Cheapest big cars to insure

Like the sound of a big car with tiny insurance bills? It can be done if you know which car to choose. Here are some of the best options

James Wilson
Jan 5, 2021

Big cars need not cost big bucks (or pounds) to insure. In fact, they need not break the bank for all kinds of reasons - assuming you choose wisely. Handily, a number of ‘big car’ features should be favourable in the eyes of insurance providers. For example, larger cars are often designed to appeal to families and typically families value safety highly when it comes to cars. To appeal to such drivers, therefore, car makers often include tech that can help prevent accidents and anything that can help reduce crashes should reduce insurance costs.

It isn’t all about families though. Some people need a big car for work, others to tow a caravan, others to take a huge musical instrument up and down the country. Whatever your reason, the number of car options are countless. There are big estate cars that are cheap to insure, large SUVs that are available with inexpensive insurance and even exceedingly spacious seven-seater that cost less than you expect to insure.

To help you see the wood from the trees, below are eight of the best cheapest big cars to insure. In order to be considered, all models had to be easily available, measure in at 4.6m in length or more (though many here are significantly longer) and cost somewhere less than £10,000 or £150 per month in some cases, rising to £30,000 or £450 per month with the largest models.

Each model is provided with an example insurance quote for a 25-year-old (a full breakdown of the information used to gather these premiums is included at the bottom of the article). None of the insurance figures quoted below require a black box to be fitted, which means that insurers don't monitor how and when you drive, one method used by insurers to offer cheaper premiums to young drivers who have less driving experience and limited no claims bonuses.

Cheapest big cars to insure

1. Kia Sorento

Cheapest big car to insure for medium-sized families

Model to buy

Example insurance

Excess

Boot space (seats up/seats down)

Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi KX-2

£690

£500

142 litres/660 litres/1,732 litres

 
Not only is the previous-generation Kia Sorento particularly large and spacious but it is also a whole heap better than the model it replaced. As standard, all versions are four-wheel drive - and come with seven seats - so tackling a bit of snow or mud now and then shouldn't be an issue (though winter tyres could prove even more effective on cold and slippery roads or snowy surfaces), and towing your average caravan or trailer should be easy enough.

There is only one engine on offer, a 2.2-litre diesel, but there is a choice of automatic and manual gearboxes. Entry-level KX-1 models might save a little on insurance but the more common KX-2 versions would be our pick as they offer a more desirable selection of luxury equipment.

Regardless of trim, though, all Sorentos come with 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and Bluetooth. Even though Kia has worked hard to ensure its SUV is practical, the Korean car maker also spent time making sure the cabin is an upmarket and comfy place to be.

KIA SORENTO BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Skoda Octavia

Cheapest big car for company car drivers to insure

Model to buy

Example insurance

Excess

Boot space (seats up/seats down)

Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI 110 SE Technology

£636

£500

590 litres/1,580 litres

 
Skoda recently launched a new Octavia but it is the model that was replaced which we're highlighting here. Compared to rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, Skoda’s Octavia stands out thanks to a super practical cabin and plenty of space. Those thinking that the Octavia isn’t that big need to think again, as hatchback models are nearly 4.7m long - around 40cm more than an equivalent Golf. That extra length means you get both more space for passengers and luggage.

There are a large number of gearboxes, engines and trims to choose from, but when trying to keep insurance costs down without sacrificing other areas - such as performance, economy and standard equipment - 150hp 2.0 TDI SE Technology diesel models are an excellent option.

Four-wheel-drive Octavias are in ready supply, too, though they do carry a premium - and winter tyres should offer even better grip on slippery winter roads - but for maximum affordability, entry-level SE models are worth a look. Across the range alloy wheels, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and a cooled glovebox are standard.

