Cheapest car insurance for young drivers

Finding cheap insurance is a tough task as a young driver. Fear not, though: we've done the hard work to find the cheapest cars to insure

James Wilson
Jul 31, 2021

Being a young driver and scouring the planet for cheap car insurance is part and parcel of modern motoring. All it takes is a few keystrokes on Google to find page after page of car insurance companies and all sorts of different tips and tricks for cutting your insurance premium.

Things such as adding an experienced named driver to the policy, potentially getting a black box, which monitors your driving and reports back to the insurance company - lowering your premium if you're deemed to drive well - and opting for a high excess can all affect how much you have to pay. These efforts are all pretty futile, though, if you pick a high-risk car.

It doesn’t matter how much you fiddle with the policy details if the car you are trying to insure is in a particularly high insurance group. These models are typically those that are often stolen, crashed or expensive to repair, and so prove costly to insure to cover the high risk. Do your homework, however, and you can find desirable cars that cost far less to insure than you might think. If you fancy a quick refresher on what exactly car insurance groups are, then visit our dedicated page.

The way in which car insurance groups are calculated sees most vehicles in the lowest groups tending to be small, affordable (to buy and repair) and not particularly powerful - elements which make them well suited to young drivers. All models below sit in either group 1 or 2 - the lower the group out of the 50 bands the better - so picking one should be one of the quickest ways to cut your insurance premium down to size.

Best cars for cheap car insurance for young drivers

Keep reading for a roundup of the cars that could slash your insurance costs into affordable territory, with example insurance quotes for a 21-year-old male. For reference, full details of the quote parameters can be found at the bottom of this article.

Be aware that changing these parameters is likely to affect the premium; if you live in a particularly high-risk area, expect the cost of your premium to go up. On the other hand, if you have more no claims bonus, your personal premium could be lower.

Meanwhile, if you're not sure what black box insurance is, this uses a device fitted to the car which measures how you drive - typically the speed you travel, how smoothly you drive and potentially where you drive and when - as these all affect the risk you pose to the insurer. In theory, this is a way for low-risk drivers to prove to their insurer that they're worthy of a reduced premium at renewal time, although some companies offer mid-contract discounts for good driving.

Be aware, however, that if you drive rapidly everywhere and constantly slam on the brakes, it's likely that a black box insurer would increase your premium or even cancel the policy, as the company could deem you dangerous. All cars below are presented with a black box insurance quote and one without - for those who don't want their driving to be monitored.

1. Hyundai i10

Model to buyExample insurance without a black boxExcessExample insurance with a black boxExcess
1.0 66hp S£513£500£613£500

Used deals from £5,795
Monthly finance from £149

Hyundai recently launched a new i10 city car, but it is the previous generation which can sit in the lowest insurance group and - importantly, it's much cheaper to finance or buy one of these used models - so it is the one to go for when hunting cheap car insurance. This version of the i10 is also a fabulous small car that looks cute and is pleasant to drive and in all but the most basic specifications, comes with far more standard equipment than you'd expect for the money.

If you want the absolute lowest insurance, however, you will need to look for an entry-level S model with the 66hp 1.0-litre petrol engine. We aren’t going to sugar coat it, S models don't come with much equipment. Other i10 trims still sit in relatively low insurance groups so these are well worth exploring if you can still get cheap premiums - these include S Air (basically S trim with air-conditioning) and SE if you fancy more creature comforts.


2. Skoda Citigo

Model to buyExample insurance without a black boxExcessExample insurance with a black boxExcess
1.0 60hp SE£564£475£614£400

Used deals from £6,695
Monthly finance from £137

If you don't mind the nondescript styling of lower-trim Skoda Citigos, you can scoop up a cracking little car that is practical for its size, has good road holding even at motorway speeds and is fun to drive. Throw in the fact the Citigo is cheap to insure and it almost seems too good to be true.

There is one drawback; models which sit in group 1 for insurance come with the less potent of the two 1.0-litre petrol engines on offer. This means the Citigo is anything but fast, but it is still an enjoyable car to drive, and the engine makes a sporty thrum when worked hard, so pushing the Citigo a bit harder to get it up to speed is no chore. In terms of equipment, SE trim is pretty sparse but you do get body-coloured door handles and wing mirrors, unlike with the entry-level S versions.


3. Smart ForFour

Model to buyExample insurance without a Black BoxExcessExample insurance with a black boxExcess
Passion 1.0£533£450£568£500

Used deals from £6,999
Monthly finance from £130

Passion by name passion by nature; once a young driver finds out how cheap a Smart ForFour is to insure they aren’t going to be able to control their lust for one. Okay, so that is perhaps a stretch but the Smart ForFour is a quirky city car option that is more stylish than most cars this cheap to insure and has a more interesting interior, too.

The ForFour has its engine underneath the boot which may sound odd but it's actually a clever move. Not only does this help free up more cabin space, but it means the ForFour has an incredibly small turning circle (which is super handy for doing u-turns or nipping through tight urban streets). For city car standards, every Smart ForFour comes well equipped - cruise control, climate control and Bluetooth are all included, even on base Pure models.


