Six of the cheapest cars to insure

James Mills
Written by: James Mills
Posted on: 19 April 2016

Paying for car insurance can be a significant expense, particularly for young or newly qualified drivers. So doing a little homework online and finding out the cheapest models to insure is an hour well spent.

Insurers take all sorts of factors into account when number crunching your quote for a year’s motoring cover. They call on Thatcham Research - a safety and security industry body - to assess a car’s performance, price, cost of repair, safety rating in the event of a smash and the likelihood of it being involved in an accident in the first place.

They’ll also consider its security systems and vulnerability to theft. This leads to a ranking system where cars are divided into groups numbered from one to 50 – one being the cheapest to insure. They also have a letter. ’E’ is for cars that exceed the security for cars of their type; ’A’ denotes the car’s security as being acceptable.

Here are six of the cheapest new cars to insure, based on cars that Thatcham and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) say are rated in groups one or two.

Dacia Sandero (1.2-litre 75bhp)

Dacia Sandero (1.2-litre 75bhp)

Dacia Sandero (1.2-litre 75bhp)

Price: from £5,995

Insurance group: 2E

What’s it like? In a word, cheap. The budget model in the range comes at a bargain price which you’ll be hard pressed to match with any other new car. Admittedly, it lacks some of the creature comforts and finishing touches of other models here, and is about as stylish as a pair of police-issue, bobby-on-the-beat shoes. But look beyond that and you’ll find a robust, reliable car that comes with the peace of mind of a three-year warranty and a reasonably spacious cabin.

Fiat Panda

Fiat Panda

Fiat Panda

Price: from £9,375

Insurance group: 2E

What’s it like? Stylish, practical and cheap. You can ignore the list price for the entry-level Panda: securing a substantial discount on the five-door Italian supermini should be as simple as ordering a pizza. There’s a lot to like about the Panda. It has an understated, functional style and a relatively spacious cabin with five doors giving good access for kids. The driving experience is zippy and the car feels comfortable enough on longer, motorway trips.

Kia Rio 1 (1.25-litre 83bhp)

Kia Rio 1

Kia Rio 1

Price: from £10,095

Insurance group: 2E

What’s it like? If you intend to keep your new car for a long time, it’s hard to beat the peace of mind that Kia’s seven-year warranty offers. It needs checking carefully, as not all parts on the Rio supermini – similar in size to a Ford Fiesta – are protected over the duration. But it’s still reason enough to consider owning a Rio.

The car isn’t the best of its ilk to drive by some margin, but it’s safe, spacious and practical enough. Plus, there are often tempting offers on the Rio range, so drivers should be able to get money off.

Skoda Fabia S (1.0-litre 60bhp)

Skoda Fabia S

Skoda Fabia S

Price: from £10,600

Insurance group: 2E

What’s it like? Spacious and sensible! Good news for drivers who’ve looked over the selection of cars here and found them on the small side: the Fabia 1.0-litre S model comes in the lowest insurance group.

It’s considerably larger, so four adults can sit in comfort without having their knees around their ears. Performance isn’t spectacular, but for first-time drivers, or those who make mostly local trips or don’t really care about such matters, that can be a bonus. Perhaps the strongest reason for considering a Skoda is its dealers, which fare well in independent customer satisfaction surveys.

Skoda Citigo

Skoda Citigo

Skoda Citigo

Price: from £8,275

Insurance group: 1E

What’s it like? Packed with personality and well-regarded by the insurance industry, the Citigo is well worth a look. Its 1.0-litre engine potters along with a characterful sound and returns more than 62mpg on the combined cycle. It’s a decent driving experience, and often has drivers of larger cars remarking on just how much more fun small cars feel than bigger motors.

Vauxhall Adam Energised (1.2-litre 70bhp)

Vauxhall Adam Energised

Vauxhall Adam Energised

Price: from £7,995

Insurance group: 1A

What’s it like? Cheeky and cheerful, the Adam looks cute, with a distinctive face. It also comes with all sorts of personalisation options, making it a car for the young at heart.

Tech allows drivers to replicate their smartphone on the in-car touchscreen and it feels perky on the road. Significantly, it’s as affordable to run as it is to insure, with fuel consumption of 53mpg for the 1.0-litre petrol engine.

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