SKODA OCTAVIA BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life

Cheapest big car to insure for adventure seekers needing a big boot

Model to buy

Example insurance

Excess

Boot space (seats up/seats down)

Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life 2.0 TDI

£568

£500

530 litres/1,650 litres/4,130 litres

 
Whether it is people, paraphernalia or parachutes, the Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life can carry a lot of them, thanks to its huge interior. Proof of this is the enormous 4,130 litres of cargo space that is available once all the rear seats are folded. As you'd expect from a modern-day VW, the Caddy Maxi Life is well built and robust even if it feels more functional than luxurious, as it's based on a VW van rather than being a freestanding car.

The majority of models available second-hand are diesel powered and come with an automatic gearbox but there are still a reasonable amount of manuals on offer. If petrol power is a must, however, then the pool of potentials gets very small indeed.

Regardless of engine and gearbox, standard equipment includes Bluetooth, a digital radio and front fog lights. For reference, ‘Maxi’ models don’t come wearing a flowing sleeveless dress, they are longer and more spacious than the standard Caddy Life, making them the one to look for if you're after maximum space.

4. Vauxhall Combo Life XL

Cheapest big car to insure with spacious sixth and seventh seats

Model to buy

Example insurance

Excess

Boot space (seats up/seats down)with all seven seats up

Vauxhall Combo Life 1.5 Turbo D Energy XL

£442

£500

806 litres/1,538 litres/2,693 litres

 
Vauxhall’s Combo Life XL is a similar proposition to the VW Caddy Maxi Life above in that it offers huge amounts of cabin space and seating for seven and is derived from a van. Be aware that some models come with just five seats so double check when shopping around if having more seats is important to you. You'll also want to bear in mind that non-XL models are shorter but can still come with seven-seats, so it's worth working out which combo of Combo Life length and number of seats you're after.

Petrol and diesel power are both on the table here, as are manual and automatic gearboxes. Whichever engine and transmission you choose the driving experience is comfortable rather than sporty. Considering that drivers choosing an XL car are likely to be doing so as they plan to fill it with passengers and/or luggage, we'd say that's a bonus.

Vauxhall is now part of the same company as Peugeot and Citroen (the parent company is called PSA), meaning Vauxhall has been able to use PSA’s latest engines which just so happen to be amongst the most economical out there. Trim wise, entry-level XL versions are badged as ‘Energy’ models. Standard equipment includes front and rear parking sensors (helpful in a car that is 4.75m long), automatic headlights, cruise control and a touchscreen media system, so even this is pretty well kitted out.

VAUXHALL COMBO LIFE BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Mazda 6 Tourer

Cheapest big car to insure with a great driving experience

Model to buy

Example insurance

Excess

Boot space (seats up/seats down)

Mazda 6 Tourer 2.0 SE-L Nav

£601

£500

522 litres/1,644 litres

 
The Mazda 6 Tourer is super-stylish, but not so much it is flashy. This is one handsome car that isn't as aggressive as rival BMW or Audi models, but far more distinctive than Ford and Vauxhall alternatives. There is personality behind the good looks, too, with notably economical engines, an impressively fun drive and a spacious interior all on offer.

Mazda has revamped this version of the 6 a number of times, but as a general rule, post-2015 versions the ones to find. This is thanks to subtly tweaked styling and a significantly redesigned cabin. Later models have a more luxurious cabin that features a slicker media system, making them look more modern. Older versions, however, can be extremely affordable, though, so if you're on a tight budget, they're still worth considering.

Stick to newer models and standard equipment includes a seven-inch touchscreen media display, cruise control and a leather steering wheel. That said, high-spec SE-L Mazda 6 Tourer models are a great option, as despite the equipment they still qualify for a relatively low insurance group. Petrol and diesel models are both in good supply as are those with an automatic or manual gearbox.

Diesel manuals are the most common and we'd say these are a good choice, as the diesel engines offer significantly more punch than the petrol alternatives at low engine speeds - plus increased fuel economy - while the manual gearbox is so slick it could have come from a sports car.

MAZDA 6 TOURER BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Toyota Avensis Touring Sports

Cheapest big car to insure with low emissions and high fuel economy

Model to buy

Example insurance

Excess

Boot space (seats up/seats down)

Toyota Avensis Touring Sports 1.6 D-4D Business Edition

£548

£500

543 litres/1,609 litres

 
Some cars shine thanks to striking looks and some thanks to rugged off-road abilities or sporty handling, but the Toyota Avensis shines for promising great fuel economy and low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. It's not exciting, but it's an economical, reliable and easy-to-live-with option.

