The UK’s best car insurance companies in 2021

We surveyed 1,500 customers and analysed 29 elements of comprehensive policies to find the best car insurance.

Top 10 car insurance companies See top 10 overall
See top providers by category Best car insurance

The best car insurance gives you the right cover at the right price and is there in your hour of need. We’ve given comprehensive policies a policy score for the level of cover they provide, and surveyed customers to give a customer satisfaction rating. We’ve also picked out policies that excel in specific categories like multi-car or for young drivers.

Summary: Best car insurance companies in the UK 2021, by category

Best car insurance for cheaper rates

The cheapest car insurance company for one driver might not be cheapest for another, because insurers price risk in different ways (risk is calculated using your driving history and personal details). That said, some providers tend to offer good rates. Insurance prices have generally fallen during the pandemic as people have driven less, and it’s always worth shopping around.

How to get the cheapest car insurance

Finder’s pick: LV= comprehensive

LV=
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction
★★★★★
We chose LV= car insurance as our top pick because:
  • We ran quotes for a range of different age groups and found that LV= tended to offer competitive insurance quotes across the board.
  • LV= offers a range of car insurance policies for standard, classic and electric cars.
  • LV= offers discounts for multiple vehicles (up to 20% per extra vehicle).

Need to know: There’s an admin fee for changing the vehicle or a named driver on your policy.

Read our review of LV= car insurance.

Best multi-car insurance

Many households in the UK own more than one car. The good news is that there are also many insurance companies who offer a discount for insuring multiple cars with them. Some will even let you throw a motorcycle or van into the mix.

Understand and compare the best multi-car insurance companies

Finder’s pick: Admiral comprehensive

Admiral Comprehensive
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction
★★★★★
We chose Admiral car insurance as our top pick because:
  • MultiCar customers could save £240 (10% of customers who provided a best alternative price saved £240, according to Admiral).
  • Admiral has one policy for all cars, with one renewal date.
  • Each car has its own no-claims bonus, and you can have different levels of cover for different cars on the same policy.

Need to know: Claims helplines aren’t open 24/7.

Read our review of Admiral car insurance.

Best car insurance for over-50s

All providers offer insurance to older drivers – and non-specialists can offer great rates – but over-50s car insurance policies offer tailored extras, and age limits tend to be more flexible. Age Co has no upper age limit and offers a Message Relay service, where a friend or family member to be contacted if you have an accident.

Compare the best over 50s car insurance companies

Finder’s pick: Saga comprehensive

Saga Plus comprehensive
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction
★★★★★
We chose Saga car insurance as our top pick because:
  • Saga offers specialist cover for over-50s and customers get unlimited European cover.
  • Drivers over 50 get discounts for insuring additional cars registered to the same address.
  • Saga car insurance has no upper age limit.

Need to know: Cancelling a policy can incur an admin fee of up to £50.

Read our review of Saga car insurance.

Best temporary car insurance

If you’re travelling a short distance or only plan on using a car for a short period of time, it doesn’t make sense to get long-term cover.

With temporary car insurance, if you have to make a claim, the no claims discount of the car’s named driver won’t be affected.

Compare the best temporary car insurance companies

Finder’s pick: Tempcover car insurance

Tempcover
Finder rating
★★★★★
We chose Tempcover car insurance as our top pick because:
  • Tempcover offers great flexibility in the policy duration (1 hour – 28 days).
  • Making a claim won’t affect a no-claims discount built up on an annual policy.
  • Cover can be enhanced with extra protection.

Need to know: You have to pay upfront for your policy.

Read our review of Tempcover car insurance.

Best car insurance for young drivers

It can be tough being a new driver, especially when you see how much you may have to pay for insurance. Drivers under the age of 25 typically need to pay more than £1,300 a year for car insurance.

While most providers will cover a young or inexperienced driver, there are a few who offer deals that won’t break the bank, and some may even offer discounted premiums.

Marmalade insurance deserves a mention here. The company scored 4 stars in our customer satisfaction survey, with 87% of customers saying they would recommend it. Marmalade’s black box policy is not the most comprehensive, but it is a strong option, especially if you value good customer service.

