Cars with the cheapest insurance

Finding a car with the cheapest insurance premium need not be a headache – we've rounded up a number of low-insurance options

James Wilson
Jan 21, 2021

Tracking down a car with low insurance costs can be tricky - even if you're not a new driver and you have decades of driving experience under your belt. Whatever your age or number of years on the road, no one wants to pay more than they need on insurance. So, we've rounded up some of the most appealing cars with rock bottom premiums that include city cars, hatchbacks, small SUVs, estate cars and people carriers.

Just because you want to cut your insurance bills doesn't mean you want to short change yourself when it comes to the car, so we've picked models that include a good helping of creature comforts. The good news is there is plenty of choice out there. Whether you're after a small, medium or large vehicle there are options available which promise low annual (or monthly) car insurance bills.

We've included everything from an upmarket city car for urban dwellers who want something easy to drive and park but still stylish, to a nippy hatchback for those who fancy a brisk but sensible car and a seven-seater for those who have lots of passengers to transport. Despite the differences, there are a number of things all those highlighted below share.

Firstly, each car should be available with very cheap insurance (less than £300 for a year's cover with our example insurance details - see below for full insurance details). And secondly, they are all in plentiful second-hand supply and are available for less than £20,000 (or around £285 per month with a typical PCP finance deal). Many are considerably more affordable, so keep reading to find the best cheap to insure car for you.

Cars for the cheapest insurance

1. Seat Arona

Our pick Seat Arona 1.0 TSI SE Technology
Used deals from £12,995
Monthly finance from £214*
Example insurance £193
Excess £450

Seat is part of the same company as VW and Audi and that means that the Seat Arona shares an awful lot of parts that are featured in more upmarket cars such as the VW Polo and Audi A1. Perhaps the best news is that not only are Seat models typically cheaper to purchase new, but that trend continues with used cars, making the Arona significantly more affordable than VW and Audi alternatives. It's cheap to insure, too, with premiums of less than £200 possible.

Some of the most sophisticated VW/Audi kit that the Seat gets to take advantage of are the engines and multimedia systems. The engines available in an Arona are rather good - especially the punchy and relatively economical turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol options. The multimedia systems are pretty good, too, looking good and being relatively easy to use. What’s more, the Arona is enjoyable to drive and are comfortable on UK roads, provided you steer clear of sporty FR models which have firmer suspension.

SEAT ARONA BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Honda HR-V

Our pick Honda HR-V 1.5 I-VTEC SE
Used deals from £12,050
Monthly finance from £206*
Example insurance £223
Excess £350

The latest Honda HR-V first arrived in 2016 before being revamped a little in 2018. Irrespective of whether you're considering a pre- or post-2018 model, the Honda HR-V is a great all-rounder and a worthy alternative to the likes of the Nissan Juke or Peugeot 2008. Not only is the HR-V practical and relatively spacious but in the right colour scheme, it's a much rarer and more distinctive car.

The range of trims to choose from is fairly modest, meaning it shouldn’t be too hard to find a suitable car, although you still get the choice of petrol and diesel power plus manual and automatic gearboxes. Honda generally equips its models quite well and the HR-V is no exception, with features such as cruise control, climate control air-conditioning and LED lights all available. If you're looking for a high-riding crossover that is capable off the road, the HR-V is not it, however; it's very much designed for driving on smooth roads and all versions are two-wheel drive.

HONDA HR-V BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Mazda 3

Our pick Mazda 3 2.0 Skyactiv-G MHEV GT Sport
Used deals from £18,995
Monthly finance from £291*
Example insurance £265
Excess £450

Not sure whether you want a Mazda hatchback, as the previous 3 never grabbed your attention? Think again, as the latest 3 is a sharp looking machine and features a surprisingly plush cabin. Then, there is the driving experience, which is up there with the best hatchbacks, as it is both comfortable and feels sporty to drive. Finally, there is the interior which is both great quality and feels like it's built to last.

When looking for the right Mazda 3 there's no need to splash out on a more pricey range-topping model - such as GT Sport versions - as even the most basic versions include desirable equipment such as adaptive cruise control - which can automatically maintain a safe distance behind the car in front - automatic headlights, a head-up display that beams driving information onto the windscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, rear parking sensors, electric folding wing mirrors and powerful LED headlights in 2021 models.

That said, higher specification models, like the GT Sport versions, are still great value - and cheap to insure - so if they come within budget and you fancy luxuries such as bigger alloy wheels, leather seats, a heated steering wheel or a 12-speaker Bose sound system, GT Sport itself is still pretty good value.

MAZDA 3 BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Ford Focus Estate

Our pick Ford Focus 1.5 EcoBlue 120 Titanium
Used deals from £16,495
Monthly finance from £239*
Example insurance £224
Excess £400

A car like the Ford Focus Estate is all the car most people could ever need. It is big enough to transport five adults in reasonable comfort, the boot is rather large - even when all five seats are in use - it is excellent to drive and all but basic ‘Style’ models come with enough standard equipment to keep most people happy, including features such as a heated front windscreen and cruise control.