4 Ford Ka+

Model to buyExample insurance without a Black BoxExcessExample insurance with a black boxExcess
1.2 Ti-VCT 70hp Zetec£519£450£676£500

Used deals from £7,735
Monthly finance from £136

As small cars go, the Ford Ka+ has never been that attention-grabbing. It was supposed to be a super affordable model for those who wanted a small, economical and relatively fun car but it never really managed to step out of the shadow of its bigger brother - the Fiesta. Why? Well, the Fiesta is quite affordable, economical, fun and better looking.

However, due to its lack of popularity, used prices are nice and low foir the Ka+ - meaning you can take advantage of low monthly payments - and as several models have particularly low insurance ratings running costs are low, too.

There are three trims available in the Ka+ range - Studio, Zetec and Active. Studio models should be the cheapest to insure, but Zetec variants are still one of the very cheapest to insure in our roundup and in more ready supply than Studio versions. This is because Zetec models came with better standard equipment from the factory so were more popular - kit included 15-inch alloy wheels, electric front windows, air-conditioning and Bluetooth.


5. Vauxhall Corsa

Model to buyExample insurance without a Black BoxExcessExample insurance with a black boxExcess
1.2i (70hp) Sting£600£400£721£500

Used deals from £5,690
Monthly finance from £61

Vauxhall’s Corsa is one of the most popular cars in the UK and it has been for some time - a good mix of fun, affordability and practicality will do that for you. One of the biggest markets for the Corsa is young drivers and as Vauxhall knows young drivers struggle with insurance prices it was only too happy to produce a number of Corsas which sit in particularly low insurance groups. One such example being 1.2-litre petrol Sting models.

Not only are they cheap to insure but they are also surprisingly well equipped - cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, electric front windows and remote locking were all included as standard. Be aware that Vauxhall has launched a new Corsa but it is the older version we discuss here.


6. Kia Rio

Model to buyExample insurance without a Black BoxExcessExample insurance with a black boxExcess
1 1.25 (84hp)£634£450£712£500

Used deals from £8,243
Monthly finance from £155

If you're not fussed about having a particularly fun-to-drive car then the third-generation Kia Rio is an excellent option - it really threw a cat amongst the pigeons when it landed back in 2011. Entry-level 1 models are the ones to have for bargain-basement insurance although they do not come with much equipment - electric front windows are about it. Looking at it from a glass half full perspective, there is less to go wrong…

Saying that, Kias are sold as standard with a seven-year 100,000-mile warranty, so even if the car did go wrong, the warranty could cover it, even for many used cars. The Rio was updated in 2015 (as shown in the picture above) and post-update models are well worth hunting down if your budget allows.


7. Ford Fiesta

Model to buyExample insurance without a Black BoxExcessExample insurance with a black boxExcess
1.1 Style£638£450£648£500

Used deals Limited stock

The latest Ford Fiesta is the cream of the small hatchback crop - helped in part by the wide variety of engines and trims it is offered with. Right at the bottom of the food chain are 1.1-litre Style models - but what they lack in power, equipment and luxury they make up for with value. Or rather cheap insurance premiums, reliable motoring and decent styling.

One of the Fiesta’s greatest traits (irrespective of engine and trim) is that it is just as adept at crawling through town as it is putting a smile on your face on a twisting back road. Also, Style models do come with air-conditioning, remote locking and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, so they aren’t completely lacking when it comes to standard equipment, which isn't always the case with the cheapest cars to insure.


8. Skoda Fabia

Model to buyExample insurance without a Black BoxExcessExample insurance with a black boxExcess
1.0 MPI (60hp) S£684£500£585£500

Used deals from £6,229
Monthly finance from £129

The Skoda Fabia is closely related to the VW Polo, Seat Ibiza and Audi A1, so it shares components with some very desirable cars. But, it's much cheaper new and even cheaper used. That said, entry-level S variants which qualify for insurance group 1 aren’t festooned with all that much equipment. Electric windows, heated mirrors and steering wheel rake/reach adjustment are about it for the standout kit.

The way the Fabia drives is best described as safe and comfy - the Fabia is not particularly exciting to drive - and its interior is functional rather than flamboyant, though it is simple to use and good quality, too. The cabin is nice and roomy as well, with enough space for five adults in relative comfort.


To generate the above insurance quotes the following data was used: the main driver (and owner of the car) is a 21-year-old male administrator living in Marlow, Buckinghamshire in his parents’ house. He has held a full UK driving licence for three years and has two years’ no claims bonus. His father, who had held his licence for over 25 years, is a named driver on the policy. During the day the car is parked in a work car park and at night on the driveway at home. The driver has no motoring convictions, no children under 16 and no medical conditions. The cover level is fully comprehensiv and paid for annually, with 8,000 miles per annum cover for commuting and social purposes.


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