Cheapest cars to insure for new drivers 2024

If you’ve just passed your driving test, here are the 10 of the cheapest cars to insure for new drivers right now

By Gavin Braithwaite-Smith March 25, 2024

Insurance is one of those unavoidable costs of running a car. It doesn’t matter if you pay the annual premium in one lump sum or via monthly direct debit, you’ll need to dig deep to insure your car. And the bad news is that it’s particularly expensive if you’re a new driver.

Don’t let the cheap learner insurance fool you; as soon as you’ve passed your driving test and there’s no need for a responsible driver to accompany you, the annual premium will skyrocket in price – and it won’t return to Earth until you’ve got some experience under your belt. By then you should be armed with a healthy no claims bonus, which will reduce the cost of cover to a more manageable level.


In the meantime, you’ll need to drive something small that’s cheap to insure. The key is to find a car that sits in one of the lowest insurance groups, with 1 being the cheapest and 50 the most expensive. The lower the group, the less you’ll pay, although other factors such as your age, postcode and occupation will be factors in how much you’re charged.

The other thing to consider is that a car could span multiple insurance groups. For example, a Kia Picanto can range from insurance group 1 for the lowest specification to group 11 for the highest. Similarly, the groups for the Skoda Fabia range from 4 to 19. So, without further ado, here are the cheapest cars to insure for new drivers, with the list presented in alphabetical order.

Fiat Panda

Cheapest car to insure for living la dolce vita
Our pick: Fiat Panda 1.0 City Life
Read our full Fiat Panda review

The cute and funky Fiat Panda has been around for a while, but it remains one of the most popular new cars in Europe, particularly in Italy. It’s showing its age in some areas – many of its rivals are safer and offer the latest tech – but the Fiat Panda is perfect for living la dolce vita on a budget.

Pick the Fiat Panda City Life with its 1.0-litre mild hybrid engine and the cost of insurance will be kept in check by a group 6 rating. Fuel economy is another factor in the Fiat Panda’s favour, with the 1.0-litre engine giving an official 57.6mpg on a combined cycle, which means you won’t be spending a lot of time at the pumps.

The Fiat Panda feels most at home in the city, where its excellent all-round visibility helps when tackling congested streets and tight parking spaces, while the soft suspension soaks up all but the most severe potholes and sunken drain covers.


Ford Fiesta

Cheapest car to insure for keen drivers
Our pick: Ford Fiesta 1.1 Ti-VCT 75 Trend
Read our full Ford Fiesta review

Although it’s no longer possible to buy a new Ford Fiesta, its popularity over many years means there are plenty available on the used car market. And because there are so many to choose from, prices are kept low and you can afford to be picky.

By the end of production, the engine range had been trimmed to three options: a 1.1-litre non-turbo, 1.0-litre EcoBoost and 1.5-litre turbo. You can forget the latter, because that’s reserved for the Ford Fiesta ST hot hatch, which will be too expensive to insure for new drivers. But fear not, because the others are insurable and even the standard versions are great to drive.

The 1.1-litre non-turbo (known as the Ti-VCT 75) is available on the entry-level Ford Fiesta Trend model and slots into insurance group 5. It’s fine in town but needs to be worked hard beyond the city limits. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost is punchy and economical, and, if you choose the 100PS version, insurable for new drivers thanks to a group 5 rating.


Hyundai i10

Cheapest car to insure for reliability
Our pick: Hyundai i10 1.0 MPi 67 Advance
Read our full Hyundai i10 review

The Hyundai i10 is one of the best all-rounders in the crowded city car market. It does everything well, and also comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, which gives you extra peace of mind as you take your first steps on the open road.

Practicality is another factor in the Hyundai i10’s favour, with five doors as standard, reasonable boot space and a surprising amount of headroom and legroom in the back. It’s not just your passengers who’ll benefit, as it means you won’t have your friends’ knees pressed into your lower back.

The cheapest Hyundai i10 to insure is the 1.0-litre MPi with an automatic gearbox (group 3), but the manual version is only two groups higher. This additional cost will be outweighed by the fuel economy, which at 55.3mpg is marginally better in the manual version. These groups are based on the entry-level Advance trim.


Kia Picanto

Cheapest car to insure for a long warranty
Our pick: Kia Picanto 1.0 DPi 66 2
Read our full Kia Picanto review

Gone are the days when people bought a Kia because it was cheap and came with a long warranty. Sure, you still get a seven-year warranty and prices remain affordable, but Kia now produces some of the most desirable new cars on the market. You can buy a Kia with your head and your heart.

The Kia Picanto is the brand’s smallest car and in its current guise has been on sale since 2017. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that even the earliest examples will be covered by the original warranty, assuming the car hasn’t done more than 100,000 miles.

For the cheapest insurance, you’ll need the 1.0-litre DPi petrol engine with an automatic gearbox and in 2 trim, because it’s one of just a few cars in the lowest insurance group. The manual version is group 3 but, with the exception of the sporty Kia Picanto GT-Line S version, all models fall between 1 and 5.


