Motors.co.uk is pleased to announce a new feature in our classifieds. If you’re looking to buy a new car, you can now narrow your search criteria by its insurance group.
Acting as an indictor of the likely cost to get covered, a car’s insurance group can be of particular importance to first-time buyers and younger drivers. As such, we’ve included an option to limit searches to the cheapest cars (group 1), as well as a function to search for vehicles falling under a particular insurance group, rising in increments of 10.
While picking a car in a low insurance group is an easy way to minimise your premiums straight off the bat, there are a number of other options you should consider to further reduce your outlay:
Limit your mileage
It may sound obvious, but the more you use your car, the more you’re going to get stung by your insurance company. Think carefully about the distance you’re likely to cover and give your provider a more accurate estimate. Avoid using your car for commuting to save further.
Add a more experienced driver to your policy
Young, inexperienced drivers are amongst the biggest risks in the eyes of insurers. If an older driver also has use of the car, the less chance there is of it being crashed at the hands of a newbie and the lower your premium is likely to be. If you’re finding it difficult to get covered, it may be worth getting put on your parent’s policy as a named driver. Be warned, however, that an insurance company won’t take kindly to this if they discover the car in question actually belongs to you.
Consider a black box
A growing number of insurance providers are offering discounted premiums providing a driver installs a black-box into their car. This controversial technology can monitor a driver’s speed, throttle inputs, location and various other parameters, providing insurers with a picture of how the car is being driven. Bad driving runs the risks of penalties being imposed, though sadly many new drivers are finding this method the only way of getting affordable cover.
If you find yourself limited to a car in the lowest insurance category, your choice is small. Here is our rundown of what’s available.
Don’t get confused by the name, the Spark is world’s away from the gas-guzzling muscle cars Chevrolet is famed for. In its most basic 1.0-litre guise, the Spark falls into the lowest insurance category, and low running costs only boost its appeal. Don’t expect a plush cabin, though, with cheap-looking plastics the order of the day. It’s quite spacious, however, with ample room for four.
Search for a used Chevrolet Spark here
The previous generation Fiat Panda was an endearing little city-car with its fun handling and rev-happy engines. Even in base 1.1 Active spec, it is hugely entertaining and its tall, boxy dimensions make it a doddle to flick around congested city centres. However, while there is plenty of room for passengers, the boot is meagre – fine for shopping, but larger items will need to sit on the back seat.
Search for a used Fiat Panda here
A back to basics car that doesn’t feel bargain basement – the C1 has been designed to be cheap, without feeling it. It’s powered by a thrummy 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, meaning great fuel economy, low emissions and – crucially – insurance friendly power. Those who regularly undertake longer journeys may want to look elsewhere, however, as its flat seats and excess of wind noise at speeds can make motorway trips a chore.
Search for a used Citroen C1 here
SEAT Mii/Volkswagen Up/ Skoda Citigo
This car triumvirate cleverly shows that small city-cars needn’t feel small and poky. All three have astonishing amounts of passenger room and boots that are just about large enough for a weekend’s luggage for two. Like the C1 it uses a 1.0-litre engine but feels like a much bigger, more substantial car thanks to higher quality interior fittings and great all-round visibility. Only the lower powered version qualifies for group 1 insurance, but in real-world driving its power deficit is negligible.
Search for a used Seat here
The Corsa has long been a favourite of first-time drivers, and with its combination of frugal engines, cutesy good looks and practicality, it’s not hard to see why. There is one caveat: the Corsa is a bigger, heavier car than some of the others listed here and in group 1 spec, with a 1.0-litre engine, does feel very, very slow, to the point of being a liability in certain situations. Otherwise the Corsa is a solid choice for anyone on a budget.
Search for a used Vauxhall Corsa here
The predecessor to the Up, the Fox was an unusual miss from Volkswagen, with none of the brand’s usual feeling of solidity and some questionable interior plastics. That said, it’s reliable, cheap to run and can be picked up cheaply second hand.
Search for a used Volkswagen Fox here
A left-field choice, perhaps, with none of the funkiness of the Fiat Panda or grown-up feel of the Seat Mii. The Suzuki Alto is more utilitarian transport, but what it provides is very good, being economical, easy to drive and available with an optional automatic gearbox. Suzuki has an enviable reputation for reliability, too, so it shouldn’t let you down.
Search for a used Suzuki Alto here