The cheapest cars to insure

Considering buying a car, but want to keep your car insurance costs to a minimum? Find out which cars are the cheapest to insure...

The jubilation experienced when you pass your driving test may be short lived, once you realise how much your car insurance is going to cost.

Statistically young drivers are the most expensive to insure, with the average premium for this age group reaching a whopping £2,342 a year according to the latest figures from The AA British Insurance Premium Index.

So how can young drivers (those under 25) try to keep down the cost of their car insurance?

Well, the type of car you pick could have a big impact on the price of your quote. Insurers typically classify different types of cars in groups, numbered from one to 20. The higher up the scale your potential new/used car falls into, the higher the premium will be and vice versa.

So with the help of quoteexchange.co.uk (which powers the Yahoo! Finance car insurance engine), we found the cheapest makes and models of vehicles to insure when you are a young driver looking to buy your first car.


Top ten cheapest cars to insure

Take a look at the very cheapest car insurance quotes that quoteexhange.co.uk found, from the 8,400 odd cars available in the UK.
 

Manufacturer

Model

Average Premium

Vauxhall

Nova 1.2i Trip

£303.44

Ford

Escort Ghia Tdi

£347.23

Citroen

Ami 8 Club

£408.10

Austin

Mini Park Lane

£410.35

Seat

Ibiza Salsa Diesel

£410.35

Seat

Marbella Jeans

£425.06

Ford

Escort Acapulco

£427.79

Fiat

Panda Selecta

£428.85

Vauxhall

Astra Arctic 2 16V

£431.50

Source: quoteexchange.co.uk

Classic is cheaper

From the table it seems a small 'classic' car (or, more affectionately, an old banger) is your best bet if you want to keep your premiums low.

Insurers generally think that if you have an older car you are more likely to drive it safely and keep it off the road in a garage, out of harm’s way. Be warned though, insurers will also generally expect you to do a lower mileage in a car that is considered a classic. That means if you need your motor for commuting as well as social use you may be better off with a newer model, less than 15 years old.

Unfortunately a snazzy, newer flashy car with all the mod cons is exactly what insurers don’t like. So, if you can stand to be seen in an older motor then some of these chart toppers will be right up your street.

[Related feature: The cheapest cars to run]

Cheap but rare

First up, the cheapest car to insure for a first-time car buyer who is under 25 is a Vauxhall Nova 1.2i Trip. Before the sleek curves of the Corsa B, the Nova competed on the supermini market where Ford Fiestas were doing well at the time. Vauxhall stopped making them in 1993, meaning the Nova was only in production for a short time, so finding one today may prove difficult.

If you’re more into special editions the Vauxhall Astra Arctic could be perfect for you. With a powerful 1.6 litre engine it certainly packs more punch than the Nova but this was a special edition trim so is quite rare.

Another rare find on the table is the iconic Austin Mini Park Lane. This car is certainly cheap to insure, but very hard to find! The Austin Mini Park Lane is a limited edition model from 1987 and only 1,500 were made for the UK. The design was based on the Mini City and features 'Park Lane' logos on doors and boot lid plus stripes on rear side panels.  If you are able to find this rare classic car, getting insured should be affordable at £410.35, but the cost of the car will dwarf this bargain quote. I saw one classified ad asking for £13,000 - over three times its original price!

If you like classic and iconic the Ami 8 Club is another fine model to go for. It is a supermini made by French manufacturers Citroen. The Ami 8 has not been available in the UK since 1978, so it will be a real find if you are able to get your hands on one!

If you like the look of a retro car the boxy Fiat Panda Selecta could be right up your street and looks similar to the Seat Marbella. This great little car has a 1.1 litre engine and comes as a three door hatchback with automatic transmission, so driving will be less of a chore and more of an easy ride.

The Seat Marbella


[Related link: Search for a used car]

Ford to the rescue

Unsurprisingly the trusty Ford features prominently in the top ten cheapest cars to insure. It is commonly known as a great make for a first-time car owner. The relative cheapness and availability of the parts makes it a good investment as it is easy to fix should something go wrong.

The Ford Escort was in production until 2002 and was replaced by the Ford Focus at the end of the 1990s, so this make and model represents a more readily available vehicle compared to the other top ten. The Ford Escort Ghia Tdi comes in a five door diesel manual with an impressive 1.8 litre engine, so you won’t be short of power. It is affordable too; I saw quite a few online for under £1,000.

The Ford Escort Ghia



Driving down the cost of insurance

Some of the cars that made the list are sufficiently rare that they are not likely to be an option for many of us. What Car? told us that many of the cars that made our list are actually ‘special edition’ models, which means they offer a little more specification and colour trim on top of the basic car. So if you are looking for a car that will get you cheaper car insurance you may be able to find similar models that are more readily available through second-hand dealers.

However, whatever make or model you go for, there are ways to reduce your premiums.

When choosing a car check out what grouping the vehicle is in to get a rough idea of how cheap or expensive your insurance might be with the Association of British Insurers and shop around for the best quotes.

If you think you have made enough sacrifices on the make and model of your car, telematics technology may help lower your premiums. The system is available from quite a few insurers now and works by monitoring driving habits through a little black box attached to your car and a GPS signal. This system rewards good drivers and punishes bad ones.


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