MG 3

Cheapest car to insure for surprising people
Our pick: MG 3 1.5 VTi-Tech Excite
Read our full MG 3 review

The MG 3 has been on sale for over a decade, but there are still people who fail to put it on their shortlist when they’re searching for a small car. It’s their loss, because the MG 3 is as nice to drive as a Ford Fiesta, loaded with standard equipment and backed by a transferable manufacturer’s seven-year warranty.

There’s only one engine option – a 1.5-litre VTi-Tech non-turbocharged petrol engine – and while it’s a little dated in the age of small turbocharged engines and electrification, it does return an official 42.3mpg. It also slots into insurance group 7, so it’s perfect for new drivers.

All versions have an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, smartphone connectivity and rear parking sensors, while the high-spec MG 3 Exclusive Nav trim adds sat-nav, sports seats and cruise control.


SEAT Ibiza

Cheapest car to insure for quality and flair 
Our pick: SEAT Ibiza 1.0 MPI FR
Read our full SEAT Ibiza review

Owning a SEAT Ibiza is like enjoying the best of both worlds. It shares a lot in common with the Volkswagen Polo, which means you benefit from Volkswagen’s build quality and engines, but because it’s a SEAT, it’s both more stylish and nicer to drive. If that’s not enough, the SEAT Ibiza is cheaper than the Volkswagen Polo.

You need to be careful which SEAT Ibiza you choose, because some versions are expensive to insure for new drivers. The advice is to avoid the 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine and choose the 1.0 MPI. It’s slower and less economical than the TSI, but thanks to insurance groups 3 and 4, it costs considerably less to insure.

The other trick is to choose the sporty FR trim, which looks more like a hot hatch than an insurable first car. Highlights include 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted windows, LED headlights, ambient lighting, cruise control, flat-bottomed steering wheel, sports suspension and a choice of four driving modes.


Skoda Fabia

Cheapest car to insure for all-round good value
Our pick: Skoda Fabia 1.0 MPI SE Comfort
Read our full Skoda Fabia review

The Skoda Fabia is another small car with a lot in common with the Volkswagen Polo, but while the SEAT Ibiza majors on flair, the Skoda is focused on good value. That’s not to say that the Skoda Fabia is in any way frumpy; the current version, introduced in 2021, is more attractive and desirable than ever before.

This desirability has come at the expense of cheap insurance, with some of the quickest versions getting a group 19 rating. At the opposite end of the scale, the Skoda Fabia with the 1.0 MPI engine in SE Comfort trim falls into group 4, making it a great choice for new drivers.

Highlights of the entry-level SE Comfort trim include 15-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, 8.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, eight-inch digital instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and rear parking sensors.


Toyota Aygo X

Cheapest car to insure for a city runabout with attitude
Our pick: Toyota Aygo X 1.0 Pure
Read our Toyota reviews

With insurance group ratings ranging from 5 to 6, the Toyota Aygo X is one of the UK’s cheapest cars to insure. It’s also Toyota’s smallest car, although the SUV-inspired styling means you won’t lose it in a crowded supermarket car park.

It’s based on the larger Toyota Yaris, so it feels more mature than other city cars, with power sourced from a 1.0-litre petrol engine mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic.

In basic Pure trim, the five-door-only Toyota Aygo X comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, nine-inch infotainment system with wireless smartphone integration, reversing camera and adaptive cruise control. The mid-range Toyota Aygo X Edge trim costs an extra £1,000 and comes with an array of cosmetic upgrades.


Volkswagen Polo

Cheapest car to insure for feeling like a larger car
Our pick: Volkswagen Polo 1.0 (80) Life
Read our full Volkwagen Polo review

We know you’d rather be looking at the Volkswagen Polo GTI, but as a new driver you need something a little less exciting. It’s not all bad news, though, because the entry-level Volkswagen Polo in Life trim and the non-turbocharged 1.0-litre engine falls into the lowest insurance group, which means you won’t be spending your hard-earned cash on expensive cover.

It’s not the cheapest small car you can buy, but the Volskwagen Polo makes up for this with a generous level of standard equipment, a rock-solid image and an ability to retain its value better than any of its rivals. In other words, you won’t lose as much money when it’s time to sell it on.

Volkswagen Polo Life trim includes 15-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, air-conditioning, eight-inch digital instrument cluster, DAB radio and two USB ports. The 1.0-litre engine can deliver up to 54.3mpg on a combined cycle.


Volkswagen Up

Cheapest car to insure for low running costs
Our pick: Volkswagen Up 1.0 Take Up
Read our full Volkswagen Up review

Sales of the Volkswagen Up ended in October 2023 after 12 years of production, but there are still lots to choose from on the used car market. Which is good news, because the Volkswagen Up is one of the best city cars of the last decade, looking small on the outside, but feeling big on the inside.

Whether you choose the three-door or five-door model, you’ll discover that the Volkswagen Up offers space for four adults and low running costs that are a match for any small car. It somehow manages to feel nippy in the city and comfortable on a longer journey.

Many versions of the Volkswagen Up fall into the lowest insurance group, while even some of the faster and more desirable models slot into groups 2 or 3. The all-electric Volkswagen e-Up is also cheap to insure, although you’ll need some experience under your belt before you can afford to drive the Volkswagen Up GTI.