Cheapest cars to insure

Low power and lowly levels of equipment doesn't mean dull for our pick of the cheapest cars to insure

John Evans
Sep 27, 2017

You’ve saved the road tax, sorted the finance and budgeted for the fuel costs. And then the insurance quote pops up on your screen.

This July, the Association of British Insurers reported that car insurance premiums rose 11% over the preceding 12 months – the biggest year-on-year rise since it began tracking private insurance premiums in 2012. 

The easiest way to beat the higher costs is to buy a car in a low insurance group. Every car on sale in Britain is placed into one of 50 insurance groups by an organisation called Thatcham Research. It takes into account a car’s safety and security equipment, how easy and cheap it is to repair, and its performance. The lower the group, the cheaper the premium will be.

Below are the ten low ranked cars that are the cheapest to insure in Britain:

Skoda Citigo
Hyundai i10
Volkswagen up!
Dacia Sandero
Renault Twingo
Ford Ka+
Vauxhall Viva
Vauxhall Corsa
Nissan Micra
Dacia Logan

All of the above models are currently on sale as new cars and there are plenty of used examples to choose from. Full details of each car are further down the page. We've not always gone for the cheapest models in the range, but found the cars that you'd actually want to buy.

Each one comes with two example insurance quotes for two very different people. Insurers are not allowed to base their quotes on the driver’s gender, so this should be an irrelevant factor. Our quotes for the young driver assume there is a black box fitted to the car monitoring their driving.

  • F19 - 19-year old female with one claim (£500) but no points living in GU3 (Guildford). Excess: £250
  • M40: 40-year-old male living in GU3 with three points (SP30) but no claims. Excess £250

Quotes suppiled by Primo PLC. Pictures below are general images of the cars, and not necessarily the highlighted specification.


Cheapest cars to insure

Skoda Citigo 1.0 MPI 60PS SE 5dr

Best cheap car to insure for hassle-free ownership

Insurance group 2 (full Skoda Citigo range: groups 2-4)
Typical insurance premiums F19 £1,022; M40 £248
Manufacturer price £9,895 See latest discounts

In SE trim, the Skoda Citigo comes with air conditioning and electric windows but is still rated in insurance group 2 for low premiums.

The car’s small engine isn’t very powerful, but it revs quickly when you press the accelerator, making it feel energetic. Combined with the Citigo’s grip and steering that’s quick to respond, this is a car that’s easy to weave through a city. Owners love it, ranking it the eleventh best car to own out of 150 in the 2016 Auto Express Driver Power survey.

The Skoda Citigo is virtually identical to the Volkswagen up! and Seat Mii, apart from some minor design differences. The Skoda is ranked higher in this table because it’s the cheapest of the trio in entry-level S specification. Read more

Fuel economy 64.2mpg  Acceleration 14.4sec  Boot size 251 litres

Search new and used Skoda Citigo deals



Hyundai i10 SE 5dr

Best cheap car to insure for unlimited mileage warranty and practicality

Insurance group 2 (full Hyundai i10 range: groups 2-7)
Typical insurance premiums F19 £988; M40 £238
Manufacturer price £10,790 See latest discounts

The most insurance-friendly car in the range is often the least well-equipped. Fortunately, in the Hyundai i10 SE’s case you’re not required to make too many sacrifices. A spacious interior, a roomy boot and a nippy 1.0-litre petrol engine all come as standard. Air conditioning and electric windows are included in our featured model.

Its official economy figure of 60.1mpg could be better but performance is fair for such a tiny car. A huge plus in its favour is its five-year unlimited mileage warranty. Read more

Fuel economy 60.1mpg  Acceleration 14.7sec  Boot size 252 litres.

Search new and used Hyundai i10 deals



VW Move up! 1.0 MPI 60PS BMT

Best cheap car to insure for image and tech

Insurance group 3 (full VW up! range: groups 2-10) Typical insurance premiums F19 £906; M40 £251
Manufacturer price £10,845

The up! was updated last year, so its interior is more hi-tech than the Citigo, with the option of a colour screen to display radio information and a special VW app that you download to your smartphone to turn it into an in-car sat-nav.

Those aren’t fitted as standard to Insurance Group 1 Move up! cars, though, and may push your insurance premium up if you select them, as options. At this level, you do get a height-adjustable driver’s seat, electric windows and air conditioning.

The up! costs more than the Citigo but is likely to be worth more as a second-hand car, so the cost of owning it is unlikely to be much different. The results from last year’s Auto Express Driver Power survey place the up! 43rd out of 150, putting it below the Citigo for owner satisfaction.

Fuel economy 68.9mpg  Acceleration 14.4sec  Boot size 251 litres.

Search new and used VW up! deals



Dacia Sandero SCe 75 5dr

Best cheap car to insure for value

Insurance group 2 (full Dacia Sandero range: groups 2-11)
Typical insurance premiums F19 £1,362; M40 £240
Manufacturer price £6,995

Most of the models in this list are tiny city cars, but the Dacia Sandero offers low insurance premiums on a much larger car, the size of a Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa

The Dacia Sandero trades on its low price, and some of the models have a low insurance group too. The cheapest model, called Access, is in insurance group 2 but it doesn’t have a radio. Fortunately, upgrading to Ambiance level doesn’t affect your insurance group and includes equipment such as a wireless Bluetooth phone connection, electric front windows, remote central locking and a radio.