That said, not all Avensis models are born equal. The 1.6-litre diesel models should be the most frugal with official fuel economy claimed to be just over 67mpg and CO2 emissions of just 110g/km. Since these figures were achieved in the old fuel economy testing procedure (which is much less realistic than the current WLTP format), you are likely to struggle to achieve this figure with everyday driving.

Business Edition specification comes as standard with air-conditioning, cruise control and a reversing camera. In 2015 Toyota facelifted its Avensis and it is these updated models which are the cream of the crop. Unfortunately, after the revamp only new petrol models were available with an automatic gearbox so those wanting to avoid changing gear will have to contend with higher fuel consumption and emissions than the manual-only diesel offers. While no Avensis is particularly fun to drive, it is a refined and comfy car.

TOYOTA AVENSIS BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Hyundai i40 Tourer

Cheapest big car to insure with a long warranty

Model to buy

Example insurance

Excess

Boot space (seats up/seats down)

Hyundai i40 Tourer 1.7 CRDi Blue Drive SE Nav Business

£663

£500

553 litres/1,719 litres

 
When it comes to the length of new car warranties provided by manufacturers, a limit of three years and 60,000 miles is the norm. As standard, Hyundai offers a five-year and unlimited mileage warranty, so you can purchase a two-year old model for far less than a new one and still have the same amount of warranty cover as most new cars. As a result, the i40 should be more than up to the challenge of family duties, lugging heavy loads or simply racking up the miles on the motorway, year after year.

Like many on this list, the i40 has been updated since its launch. The changes happened in 2015 but weren’t huge, so pre-facelift models are well worth considering. That is unless you're considering an automatic as the revised models use a much better 'DCT' (dual-clutch transmission), which changes gears more quickly than the the more traditional automatic gearbox featured in older i40s. Tourer models are the best for luggage hauling abilities but saloons are still great big cars.

HYUNDAI I40 BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Seat Tarraco

Cheapest big family car to insure

Model to buy

Example insurance

Excess

Boot space (seats up/seats down)

Seat Tarraco 2.0 TDI SE Technology

£690

£500

230 litres/700 litres/2,005 litres

 
Seat launched its Tarraco in 2019, so compared to some models on this list is something of a young-gun. It didn’t take long to win over drivers with its smart design (both inside and out), spacious cabin and pleasant drive. In terms of cabin space, the Tarraco cannot quite match Vauxhall’s Combo Life XL and VW’s Caddy Maxi Life for rearmost seat space, but it still offers far better room than many large seven-seat SUVs, such as the Nissan X-Trail, with enough space for seven adults.

Happily, one of the benefits of being launched so recently is crisp styling and much of the latest car technology. For example, front and rear LED lights (for a modern look and clarity when driving in the dark) and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility come as standard.

Rear parking sensors are also included on all models. There is a hearty choice of engines and gearboxes - plus two- and four-wheel drive models. If you're looking for the best blend of performance and economy diesel-power is the way to go, but 1.5-litre petrol models are a good choice, too, if you don't cover too many miles.

SEAT TARRACO BUYERS' GUIDE

Each of the provided example insurance quotes used the same hypothetical person’s details. These were as follows; the main driver is a 25-year-old male administrator living in his parents’ house in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. He has been driving (on a full UK licence) for five years and has five years no claims bonus. His father is a named driver on the policy and he has held his licence for over 25 years. At night the car is parked on his parents’ driveway and during the day it is parked in his work’s car park. He has no children under 16, no medical conditions and no motoring convictions. His policy is to provide comprehensive cover and is set to start three weeks after the date of the quote. He pays annually and is expecting to travel 7,000 miles per annum for commuting and social purposes, no dashcam is fitted and he does not want to protect his no claims bonus.

 

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