We’ve got a selection of cheap first cars to insure if you’re a new driver.
We’ve pulled together the best cheap first cars to insure for new drivers. If you’ve just passed your driving test, congrats! Read on to find our top picks for cheap first cars to insure, the lowest insurance groups for new cars, good first cars and whether insuring a used car is actually cheaper.
The cost of car insurance for new and young drivers can be astronomical, but don’t worry, there are a few ways to keep insurance premiums down if you’re on the hunt for a starter car to insure for a 17 year old… Black box installation, having a named driver on the policy and extra courses like Pass Plus can all help bring costs down. These all come in extra handy if you plan to take your car to university with you, too.
- Have a named driver on your insurance
- Black box policies (telematics)
- Extra driving courses
- Pay-per-mile or pay-per-hour car insurance
- Driving a low insurance group car
- Cheapest first cars to insure
- How to insure your car at uni
- Best new and young driver insurance providers and policies
- Insuring a Cat N car
How to lower new driver insurance costs
Have a named driver on your insurance
Putting a named driver on your policy is one of the most common ways to bring down your premiums. A named driver is simply another driver that’s added onto your car insurance policy, meaning that someone other than you might drive your car. As long as they’re not deemed high risk, this can bring down prices significantly. For younger, new drivers, adding a parent is a good idea…
Black box policies (telematics)
Telematics, also known as a black box insurance, use data about your driving (recorded by a black box fitted in the car), to calculate your premium. As long as you’re a careful driver (no speeding, no harsh braking etc), you should see a lower insurance price.
Extra driving courses
Young drivers are deemed high risk due to a lack of experience so driving courses like Pass Plus can bring costs down, as well as using telematics policies. Spending a bit of money in the short term could save you spending more on insurance premiums in the long term.
Pay-per-mile or pay-per-hour car insurance
Pay-as-you-go car insurance policies will charge you by the number of miles you drive or the amount of time you spend on the road, utilising a flat rate while your car is parked and another rate for driving. These tend to use GPS to collect necessary data. These types of policies can be financially smarter than traditional insurance, especially if, for example, you spent most of your time at uni not driving.
Driving a low insurance group car
Driving a car that falls into a low insurance group (1-10) can save you a lot of money on insurance. These are the cheapest cars to insure for new drivers, with there being 50 groups total. Band 50 is the most expensive insurance group in the UK.
Which cars are group 1 insurance?
Generally, smaller cars with less power are cheap to insure and run — making them smart choices for young and new drivers (like students who take their car to uni with them).
What are the cheap first cars to insure for new drivers?
These options are great for cheap first cars for young and new drivers in the UK are the following models:
- Ford Fiesta
- Vauxhall Corsa
- Toyota Yaris
- Hyundai i10
- SEAT IBIZA
- Skoda Fabia
- Renalt Twingo
- Volkswagen Polo
- Renault Clio
- Dacia Sandero
What cars are in group 1 insurance?
Cars in group 1 are the cheapest cars to insure for new drivers, consequently, they tend to include lower-powered models with small engines. Why? New and young drivers are considered high risk, meaning they’re more likely to have an accident and claim on their insurance, so slow acceleration and high safety ratings tend to bring prices down.
In the lower — and therefore cheaper — insurance bands, you’ll find the little Hyundai i10, Nissan Micra hatchback and Vauxhall Corsa (amongst others). The Volkswagen Up is another potentially low insurance group option, with a classy, comfortable interior. As for downsides, the VW UP doesn’t offer a tonne of space or exciting driving performance. However, all these models are ideal first cars for new drivers and/or students looking to pay less on insurance premiums and fuel costs.
Insurance algorithms are infamously complex, though, so some models have surprisingly high premiums. These tend to be cars with sporty or expensive options added — for example, the VW Up GTI or the 90PS turbo variant.
Best cheap first cars to insure
Cheap first cars include the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and SEAT Ibiza — all of which are staples on roads across the UK. Insurance groups range from 1 to 50, but the same model of car can be in different groups depending on engine size, added extras, wheel size, cost of the car etc.
Older cars that have lower values may be cheaper to insure, but it depends on what safety features they offer. Older models may make good cheap first cars, but they may not be too reliable.
Other cheap first cars to insure include:
- Volkswagen Polo
- Kia Picanto
- Nissan Micra
- Hyundai i10
- Volkswagen Up
- Renault Clio
- Fiat Panda
How to insure your cheap first car at uni
If you take your car to university on a permanent basis, it’ll be at your uni address for around 40 weeks of the year (term time). This will be your main address to give your insurer.
As university accommodation is often in a city, the price will potentially be higher than it is at home due to street parking and crime rate. Keeping your car in a garage or a secure car park rather than on the road will bring down the likelihood of it being broken into — which is a miserable experience — but the costs can quickly rack up.
If you can park off-street (a driveway or the like) then that’s the best option.
Student car insurance
Student car insurance — often known as young driver insurance or new driver insurance — isn’t a specific category when it comes to insuring your car, but there are a few important things to know. Firstly, and unsurprisingly, is that car insurance premiums have always been high for young drivers — in the first three months of 2022, drivers aged between 17 and 19 paid over £1,800 a year for cover, while those aged between 20 and 24 paid over £1,200 a year, according to MoneySuperMarket.
As with all vehicle insurance, there’s also a few options when it comes to cover. Fully comprehensive covers the most: protects you, your vehicle and other drivers from damage you cause, as well as repair costs, medical expenses, fire damage and theft of your vehicle.
Third-party, fire and theft policies cover repair costs for other people, their cars and their property, as well as your own vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged by fire. Third-party cover is the minimum legal requirement, offers covering for damage you cause to other people, their cars and their property.
Best new and young driver insurance providers and policies
- Direct Line DrivePlus Insurance
- Marmalade Young Driver Insurance
- Admiral LittleBox Insurance
- Hastings Direct SmartMiles Insurance
- Co-op Young Driver Insurance
- Tesco Black Box insurance
- Churchill DriveSure Insurance
- RAC Black Box Car Insurance
- Wise Driving Young Driver Car Insurance
- Go Girl insurance
Low mileage student savings
As most student accommodation is based close to your uni, you may find that you don’t drive every day, or even every week. If you drive less, theoretically, you would also be less rick to an insurer – meaning if you calculate your estimated annual mileage honestly, it could save you a significant chuck of money.
Does a Cat N affect your insurance?
Yes, generally speaking, it will certainly be more expensive to insure a Cat N car as as insurer will see it as a higher risk vehicle – so they’ll accordingly charge higher premiums to offset the greater risk of paying out.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, though, so it could be worth shopping around for prices if you find a Cat N car at a good price (enough to offset the insurance premium, at least) and don’t have any concerns about the lastinng impacts of the damage it sustained.
Category N car meaning
Category N, or Cat N, is a car insurance term used to describe the severity of damage to a car that’s been written off (generally, this is when a damaged car would cost more than its value to be repaired). A Cat N car will have sustained significant damage, just not to its chassis or structural frame.
Cat N cars are officially registered as non-structurally damaged cars. The term ‘non-structural’ covers a lot of ground – so it could include the bumpers, roof panel, electrics, engine, seats etc.