Best cars & vans

Cheapest cars to insure in the UK 2021

Looking for a car that’s cheap to insure? We’ve listed cars with the cheapest insurance group ratings on sale in the UK today

If you’re a new driver, a young driver, or both, then insurance is likely to be one of the highest car-related costs that you will incur. All drivers must, of course, be insured if they wish to drive on UK roads but you can act to keep the costs in check and choosing a car that’s cheap to insure is a great place to start.

Car insurance is not just a basic legal responsibility, there’s a moral imperative too. Accidents happen, and if it’s your fault through bad luck or carelessness, insurance cover means anyone else involved can expect fair compensation if they suffer as a result of your misfortune.

Though a driver’s age and experience do have a notable effect on an insurance premium, there are a large variety of further factors that are also considered when an insurer makes its calculations, such as location, how the car is used, previous claims and driving convictions. Insurance companies do the maths, and groups of drivers who are more likely to have accidents pay higher premiums.

Unfortunately, you may be the most careful and cautious driver around, but as a rule you’ll be lumped in with all your peers and charged premiums that reflect the overall risk of the group. That said, drivers prepared to fit onboard ‘black boxes’ that track their driving style can attract notably cheaper insurance premiums and it may be possible to find a ‘just add fuel’ scheme that wraps insurance and other costs into a single monthly payment for a new car.

The easiest way to control your insurance costs, is simply by choosing a car that’s cheap to insure. While drivers themselves are graded for risk, insurance companies – through the Association of British Insurers – also take steps to rate individual cars for their risk levels.

They look at factors such as performance, safety technology, security and cost of repairs, then grade every new car on sale by giving it an insurance group rating from 1 to 50. The cheapest cars to insure fall into the lowest group ratings, and for the purposes of this list we’ve rounded up new cars that have insurance group ratings 1 to 4, as they will be the cars with the lowest insurance premium costs for any given driver. The insurance group rating sticks with the car throughout its life, but premiums will be tailored to reflect the age and value of your chosen model, too.

With the cost of insurance seemingly spiralling upwards every year, there are companies offering workarounds to make the costs of insurance seem a little less painful – for example you may find a ‘just add fuel’ scheme that wraps insurance and other costs into a single monthly payment for a car. The cost of insurance doesn’t disappear though.

Even though a list like this is useful, your money saving measures should not end after you’ve chosen one of the cheapest cars to insure. Make sure you shop around, calling top insurers and using price comparison sites to maximise your savings. Due to the varied living situations we are all in, the cheapest car to insure for one person may not be the cheapest to insure for another – the only certainty is that, due to these cars being in the lowest insurance groups, they will generate lower quotes than those in much higher groups.

A word of warning, comparison websites are great for getting a large number of quotes, but not all of the big name insurance companies advertise on them, so by picking up the phone and contacting these larger insurers directly, you may get a better deal.

Read on for full details of the cheapest cars to insure in the UK at the moment...

Group 1 insurance cars

Kia Picanto 2 1.0 auto 2 66PS

Kia has undergone something of a design revolution over recent years, and the latest Picanto is a clear example of the brand’s bold new era. It retains the compact size and affordable pricing of the previous generation model, but has been fitted with more technology and useful features that make it a much more appealing car overall.

The 66bhp 1.0-litre automatic will be best suited to short distances and city driving, as its 0-60mph time of 16.6 seconds renders the Picanto a bit out of its depth on motorway runs. However, what the car may lack in speed is made up for in other areas. It should be reliable enough and even if it isn’t, there’s Kia’s class-leading 7-year/100,000-mile warranty as back-up. Ease of driving should be a given with a car of this size, but to make things even easier, Kia has included hill-start assist as standard across the range, while the ‘2’ trim also includes Forward-Collision Avoidance Assist.

With generous equipment levels and user-friendly design together with the low insurance costs , the latest Picanto is a strong city car contender..

Skoda Fabia SE 1.0 MPI 60PS

Although it won't win any prizes for being the most interesting car currently on sale, the Skoda Fabia nevertheless excels in providing a practical, easy-to-drive supermini that won't break the bank. 

