If you’ve bought a car, you’ll know the costs don’t stop just at the list price – everything from servicing, fuel and breakdown cover will add to the price. The biggest cost, however, comes in the form of car insurance – especially for young drivers who get hit hardest by inflated premiums.
Certain vehicles, however, fall into the lowest insurance groups thanks to being cheap to repair, having only modest performance and a lower likelihood of being stolen compared to a more desirable car. A small handful of cars come with free insurance, so check them out to cut your costs even further.
Here are some of the cheapest cars to insure on sale:
- VW Up, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii
- Hyundai i10
- Skoda Fabia
- Renault Twingo
- Vauxhall Corsa
- Smart ForTwo
- Kia Picanto
- Dacia Sandero
- Kia Rio
- Fiat Qubo
VW Up, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii – Group 1
The VW Up, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii are all essentially the same car and make excellent city slickers thanks to efficient, revvy engines, small dimensions and agile handling. What’s more, they all feature the same lofty standards of build and material quality found across the VW range, plus a surprising amount of passenger and luggage space considering their tiny size.
All 59hp 1.0-litre models fall into the lowest insurance group possible, putting them among the very cheapest cars to insure you can buy. For those wanting a little more oomph, a 74hp version of the same engine sits one insurance group higher and feels noticeably more relaxed at motorway speeds.
Hyundai i10 – Group 1
If you want a more grown-up experience than the VW Up trio, the Hyundai i10 could be for you. All the 1.0-litre variants fall into insurance group 1 so your premium will be as small as possible. The cost savings don’t end there, however – the i10 is remarkably economical achieving up to 65.7mpg and repairs should be very cheap too.
Despite its modest size, the i10 is easy to live with. Its five-door body makes access to the rear easy, while its soft suspension makes it uncommonly comfortable in this class. The five-year unlimited-mileage warranty also adds extra peace of mind when you come to purchase it.
Skoda Fabia – Group 2
The Skoda Fabia is one of the best all-round small cars you can buy. It may not be terribly exciting to look at but is put together with the kind of solid quality you expect from a VW Group car. It’s also very refined for a car of this size and is easy to drive thanks to light, direct controls.
The engine is the same 1.0-litre petrol found in the VW Up trio so puts it in the second lowest insurance group. It’s not quite as sprightly in this heavier car but is more than sufficient for city driving.
Renault Twingo – Group 2
The Renault Twingo has been designed with the city in mind. Its uncommon rear-engined design means the front wheels can turn at a much higher angle than many equivalent cars so its turning circle rivals that of a London taxi. Boot space is marginally smaller than rivals but the trade-off is more interior space, especially for those in the front.
It also comes well equipped in Expression specification, featuring Bluetooth connectivity, DAB digital radio and LED daytime running lights. The Twingo’s 1.0-litre engine claims to return 62.8mpg, which should make it very cheap to run.
Vauxhall Corsa – Group 2
The Vauxhall Corsa has always been a popular choice for younger drivers thanks to being both cheap to buy and insure, but without lacking style. In the Corsa’s entry-level Sting trim, it comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, an AUX stereo socket, six airbags and funky stripes on the bodywork.
The most recent generation is far better built than its predecessors and uses much better-feeling materials, not to mention being more fun to drive too. Overall it’s a far more appealing package than its low insurance payments would suggest.
Smart ForTwo – Group 2
The Smart ForTwo shares a platform with the Renault Twingo, including its odd rear-engined layout. The ForTwo is a little shorter, however, and has only two seats in its cabin – although its tiny length makes it incredibly easy to sling it into minuscule parking spaces.
The Smart’s modest 1.0-litre engine is identical to that found in the Renault and, thanks to its strong safety and security features, the Smart falls into insurance group 2. The only difference is the price – the Smart costs nearly £2,000 more than the Twingo.
Kia Picanto – Group 2
The handsome Kia Picanto is a great small car. It’s not only well built and easy to drive, but it comes with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year warranty. Interior space is impressive considering the car’s size and the 255-litre boot is among the largest in this class.
Insurance group 2 is available on a number of Picanto models, but we’d suggest going for 2 trim. It comes with alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and air conditioning as standard. The Picanto’s 1.0-litre engine returns an average of 62.8mpg, meaning the interior features don’t come at the expense of increased running costs or insurance premiums.
Dacia Sandero – Group 2
Costing £5,995, the Dacia Sandero is the cheapest new car you can currently buy in the UK. Not only is it incredibly affordable, but it’s cheap to insure by slotting into insurance group 2 and all the parts are tried-and-tested Renault groups components.
The Sandero’s size means it’s spacious inside, if a little spartan – the basic model doesn’t even come with a radio. For those who want a few creature comforts, the better-equipped Ambience trim makes a better choice and falls into the same insurance group.
Kia Rio – Group 2
There’s plenty to like about the new Kia Rio. Not only is it well built, refined and spacious inside, but it is also one of the cheapest cars in its segment to insure. It won’t excite the senses in the same way a Ford Fiesta or VW Polo will, but it’s a great all rounder and is very easy to drive.
Unlike much of the competition, there’s a choice of the Rio’s engines that fall into insurance group 2 – either a 1.25-litre petrol or a 1.4-litre diesel. The latter achieves an official 80.7mpg, making it one of the most economical cars on this list.
Fiat Qubo – Group 2
While most of the cars on this list are city cars and superminis, the same can’t be said for the Fiat Qubo. It’s based on a small van with some extra seats and windows to turn it into a very affordable large family car. Despite its increased size compared to others on this list, it only falls into insurance group 2.
Speed and power aren’t the strong points with only 77hp from its 1.4-litre engine. That said, family buyers will be much more interested in the Qubo’s spacious cabin and 365-litre boot that’s significantly larger than similarly cheap to insure cars.
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