Several factors play a big role in determining the cost of your car insurance. These include the make and model of the car you drive, your age and where you live, your occupation and your driving history.
If you haven’t bought a car yet, or are thinking of changing yours, consider getting one that’s in a low insurance group. Insurers band cars based on the likely costs to them if there’s a claim, and the likelihood of a claim. Large powerful cars with expensive parts will be at the higher end of the spectrum. More on car insurance groups below.
To show you which cars are likely to cost you less to insure, our researchers crunched comprehensive car insurance data to produce these top 10 league tables.
Cheapest cars to insure in the UK (Overall)
The cheapest cars to insure all share similar attributes. In general, they’re small, reliable, relatively easy to repair and have a small engine.
Cheapest cars to insure for young drivers
Car insurance for younger drivers is notoriously expensive (but with good reason). Statistically, a younger driver is more likely to be involved in a road accident and insurers typically charge more for premiums to cover this risk.
With this in mind, choosing a vehicle that costs less to insure is a good way of reducing the overall costs associated with driving when you’re aged 25 or less. We checked a range of cars popular with younger drivers and ranked them by insurance cost.
- Volkswagen Polo
- Hyundai i10
- Ford KA
- Skoda Fabia
- Dacia Sandero
- Volkswagen UP
- Ford Fiesta
- Vauxhall Corsa
- Citroen C1
- Kia Rio
Cheapest cars to insure for over-50s
Older and more experienced drivers typically benefit from cheaper car insurance rates (although rates climb again late in life). In general, there’s less risk associated with drivers aged over 50 and so premiums tend to be lower. To help you benefit from further cost reductions, we’ve run the data on models that are popular with drivers aged over 50, to find out which ones are cheapest to insure.
- MG 3
- Ford Fiesta
- Vauxhall Viva
- Vauxhall Astra
- Nissan Micra
- Vauxhall Meriva
- Kia Venga
- Hyundai Kona
- Ford B-Max
- Honda Jazz
What makes a car cheaper to insure?
In the UK, every car that is registered is rated and grouped within one of 50 insurance categories (with 1 being the cheapest and 50 being the most expensive). Cheaper cars to insure will generally cost less to buy, maintain and repair and will fall in a lower insurance group. In general, if a vehicle is in a lower insurance group, the cheaper it will be to insure.
Here are a few attributes of a car that’s cheaper to insure:
- Good safety features. Cars that are considered safe tend to cost less to insure, primarily because they hold up well in an accident, decreasing claims.
- Car security features. Cars that are equipped with security features such as alarms or high security door locks could be rewarded with a lower insurance group rating.
- High fuel economy. Car insurance may give you a break on your rates if you drive cars that require less petrol, or none at all such as electric cars.
- Low car crash statistics. Insurance companies look at crash statistics and consider the level of risk before they insure any car. If your chosen vehicle is statistically less likely to be involved in road accidents, you may get a cheaper insurance rate.
- The car’s value. High-end luxury cars are are more expensive to repair and replace after they’ve been in an accident, causing higher premiums. Therefore, owning a vehicle that is cheaper to repair or replace should cost you less to insure. Insurance companies will also look at the likely hood of your car being stolen.
- Smaller engine size. The less powerful the engine (ie, the lower the horsepower) the less you’ll pay for your car insurance. Petrol engines also cost less to repair, so insuring a petrol vehicle will be cheaper.
- Easy to repair or replace. The more it costs to repair your car after an accident, the more risk it presents to an insurer. Possessing a vehicle that is easier to repair will result in lower premiums.
Why are some cars more expensive to insure?
In contrast, a car that falls within a higher insurance group will typically be more valuable, possess a more powerful engine and be more expensive to repair. All of which will push up the cost of insurance.
Here’s a list of other factors:
- Sports cars and high performance vehicles. This is a red flag for insurers, as they assume it will typically be driven faster than a standard car and therefore face a higher risk of being more severely damaged.
- Soft tops or convertibles. Vehicles with soft tops are easier to break into than conventional cars, and they tend to need repairs at some point, so they represent a substantial risk to the insurer.
- Modified cars. Cars that have added features like more horsepower or tinted windows are generally more expensive to cover.
- Age of your car. Spare parts can be much harder to track down for older cars.
- Diesel cars. Diesel cars often cost more to repair than cars that need petrol.
- High-theft vehicle. Some types of cars are targeted more often by thieves, because they’re relatively easy to steal or strip for parts. Based on statistics alone, this could slightly elevate your rates.
While picking a cheaper car to insure is a sure-fire way to save on your premiums, it’s also important to note that there are lots of variables that determine your insurance rates and some of them are in your control. You can help push down your premiums by lowering your mileage, driving carefully, shopping around and paying upfront for the whole year.
You can browse through our make and models hub to find out which insurance group your car is in, and how much it costs to insure based on your age and location.
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