The 59bhp 1.0-litre engine isn't the most inspiring, but that isn't really the point, as the Fabia is all about being comfortable and simple to use. SE-spec cars are generously equipped and include 15-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors and cruise control, while drivers also benefit from Skoda's SMARTLINK+ system, which allows Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

If your time behind the wheel is mostly made up of urban driving and navigating through town and city streets, then the 1.0-litre Fabia could be just right for you, and the cheap running costs will make the solid supermini even more attractive.

Volkswagen Polo Match 1.0 Evo 80PS

The Volkswagen Polo is a classy supermini with decent levels of equipment and a quality interior. The key downside is its more expensive list price compared to some rivals, but make no mistake, the spacious Polo provides a genuine alternative to more premium cars such as the Audi A1 or MINI hatchback.

If you can forgeo outright pace, then the 79bhp Match version stacks up well as a sensible, efficient purchase, also bringing a surprising level of useful kit. Standard equipment comprises air con, cruise control and front and rear parking sensors, while there's reassuring active safety systems also included such as a Driver Alert system and Auto Emergency Braking. 

With group one insurance, fuel economy around the 50mpg mark (on the combined cycle) and CO2 emissions from 125g/km, the 79bhp Polo Match will certainly deliver low running costs.

Group 2 insurance cars

Volkswagen Up! 1.0 65PS

Volkswagen’s Up! Is rather sophisticated for such a small car. Its 3-cylinder engine achieves up to a claimed 55mpg, and is a perfectly capable unit both around town and on the occasional motorway trip. This combined with modern styling and a fun driving experience should make this car particularly tempting for the younger driver. If you fancy an upgrade, the Beats trim level also falls into insurance group 2, with the sportier R-Line not far behind in group 3, so you won’t be lacking for choice.

Group 3 & 4 insurance cars

Hyundai i10 SE Connect 1.0 MPI 67PS (group 3)

The latest i10 is one of the best looking small-cars from the brand to date. An all-new platform means that this car is slightly longer than its predecessor, resulting in more interior room. The on-board technology has been given a large update, too, with the Connect trim including an 8” touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, DAB, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Nissan Micra 0.9 IG-T 92PS (group 3)

The current Nissan Micra is a leap away from the other cars that previously carried this long-running name. Gone are the subdued ways of the past, and in their place come more radical styling and a massive interior upgrade. Though the little Nissan may have once been associated with a certain demographic, the latest car is a much more mainstream proposition. All four trim levels fall within insurance group 3, with the base Visia spec including Intelligent Emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, and automatic wipers and headlights. If you want the likes of air conditioning and cruise control however, you will need to upgrade to at least the Acenta trim.

Renault Clio Play 1.0 SCe 71bhp (group 3)

Some may not be surprised to see Renault’s hugely-popular Clio on this list. For over 30 years, this iconic French hatchback has been proving a worthy opponent to the top contenders in the fierce battle of the superminis. The latest generation car upkeeps this tradition of being an alluring package for rather little money. Although it is the base trim level, the Play still includes a generous number of features including a 7” touchscreen infotainment system with Easy Link Navigation, cruise control and hill start assist.

SEAT Ibiza SE 1.0 MPI 80PS (group 3)

One of the larger cars in group 3, the Ibiza is a great option if you are searching for something that’s a bit more on the practical side. The Ibiza is only available as a 5-door, so this, along with its overall size, provides easy accessibility and a reasonable amount of room for all passengers. 355 litres of boot space provides for a decent amount of room for luggage, too. The base SE trim level is the only Ibiza to reside in group 3, this includes 15” alloy wheels, a 6.5” touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity, and air conditioning.

Kia Rio 1.25 DPI 83PS (group 4)

The second Kia to appear in a low insurance group, the Rio is a larger alternative from the Korean brand. As with the Picanto, a 7-year/100,000-mile warranty comes as standard, but the Rio is the more practical of the two so it is better suited to family use. A 325-litre boot will allow the Rio to take on luggage quite happily, and passenger space is adequate for up to four adults. Both trim levels 1 and 2 fall into insurance group 4 and these cars include automatic headlights with follow-me-home functionality and air conditioning, but if you want extras such as smartphone connectivity and cruise control, you will need to opt for the 2.

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