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What are the cheapest cars to insure?

What are the cheapest cars to insure?

Average car insurance costs have risen for consecutive quarters, and premiums still remain expensive. According to our latest Premium Drivers Report (March 2020), the average cost of car insurance in the first quarter of this year (across all age groups) was £755. We look at whether it’s possible to find cheaper cars to insure…

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
posted 29 JUNE 2020

What influences the cost of car insurance?

There are a number of factors that make car insurance more expensive for one person than another. These can include:

  • your age 
  • your car make and model 
  • your address 
  • your average yearly mileage 
  • your driving history 

Every car is assigned to one of 50 car insurance groups by the Group Rating Panel. Insurance providers can use the panel’s recommendations, or their own grouping system, to set their prices. Vehicles in insurance group one are the cheapest cars to insure, while those in insurance group 50 are the most expensive.  

Decisions on how to assign cars to different car insurance groups are based on several factors, including:

  • performance – powerful cars with big engines are put in higher groups, as they’re considered more accident prone.
  • security features – cars with built-in alarms, high-security locks and immobilisers are looked on favourably by insurance providers.
  • cost of parts – the lower the cost of car parts if any repairs are needed, the lower the group rating will be.
  • car value – the value of the vehicle as new is used to assess how much the car will cost insurance providers to repair or replace.
  • safety rating – Euro NCAP ratings give an indication of how well a car will protect the driver, passengers and other road users in a collision.

Other contributing factors to the high cost of car insurance include:

  • insurance premium tax of 12% levied by the Government - the standard rate is applied to general insurance premiums and has doubled from 6% in 2015
  • changes to the rate of personal injury compensation that payments are based on - the current discount rate sits at minus 0.25%, having changed from 0.75% in July 2019. 

Top 10 cheapest cars to insure

According to our latest data looking at a mix of newer and second-hand cars to suit most budgets, these are the top 10 cheapest cars to insure:

Car model Average premium (each based on a minimum of 100 quotes)
Mazda MX-5 £294.03
Ford C-Max EcoBoost £296.68
Citroen C3 Picasso £310.43
Volkswagen Fox £318.03
Kia Venga £320.28
Ford B-Max Titanium £338.26
Seat Ateca £349.47
Kia Stonic £351.19
Dacia Sandero Stepway £351.56
Hyundai i30 Active £357.91

**Average price amount based on the top five quotes from Compare the Market data from 1 December 2019 to 1 March 2020. The average is based on all variations of the vehicle model and uses risk data from people with different age ranges, addresses and driving histories. You may find a cheaper or more expensive quote based on your circumstances.

1. Mazda MX-5

The MX-5 is proof that cheap doesn’t have to mean boring. A sporty roadster with a sleek silhouette and timeless appeal. The perfect choice for the money-conscious motorist who looks forward to their time behind the wheel. 
Lowest insurance group: 26 
New starting from: £23,800

2. Ford C-Max EcoBoost

With a cleaner engine powering the 5-door compact MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), the Ford C-Max EcoBoost packs a pleasant surprise. The Titanium model takes second place on our list and comes with neat extras including 17-inch alloys, automatic lights and wipers, and a handy push-to-start button. 
Lowest insurance group: 17 
Used price range: approx. £6,000-£14,000

3. Citroen C3 Picasso

A practical, small MPV, Citroen has designed a genuine car for the whole family, yet one with a supermini wheelbase. With the diesel capable of around 70mpg, it could help keep your fuel bills down, as well as the cost of your insurance. 
Lowest insurance group: 16 
Used price range: approx. £1,000-£10,000 

4. Volkswagen Fox

No longer in production, the Volkswagen Fox is a supermini built for city driving. Its smaller size won’t suit families, but commuters looking for an affordable vehicle can’t go wrong picking up a used model. 
Lowest insurance group: 1 
Used price range: (approx.) £700-£3000  

5. Kia Venga

The Kia Venga sits somewhere between a hatchback and an MPV. A solid family car with extended headroom and adjustable rear seats at an affordable price. If you want a vehicle with gadgets and extras, the flagship Venga 3 won’t disappoint.  
Lowest insurance group: 13 
Used price range: approx. £2,000-£8,000

