Insurance is one of the toughest parts of being a new driver. Until you can prove to an insurer that you are a safe driver, your annual insurance bill could be almost as much as the price of a used first car. Keep the cost low: buy one of the cheapest cars to insure.
Here’s our guide to which cars cost least to cover, and a few more tips to drive down your premium.
Low insurance groups = low insurance costs
Every car is given an insurance group rating, starting from 1 and going all the way to 50. The ratings are decided by the motor insurance industry, based on how safe a car is, its price and performance, and how much it costs to repair.
So a lower insurance group applies to small, affordable, safe cars. Expensive, high-performance cars are stung with a higher insurance group rating.
Different insurers are free to calculate risks for themselves, but as a rule, the lower the insurance group the cheaper a car will be to insure.
Cars with a group 1 rating are pretty rare, but include the Hyundai i10 1.0 S (2014-2016), Nissan Micra 1.0 Visia (2016), and Skoda Citigo 1.0 S (2012-17).
You don’t need to go as low as group 1 for the cheapest insurance, with reasonable premiums for cars with single digit ratings. But the lower the better.
There’s a handy database on the Thatcham Research website. Armed with the make and model and the year the car was made, go online to check the group rating.
How to make any car cheaper to insure
Affordable insurance isn’t just about a low group rating. Perhaps the biggest step you can take to lower your premium is to choose a telematics policy. This uses a ‘black box’ inside the car to monitor how you drive. Stick to the limit, stay smooth, and avoid harsh braking and accelerating, and you’ll pay less.
Avoid modifying your car. Insurers are happier with standard spec cars, unless the changes you make improve the car’s security.
Think about where you park it, too. If you have access to a garage or off-street parking, use it. There’s a lot more to finding a good insurance deal than just choosing one of the cheapest cars to insure.