It doesn’t end there, though. Ford also offers a cracking range of engines. Surprisingly punchy 1.0-litre petrol ‘EcoBoost’ engines are a wise option for most drivers, with those who chalk up tens of thousands of miles every year potentially cutting their overall costs by going for one of the ‘EcoBlue’ diesel versions. These are particularly cheap to insure, too.

There is also a high-performance Ford Focus Estate ST - which will out-accelerate the majority of cars on the road from 0 to 60mph. It's just as practical as the other models, but offers a much more sporty feel from behind the wheel.

FORD FOCUS ESTATE BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Citroen Berlingo

Our pick Citroen Berlingo 1.2 PureTech Flair XL
Used deals Limited stock
Example insurance £235
Excess £350

The latest Citroen Berlingo was launched back in 2018 and is a wise choice for anyone looking to transport lots of people and their belongings in a relatively new but great value large car. There are five-seater 'M' and seven-seater 'XL' versions to choose from. XL models are longer than M versions in order to fit the extra seats. Whichever you go for, the Berlingo drives relatively well for a large, comfort-orientated family car - and the low insurance costs are another bonus.

There aren’t many trims available to choose from but ‘Flair’ gets our vote as standard equipment and value for money are both good. Engine-wise there is the choice of a 1.2-litre petrol engine and several 1.5-litre diesel engines (with power outputs ranging from 75hp to 130hp). If an automatic gearbox is a must for you, then you'll have to go for a diesel engine as Citroen does not offer an automatic petrol with the Berlingo.

CITROEN BERLINGO BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Volkswagen Up

Our pick Volkswagen Up 1.0 High Up
Used deals from £6,780
Monthly finance from £132*
Example insurance £219
Excess £350

The Volkswagen Up may be a super-inexpensive city car that is both cheap to purchase and insure, but it's also very desirable - something few city cars can offer. Part of this is down to the fact the Up feels well built and is capable of not only driving through tight urban streets without fuss, but is also smooth and refined enough on faster roads and motorways.

Unless you're looking for the absolute cheapest Up, it is worth opting for a middle-of-the-range trim, such as a ‘High Up’ version. A 1.0-litre petrol engine is the only option with this, but there are a few different versions with varying power outputs. Unless you expect to solely drive in town, the 75hp engine is the one to go for.

VOLKSWAGEN UP BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Volvo V40

Our pick Volvo V40 2.0 D4 R Design
Used deals from £12,824
Monthly finance from £239*
Example insurance £297
Excess £450

The Volvo V40 - which was on sale until 2019 - was a rival to cars like the previous version of the Mercedes A-Class (which was on sale until 2018), as a comfortable, upmarket hatchback. Depending which engine you choose with the V40, it can be both speedy and economical and the D4 diesel is a good example of version that offers strong fuel economy and performance. You might think that this means sky-high insurance premiums, but this is not the case with the V40 D4.

D4 diesel models, which produce 190hp (a significant amount which is close to that of smaller performance cars such as the Ford Fiesta ST) can, in fact, be cheaper to insure than the slower V40 D3, which produces just 150hp. Since the D4 still offers impressive economy, there's every reason to go for a D4 if you can find a version that suits your taste and budget.

Standard equipment is good with the D4, although the media system does look a little dated by today’s standards. On the flip side, the sound system is excellent which can be just as important as a fancy display in the middle of the dashboard, and the V40 drives surprisingly well, offering a good balance between comfort and a reasonably sporty feel in R Design form.

VOLVO V40 BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Kia Ceed

Our pick Kia Ceed 1.0T GDi ISG GT-Line
Used deals from £12,000
Monthly finance from £208*
Example insurance £269
Excess £400

Modern Kias make a very compelling case for themselves as used cars. They all come with a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty - which is pretty much the longest car warranty in the business and means that even if you choose a great value four-year old model, you still get just as much warranty cover as most brand new cars. Build quality is good and in the case of the Ceed, equipment is plentiful.

The current version of the Kia Ceed was launched in 2018 and is the South Korean car maker’s best effort at taking on key rivals such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra to date. The Ceed is also good to drive, almost matching the likes of the Volkswagen Golf in terms of handling, which is high praise, indeed. There is a decent spread of engines and gearboxes, although it is the turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol models paired with a manual gearbox that offer the best balance of performance, running costs and cheap insurance.

If maximum practicality is important to you, there is an estate version of the Ceed - called the ‘Sportwagen’ - available and this offers a substantial 600 litres of storage space, which is up there with the best cars of its size, such as the Focus, Golf and Skoda Octavia estates.

KIA CEED BUYERS' GUIDE

To gather the example car insurance quotes provided above the following details were used; the main driver is a 40-year-old male office manager living in a property he and his 40-year-old female partner own in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. He has been driving (on a full UK licence) for 23 years and has 15 years no claims bonus. His partner is a named driver on the policy and she has held her licence for 23 years, too. At night the car is parked on their 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 8,000 miles per annum for commuting and social purposes, no dashcam is fitted and he does not want to protect his no claims bonus.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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