Currently reading: Best 10 cheapest cars to insure in 2021
Autocar's guide to the most bargain-basement new cars to insure in the UK
5 mins read
14 October 2021

Depending on the condition of your driving licence, finding the cheapest car insurance can either have you breaking out into a cold sweat come premium renewal time, or looking forward to a well-earned discount if you’ve managed to stay points- and accident-free.

Whatever your circumstances, being insured to drive on the UK’s public roads is a legal requirement, so selecting the right new car is vital if you want to take some of the pain from paying premiums.

Are you a high risk?

As a driver, how much you pay for insurance will also depend on your circumstances. In addition to the dreaded licence points and any claims made as a result of an accident, you will also be rated on your age – with younger drivers tending to attract higher premiums – and your postcode. Insurers will also look at how long you’ve held a full licence, and how you will use the car; will it be for social, domestic and pleasure journeys only, or will it be for commuting and as part of your professional life? Each of these factors will affect the premium you pay.

Lowest-risk cars equal cheapest premiums

But one thing is for sure, no matter what level of risk you are as a driver, choosing a car with a lower insurance group will make sure that your premiums are kept in check. Every new car sold in the UK has an advisory rating from 1-50 set by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), and these are determined by a number of different factors. A high-performance car, as you would expect, will attract a higher insurance group, but this may be partly offset by an excellent security rating, or an abundance of safety equipment. Other factors come into play, too, such as the cost of repairing the car if it were involved in an accident. 

Shopping around essential

Once you’ve settled on the new car that’s right for you, we would always recommend doing your homework first and trying a number of different brokers before you buy insurance. Almost all insurers have online portals, making searching for quotes a relatively fuss-free task. Just make sure that you apply the same criteria for each quote you request, and of course, always be transparent and honest when answering questions.

And the cheapest cars to insure are…

Based on the insurance groups set by the ABI, which are advisory and provided to all UK brokers, here are the 10 cars that will currently keep your premium lower than any others.

1. Skoda Fabia 1.0 MPI SE 5dr – £14,645 (Gp. 1E)

Skoda’s supermini is easy to use, comfy and grown-up, smart but anonymous to look at, classy but forgettable to drive. That said, pragmatic buyers will happily accept this car’s considerable practicality and quality, carefully hewn dynamic maturity, obliging ease of use and unquestionable value for money. 

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2. Volkswagen Polo 1.0 EVO 80 Active - £18,100 (Gp. 1E)

The Polo comes with a breadth of ability that most supermini makers wouldn’t even aim for, never mind achieve. There’s a price premium to pay, but with its reassuring road manners, rounded blend of performance, driveability, economy and refinement, it can justify being one of the more expensive choices in its class.

3. Volkswagen Up 1.0 65PS 3dr - £13,060 (Gp. 2E)

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With its fine interior, respectable rolling refinement, comparative spaciousness, real-world economy and covetable branding, the Up is among the class leaders. Only automotive idealists will note the persistent lack of charisma that authentic technical originality might have ultimately gifted the Up.

4. Kia Picanto 1.0 2 5dr - £12,700 (Gp. 3A)

While we don’t rate the Picanto as a class-leader, it’s smart and spacious interior still cut a swathe among its rivals, and as long as you’re not expecting fireworks from its 65bhp engine, it’s a comfortable and undemanding city car with tidy handling and decent practicality.

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5. Renault Clio 1.0 SCe 65 Play 5dr – £16,200 (Gp. 3E)

Renault went the extra mile to drive up the perceived quality, refinement, driveability and handling composure of the current generation Clio to what we might call ‘big car’ levels. However, ride suppleness has taken a back seat to others in this class, as has cabin space.


6. Seat Ibiza 1.0 SE (EZ) 5dr - £16,495 (Gp. 3E)

On top of its stiffer, cleverer platform, Seat has constructed a brilliantly modern compact car, and one that seeks to absorb the gruelling boredom of everyday driving and return it as frothy, imperturbable ease of use. Only it’s handling is marginally overshadowed by other class rivals.

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7. Ford Fiesta 1.1 75 Trend 3dr - £16,645 (Gp. 4E)

While there’s no doubting that the Fiesta is still the dynamic benchmark for most rival manufacturers in this class, handling prowess alone can’t make it a market leader. Cabin space and desirability mean that it isn’t as well rounded a city car as the Ibiza, but neat styling and that familiar badge will doubtless win over many buyers.

8. Kia Rio 1.25 1 5dr - £13,850 (Gp. 4E)

The Rio is now more practical, parsimonious and mature than ever, and you could hardly ask for a more worthy and grown-up supermini. But while its capacious cabin will find favour with some buyers, all its rivals drive in a way better suited to indulging either the enthusiasm or the comfort-bias of their owners.

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9. Hyundai i10 1.0 MPi SE 5dr - £13,025 (Gp. 5A)

If we acknowledge the amount of cabin space it affords, the assured driving experience it offers, the equipment and perceived quality it has and the technical sophistication and safety features it brings, we can only conclude the i10 has taken significant strides and represents the very best A-segment hatchback on sale.

10. Fiat Panda Mild Hybrid City Cross 5dr - £14,130 (Gp. 5U)

There are few cheaper ways to enjoy hybrid tech than with this version of the Panda. Despite a rather cramped rear cabin space and over-light steering, the Panda has a bubbling, fizzy personality and its three-cylinder, 999cc engine combined with a 12V belt-integrated starter generator is a hoot to drive.

Simon Hucknall


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