Finder’s pick: Hastings Direct car insurance

Hastings Direct Standard
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction
★★★★★
We chose Hastings Direct car insurance as our top pick because:
  • Hastings Direct has multi-car and telematics (black box) cover options, and cover’s available to new and young drivers.
  • This insurer offers a range of affordable policies for drivers aged 17-25.
  • The claims team is available 24/7.

Need to know: The Hastings Direct website isn’t easy to navigate.

Read our review of Hastings Direct car insurance.

Best car insurance company for convicted drivers

If you have a driving conviction, such as speeding or drink driving, getting car insurance can be a struggle. This disclosure calculator, run by Unlock and Home Protect can help you gauge whether a past conviction is now “spent”.

Finder’s pick: Swinton car insurance

Swinton Comprehensive
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction
★★★★★
We chose Swinton car insurance as our top pick because:
  • Swinton has a dedicated section on the website for convicted drivers.
  • It offers 3 levels of comprehensive cover.
  • The claims helpline is open 24/7.

Need to know: There’s no option to have just third-party only.

Read our review of Swinton car insurance.

Best car insurance for customer service

Finder’s pick: Direct Line car insurance

Direct Line Comprehensive
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction
★★★★★
We chose Direct line car insurance as our top pick because:
  • Direct Line won Finder’s 2021 Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction Awards, scoring 4.5 stars out of 5 for overall satisfaction.
  • There’s no charge for mid-term amendments.
  • Direct Line offers exclusive deals for existing customers.

Need to know: The claims line isn’t 24/7, but there is an out-of-hours emergency helpline.

Read our review of Direct Line car insurance.

Best black box insurance

Black box cover is when a telematics device is installed in your car to track your driving. If you drive well, your premiums reduce. Consistently breaking the rules and restrictions of the policy will end up costing you in higher premiums.

Compare the best black box insurance companies

Finder’s pick: Churchill car insurance

Churchill Comprehensive
Finder rating
★★★★★
Customer satisfaction
★★★★★
We chose Churchill car insurance as our top pick because:
  • Telematics cover, called DriveSure, is available for drivers aged 17-25.
  • You’re guaranteed a discount on your first year for using the black box technology.
  • You can view your driving score on the DriveSure app.

Need to know: No 24/7 claims line (but an emergency helpline is available).

Read our review of Churchill car insurance.

Top 10 car insurance companies in 2021, by policy score

RankCompanyComprehensive policy score
1NFU Mutual83.2%
2Aviva82.51%
3Saga82.3%
4M&S Bank81.47%
5Direct Line80.84%
6Sheilas’ Wheels79.9%
7Age Co79.57%
8RIAS79.24%
9AXA77.97%
10Hastings Direct77.02%

For all results, including customer satisfaction ratings, skip to our full table.

How did we rate car insurance companies?

Danny Butler
Finder insurance expert Danny Butler shares our research

To come up with the league table, our team looked at 29 different elements of a car insurance policy from 35 providers across the industry. Those at the top have the most comprehensive cover, in our view.

We looked at the range of ages they cover, cover limits, whether essential benefits are included as standard, the payment options, the ease of claim and whether you can manage your policy online. For essential benefits, such as courtesy car, old for new car replacement and key cover, if they weren’t included as standard, we judged them on how much extra you had to pay to add these benefits to your policy.

With other benefits, such as driving in the EU and continuing your journey if your car’s out of action, insurers lost points if they impose restrictions on cover, like the number of days and distance from home.

Some elements got extra weighting, based on how important they are to drivers. In a couple of cases, two insurers received the exact same score, and so they share the same spot on our list. We also feature the results of our satisfaction survey of 1,513 customers, so you can hear what companies are like from the people who matter most.

Below, we picked out policies we think are outstanding in certain categories, such as great rates or multi-car. Choose which benefits are important to you in the next section. Insurance is highly personal and rates change often, so these picks are just a steer.

How to find the best car insurance company for you

Car insurance premiums are highly personalised – a tweak to your job role, or the amount of excess you’re happy to pay can make a big difference to your premiums. We explain more in our guide how premiums are calculated. The key is the get the right cover level, plus good service at the cheapest price. This is why we survey customers. All our best picks are at least 3-star rated for service.

