u003Cdiv class=\"node-teaser teaser-review block row\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"block teaser-review--image\" \u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"block\" href=\"\/lv-car-insurance-review\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_190,q_auto,w_190\/v1\/referral_logos\/uk\/insurance\/lv-1\" alt=\"LV= Image\" \/\u003E\n \u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"h4 teaser-review--label\"\u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"teaser-review--link\" href=\"\/lv-car-insurance-review\"\u003ELV=\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/h3\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E","\n\u003Cdiv class=\"node-teaser teaser-review block row\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"block teaser-review--image\" \u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"block\" href=\"\/quotemehappy-com-car-insurance-review\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_190,q_auto,w_190\/v1\/referral_logos\/uk\/insurance\/quotemehappy-1\" alt=\"QuoteMeHappy Image\" \/\u003E\n \u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Ch3 class=\"h4 teaser-review--label\"\u003E\n \u003Ca class=\"teaser-review--link\" href=\"\/quotemehappy-com-car-insurance-review\"\u003EQuoteMeHappy\u003C\/a\u003E\n \u003C\/h3\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E"],"offsetPercentage":20}

How to Save Money on Car Insurance

As we discuss in more detail in our article, 10 Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance, there are loads of ways to bring your rate down. The easiest tip is to get many cheap car insurance quotes before you buy, for instance through a comparison site like our car insurance partner QuoteZone.

  1. Type of Cover: If your car is very old and not worth much you might decide that a lower level of cover is sufficient for your needs, but generally speaking it's best to get comprehensive cover (and it usually doesn't cost that much more money anyway)
  2. Pick a car with a low insurance group rating: some cars cost 2X, 3X or more to insure versus other cars
  3. Compare prices to get multiple quotes every year: head to a comparison site to make this easier
  4. Install a telematics black box tracker: especially for young drivers
  5. Increase the voluntary excess: as long as you're comfortable paying this excess if you claim
  6. Pay your premium upfront instead of monthly: paying monthly nearly always means you'll pay extra interest charges
  7. Don't automatically renew: generally speaking, insurance companies don't reward loyalty so be sure to check prices for a brand new policy from your current insurer—if it's less, negotiate
  8. Avoid business driving: cars used for business might be subject to a higher premium
  9. Don't get in an accident: building up your no claims bonus can save you 50% or more
  10. Don't get extra cover you don't need: think carefully before you add extra add on features to decide if you really need them

Methodology

In order to come up with a list of top picks for best and cheap UK car insurance, we first scoured prices from a number of comparison sites to find companies that were consistently among the cheapest for our sample profile. Then we ranked companies on their TrustPilot or Reviews.io customer ratings, Defaqto scores and Fairer Finance scores to find which ones are best in terms of features and customer service.

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team.

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