With insurance being one of the biggest costs of car ownership in the UK, purchase price aside, many motorists are keen to buy a car that is cheap to insure—the car you drive has a big impact on the cost of car insurance, and is a factor you can control (unlike your age). We've taken a deep dive into some Insurance Group 1 cars to find out just how much they cost to buy and insure. See our list of the best UK cheap car insurance companies.
Cheap Cars to Buy and Insure
If you want to lower your cost of car insurance, you may want to consider a car in a low Insurance Group. We took some well-known Insurance Group 1 cars and got more information on them to better understand actual insurance costs for drivers of different ages, how much they cost to buy and how common they are—because it's not very useful to have a list of cars that you can't find!
First, we found which trim levels were graded as Insurance Group 1 at Parkers, because the Insurance Group can vary significantly for different specs of the same make and model car. Then we checked used car prices and availability at AutoTrader to get an idea of how easy and cheap these Insurance Group 1 trim levels are to find.
Here is a list of some Insurance Group 1 cars, including trim levels, for sale in the UK that are surprisingly cheap to insure compared to many other car makes and models.
|List of UK Insurance Group 1 Cars||Years||Specs||Used Price Range||Used Market Availability (# of cars on AutoTrader)|
|Kia Rio||11-17||1.1 CRDi 1 Air (01/15-) 5d||~£2k - £8.5k||0-50|
|Volkswagen Polo||17 on||S||~£6k - £10k||0-50|
|Smart Forfour||15-19||Pure 71hp 5d||~£7k||0-50|
|Ford Ka+||16 on||Studio 1.2 Ti-VCT 70PS 5d||£4,300 - £9,000||0-50|
|Chevrolet Spark||10-15||1.0i 5d||n/a||0-50|
|Citroen C1||05-14||1.0i Vibe, 1.0i Airplay||n/a||0-50|
|Fiat Panda||04-11||1.1 Active and 1.1 Active ECO||£9,000 - £11,000||0-50|
|Nissan Micra Hatchback||17 on||Visia 1.0 71PS 5d, Visia IG 71 5d, Visia+ 1.0 71PS 5d, Visia+ IG 71 5d and Acenta (not diesel or turbo)||n/a||0-50|
|Skode Fabia Hatchback||15 on||S 1.0 MPI 75PS 5d, SE 1.0 MPI 60PS 5d and Colour Edition 1.0 MPI 60PS 5d||n/a||0-50|
|Hyundai i10||14 on||1.0 Blue Drive S Air 5d||£3,595 - £6,495||50-100|
|SEAT Mii||12 on||S, Ecomotive and 1.0 SE 3d/5d||£2,475 - £5,000||50-100|
|Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback||06 - 14||1.0i 12V ecoFLEX Expression 3d||£1,600 - £2,700||100+|
|Skoda Citigo||12 on||1.0 MPI S 3d||£1,950 - £4,000||100+|
|Volkswagen Fox||6-12||1.2 litre||£800 - £1,795||100+|
|Volkswagen Up||12 on||1.0 Take Up, Take Up 1.0 BMT 60PS , 1.0 BlueMotion Tech Move Up and Some 1.0 Move Up models||£2,250 - £4,600||100+|
Note, sometimes there are not many of the insurance group 1 vehicles available in the used car market, because they are often the lowest trim level and people tend to want more features. Going up a trim level may bump you up into a higher insurance group, but this may be worth it as there could be a much wider selection of used cars available to you at that level. For example, our most recent check showed only 1 "Pure" trim Smart FourFour available on Autotrader, but over 100 "Passion" trim Smart FourFours available (these are insurance group 2).
Cheap Cars to Insure at 18
How much is insurance for these cars that are supposed to be cheap to insure? To find out, we priced policies for some of the cheap-to-insure cars using a sample new, young 18-year-old driver. We focused on the four cars that we found were most abundant in the used-car market (Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback, Skoda Citigo, Volkswagen Fox and Volkswagen Up!). As you can see in the table below, our sample young driver around 18 got cheap car insurance quotes in the range of £944 to £1,000. Compared to the average price of car insurance for a young driver of closer to £1,800, these cars can provide great value.
|Make and Model||Year||Spec||Cheap Car Insurance Cost (18 years old)||Cheap Car Insurance Cost (30 years old)|
|Skoda Citigo||2015||1.0 MPI S||£944.39||£466.74|
|Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback||2014||1.0i 12V ecoFLEX Expression||£948.32||£517.38|
|Volkswagen Fox||2012||1.2 litre||£1,002.06||£515.66|
|Volkswagen Up||2015||1.0 Take Up||£997.78||£542.52|
Cheap Cars to Insure at 30
We also priced comprehensive cover for the cheap cars to insure for a 30 year old, to see how prices compare for a slightly older driver. As you can see, these drivers pay about half of what a new driver would pay.
|Make and Model||Year||Spec||Cheap Car Insurance Cost (30 years old)|
|Skoda Citigo||2015||1.0 MPI S||£466.74|
|Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback||2014||1.0i 12V ecoFLEX Expression||£517.38|
|Volkswagen Fox||2012||1.2 litre||£515.66|
|Volkswagen Up||2015||1.0 Take Up||£542.52|
To get price estimates for cheap car insurance for cheap-to-insure cars, we got comprehensive cover quotes from our car insurance partner QuoteZone for the make, models and trim levels listed in the tables above. Our driver lives in a small town in the South East and has a good driving record. The 18 year old has had a licence for one year and has had no accidents or claims. The 30 year old has had a licence for 12 years and has 5 years of no claims. The annual mileage of the car is 5,000 miles per year, and it's parked on a private driveway. The quotes listed above are actually the average of the 3 cheapest quotes returned by the system.
Insurance prices can vary significantly depending on many factors and even from day to day, so just use these quotes for educational purposes. You may need to pay more or less depending on your profile.
- Q: "What car should you buy for cheap insurance?"
- A: Buying a car in a low Insurance Group is likely to save you money on car insurance, especially if it's a used car instead of a new car. Examples of popular cars in Insurance Group 1 include the Vauxhall Corsa, Skoda Citigo, Volkswagen Fox and Volkswagen Up!. You'll notice that most of the cheap-to-insure cars are just 1.0 litres; if you want a 1.2 litre car consider a Ford Ka+.
- *Q: "What are cheap cars to insure at 17 or 18 years old?"
- A: Cheap cars to insure for a young driver, such as a teenager, include Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback, Skoda Citigo, Volkswagen Fox and Volkswagen Up! Young drivers looking for a cheap car to insure should check the insurance group of the car they want, and remember that used cars cost less to insure than new cars and cars with smaller engines and sizes are usually cheaper to insure, also (e.g., a 1.0 litre subcompact).
- Q: "Are there any 1.6 litre cars that are cheap to insure?"
- A: We're on the lookout for 1.6 litre cars that are in Insurance Group 1 or 2 but haven't come across any yet. Some trim levels of the 1.4 litre Vauxhall Corsa fall into group 2, however.
- Q: "What are some cheap family cars to insure?"
- A: While most of the cheapest-to-insure cars are subcompacts, here are a few slightly larger family cars that can be cheap to insure: Kia Picanto (lowest insurance group is 4), Dacia Sandero (lowest insurance group is 3) and Fiat Panda (lowest insurance group is 3).