6. Ford B-Max Titanium

Compact MPVs are a common fixture in our top 10 and Ford’s B-Max is among the best. Owners of the car get to enjoy the ‘command’ seating position (a raised seat for an improved view of the road), and the Titanium trim model comes with many lavish, added features. 
Lowest insurance group: 10 
Used price range: approx. £6,000-£13,000

7. Seat Ateca

If you’re looking for a sportier SUV, the Seat Ateca could be the car for you. The Xcellence Trim includes adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and heated seats, plus a 510-litre capacity boot. If you’re looking for quality touches throughout a spacious interior, this could be the family car for you. 
Lowest insurance group: 13 
New, starting from: £23,040

8. Kia Stonic

Despite a host of high-end features, the top of the range Stonic 4 comes eighth in our most affordable list. Features include a heated steering wheel with heated front seats to match, and an innovative heat-blocking windscreen that can deflect a large amount of the sun’s rays. 
Lowest insurance group: n/a 
Used price range: approx. £18,060

9. Dacia Sandero Stepway

A stylish crossover with a spacious interior and boot that will appeal to families, the Dacia Sandero Stepway has SUV (sport utility vehicle) styling with raised suspension. An average insurance price of £351.56** adds to its attraction. 
Lowest insurance group: 8 
New, starting from: £11,145

10. Hyundai i30 Active

New models of Hyundai’s small family car come with a five-year unlimited-mileage warranty, five years of breakdown cover and five years of free annual check-ups. The Active trim includes added high-end features such as rear parking sensors and ‘Flex Steer’. This is Hyundai’s smart steering system that allows drivers to alter the weight of the steering. 
Lowest insurance group: 9 
Used price range: approx. £3,000-£7,000 
**Average price amount based on the top five quotes from Compare the Market data from 1 December 2019 to 1 March 2020. The average is based on all variations of the vehicle model and uses risk data from people with different age ranges, addresses and driving histories. You may find a cheaper or more expensive quote based on your circumstances. 
***Not tested to latest standards 

How does engine size impact car insurance?

Broadly speaking, the bigger engine your car has, the higher the insurance premium. A sporty model with a large 3.0-litre engine, for example, is likely to cost more to insure than an entry-level version of the same car with a smaller engine. That’s because motorists with powerful high-performance cars are deemed more likely to be involved in an accident. Drivers of these vehicles are considered a greater risk by insurance providers and given higher premiums.
And usually, larger engines are more expensive to replace so this can also affect the price of car insurance. To see how much you should be paying for your car insurance, you can use our car insurance calculator. 

How does security affect car insurance?

The higher level of security your car has, the more difficult it will be to steal, and this can be beneficial for your premium. Alarms, immobilisers or other built-in security features are designed to deter thieves. Making sure your vehicle is fitted with a Thatcham-approved device can help bring down your insurance costs. Thatcham is a system that rates car security and helps car insurance providers calculate their prices. It has seven classes for car security, with number one rated the best. 
Where you keep your car when it’s not in use will also affect your premium. If it’s parked on the street, it’s deemed more likely to be targeted by thieves. But if it’s kept in a CCTV-operated car park or secure garage, it could be considered less of a risk by insurance providers.

How do car modifications affect your car insurance?

A car modification is any kind of alteration made to your vehicle that changes it from the manufacturer’s standard settings. This could be a performance change such as a souped-up exhaust, a cosmetic enhancement like tinted windows, or a more practical change. That might be parking sensors, for example. 
Any modification will almost certainly affect your insurance, so you’ll need to inform your provider about any changes you make. Otherwise, your cover could be invalid if you come to make a claim. In most cases, modifications will increase your premium, either because they boost performance or make your car more appealing to thieves. But certain additions may bring down your quote if they're likely to reduce your chances of an accident, such as parking sensors. 
Find out more in our guide to modified car insurance.

How can I compare car insurance quotes?

One of the quickest ways to make sure you get great value car insurance is to compare quotes. It’s simple to do and won’t take more than a few minutes. Give us some details about you and your car, and we’ll provide you with a list of available quotes.

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