With its soft suspension, the Dacia puts comfort above driving thrills, and the cheap-to-insure 75 horsepower car feels underpowered. The TCe 90 version is better but the insurance group rises to 6.

Fuel economy 48.7mpg  Acceleration 14.5sec  Boot size 320 litres.

Search new and used Dacia Sandero deals   



Renault Twingo 1.0 SCe 70 Expression 5dr

Insurance group 2 (full Renault Twingo range: groups 2-8)
Typical insurance premiums F19 £1,147; M40 £243
Manufacturer price £9,875

With small dimensions and a tight turning circle that makes it easier to manoeuvre, the Renault Twingo makes a very good city car, with the option of a model that’s in insurance group 2. Despite its compact shape, it is spacious for a city car and was ranked in a respectable 67th place out of 150 in last year’s Auto Express Driver Power satisfaction survey, where owners said that they were impressed by its build quality.

Fuel economy 56.5mpg  Acceleration 14.5sec  Boot size 219 litres

Search new and used Renault Twingo deals



Ford Ka+ Zetec 1.2i Ti-VCT 70PS

Insurance group 2 (full Ford Ka+ range: groups 1-5)
Typical insurance premiums F19 £930; M40 £251
Manufacturer price £10,545

The Ford Ka+ is a five-door city car that competes with the Vauxhall Viva. It’s a miracle of small car packaging with a roomy interior (surprisingly so in the rear) and a large boot (it’s the biggest in this list). It rides exceptionally well, too and overall feels like a larger car. It’s very well equipped, at least in this Zetec form when it has alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control and a digital radio.

The downside is its dismal performance, at least with the 70 horsepower (hp) engine. Really, 0-62mph in 16.0 seconds is not good enough in this class. To do better, you have to upgrade to the 85hp engine for a time of 13.6 seconds. It’s only £300 more than the Zetec 70hp but insurance rises to group 5.

Fuel economy 56.5mpg  Acceleration 16.0sec  Boot size 270 litres

Search for new and used Ford Ka+ deals



Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE 5dr

Insurance group 3 (full Vauxhall Viva range: groups 3-4)
Typical insurance premiums F19 £1,113; M40 £243
Manufacturer price £9,315

Good equipment levels and low prices are the Viva’s strong points. Even the cheapest SE model has cruise control, although you’ll need to go to (a/c) SE to get air-conditioning, which increases the insurance group to 4.

The Viva is safe and roomy; this 1.0-litre version is both economical and the quickest car here, although it’s not as fun to drive as some.

Fuel economy 62.8mpg  Acceleration 13.1sec  Boot size 206 litres

Search new and used Vauxhall Viva deals



Vauxhall Corsa 1.4i 75PS Sting 3dr

Insurance group 2 (full Vauxhall Corsa range: groups 2-21)
Typical insurance premiums F19 £1,093; M40 £251
Manufacturer price £10,635

Even by the standards of low insurance group cars, this Vauxhall Corsa is slow, taking more than 15 seconds to get from 0-62mph, with a top speed of 101mph. But with this, you do get one of the best superminis on the market, with more space than a city car and equipment that includes electric windows, cruise control and alloy wheels. All with a list price of under £10,000.

Only the less practical three-door Corsa is classified in insurance group 2. This has less headroom in the back for passengers than the five-door which is only one group higher.

However, the cheapest five-door is only available in higher-grade Design trim which, together with the extra doors, adds over £2000 to the price.  

Fuel economy 54.3mpg  Acceleration 15.5mpg  Boot size 280 litres

Search for new and used Vauxhall Corsa deals



Nissan Micra 1.0 71 Visia 5dr

Insurance group 1 (full Nissan Micra range: groups 1-9)
Typical insurance premiums F19 £981; M40 £238
Manufacturer price £11,995 See latest offers

Japanese cars are not usually associated with low insurance groups so it’s a pleasant surprise to see the new Nissan Micra is a low group 1. Of course, it’s a European-built car which helps to keep parts prices down, a major contributor to insurance costs, but more important is the crash-avoidance tech it has as standard.

Even this entry-level Visia has lane departure warning with intelligent lane intervention and intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian detection, in addition to a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. As a first car for a young driver, it’s hard to beat.

Fuel economy 61.4mpg  Acceleration 16.4sec  Boot size 300 litres

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Dacia Logan Ambiance SCe 75

Insurance group 2 (full Dacia Logan range: groups 2-9)
Typical insurance premiums F19 £1331; M40 £263
Manufacturer price £8,695 See latest discounts

The Logan estate is more insurer-friendly than its Sandero hatchback relative. With the rear seats down (they fold 60:40) it has 1518 litres of load space, which is slightly more than a Ford Focus estate.

Although it’s larger and more practical than the Sandero, in the same trim as that model it’s actually two insurance groups lower (2 compared with 4). Ambiance trim has some useful features, too, including air conditioning, front electric windows and a digital radio.

Fuel economy 52.3mpg  Acceleration 14.7sec  Boot size 573 litres

Search new and used Dacia Logan deals


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