  1. Compare policies. Different insurers can offer the same level of cover for very different prices. Shop around and compare car insurance quotes with as many providers as you can to make sure you’re getting the best deal for you. Comprehensive cover can sometimes work out cheaper than third party, so compare all options.
  2. If your quotes are too high, consider a higher excess. An excess is the amount you would contribute to any claim before your insurer will pay out. If you voluntarily increase your excess, your insurance company see you as less likely to make a claim, which will help to bring down the cost of your premium (but always make sure you can actually afford to pay it should you have an accident).
  3. Consider different options, such as pay-as-you-go cover. Some providers, like By Miles, offer pay-as-you-go cover. This is good for people who don’t drive very often and don’t want to pay for annual cover.
  4. Review your provider’s quote every year. When renewal time rolls around, it’s crucial to shop around a few weeks before your policy starts. Consider switching as you’re likely to save – some people save hundreds of pounds. If you do want to stick with your insurer, you can try haggling, as that’s common and usually effective.

Image of a red car alongside the stat: Did you know? The average car insurance policy could set you back around £465 a year.

Full table: Car insurance customer satisfaction and policy scores

RankingLogoProviderOverall satisfactionCustomers who’d recommendComprehensive policy score
1NFU Mutual logoNFU Mutual★★★★★75%83.2%
2Aviva logoAviva★★★★★72%82.51%
3Saga logoSaga★★★★★71%82.3%
4M&S logoM&SNot yet ratedN/A81.47%
5Direct line logoDirect line★★★★★82%80.84%
6Sheilas' Wheels logoSheilas’ Wheels★★★★★79%79.9%
7Age Co logoAge Co★★★★★81%79.57%
8RIAS logoRIASNot yet ratedN/A79.24%
9AXA logoAXA★★★★★74%77.97%
10Hastings Direct logoHastings Direct★★★★★76%77.02%
11=Co op logoCo opNot yet ratedN/A76.89%
11=Post Office logoPost OfficeNot yet ratedN/A76.89%
12=Tesco logoTesco★★★★★68%76.4%
12=More Than logoMore Than★★★★★70%76.4%
13RAC logoRACNot yet ratedN/A76.27%
14Diamond logoDiamond★★★★★74%76.17%
15Swinton logoSwinton★★★★★62%75.94%
16Ageas logoAgeas★★★★★64%75.91%
17Quotemehappy logoQuotemehappyNot yet ratedN/A75.32%
18LV= logoLV=★★★★★78%75.13%
19=Elephant logoElephantNot yet ratedN/A75%
19=Budget Insurance logoBudget InsuranceNot yet ratedN/A75%
20Churchill logoChurchill★★★★★73%74.73%
21Policy Expert logoPolicy ExpertNot yet ratedN/A74.21%
22Marshmallow logoMarshmallowNot yet ratedN/A73.52%
23Admiral logoAdmiral★★★★★79%73.46%
241st Central logo1st CentralNot yet ratedN/A73.33%
25=Endsleigh logoEndsleigh★★★★★67%72.94%
25=Sainsbury logoSainsburyNot yet ratedN/A71.96%
27eSure logoeSureNot yet ratedN/A70.62%
28Bell logoBellNot yet ratedN/A70.09%
29Debenhams logoDebenhamsNot yet ratedN/A69.93%
30GoSkippy logoGoSkippyNot yet ratedN/A67.84%
31Policy wise logoPolicy wiseNot yet ratedN/A66.6%

Bottom line

The algorithms that insurers use to calculate their premiums are a dark art and are all different, so it will always pay to get a range of quotes from different providers each year. Then consider the extra benefits a policy might offer you, and check our ratings to see what customers think of any brand you haven’t tried but are considering.

Frequently asked questions

Customer satisfaction ratings methodology

In December 2020, we ran a customer satisfaction survey on insurance providers. We had 1,513 responses about car insurance providers.

The survey asked respondents how satisfied they were with their current insurance company (on a scale from one to five, and also whether they would recommend the brand to a friend or not). We turned the results into star ratings and shortlisted the top-performing brands for our awards. When there was a draw, we used the recommendation score (that is, the percentage of customers who said they would recommend the brand to a friend) as a tie-breaker.

Full details of our star ratings for this sector are on the insurance ratings methodology page.

Insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

The customer satisfaction score is based on a survey of 1,513 customers carried out in December 2020.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you.

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