Learning to drive is an exciting time for young adults. However, new drivers in their teens and early twenties are often hit with high motoring costs as a result of their age and lack of experience.

But fret not. There are ways to keep the costs of driving down. By choosing small cars that are cheap to insure with low running costs, your dreams of getting on the road needn’t be scuppered.

Our guide to the cheapest cars for young drivers to insure is here to help.

What makes a car cheap to insure?

Every car falls into one of 50 insurance groups, ranked 1 to 50. The higher the insurance group, the more expensive the car.

When cars are grouped into insurance categories, the following factors are considered:

  • Price: Cheaper cars tend to fall into lower insurance groups as they generally cost less to replace and repair.
  • The costs of repairs: Cars that are easy and inexpensive to repair will fall into lower insurance groups. The costs of 23 common replacement parts are also considered.
  • Safety and security: If a car is fitted with ample safety tech, it will generally be cheaper to insure.
  • Power and performance: As a rule, cars that reach top speeds and accelerations generally have higher premiums.
  • Age: Older cars aren’t as equipped with safety tech, making them more expensive to insure. But on the other hand, they’re often worth less than modern cars, which can help to bring their premiums down.

To summarise, cars that are more expensive, powerful and difficult to repair generally cost more to insure. You’ll want to look for cars with small engines and affordable parts to keep your premium down.

What’s the perfect car for a young driver?

There’s no better feeling than driving your first car around. But, you’ll want to make sure what you’re driving is safe, easy to drive and cheap to insure.

If you’re a new and/or young driver looking to keep costs down, it’s worth considering the following:

  • Buying a used car: Second-hand vehicles are a great way to save money on the initial price tag.
  • Active safety features: Cars fitted with things like electronic stability control (ESC) and anti-lock brakes will fall into lower insurance groups.
  • Black-box insurance: These policies use technology to track and record your driver behaviour and may help to lower your premium.
  • Car power and performance: While larger, diesel engines pack a punch, they’ll push your premium high.
  • Adding extra drivers: Listing an experienced named driver to your plan can help to bring your premium down.
  • Electric cars: Although eco vehicles can be expensive to buy, they are generally more affordable to run and insure.

Top 10 cheapest cars to insure for young drivers

Now that you know more about what makes a car cheap to insure, it’s time to explore the cheapest cars to insure for young drivers. We’ve rounded up the top 10 and calculated the average annual premiums based on a 20-year-old driver.

Read on to find out our pick of the cheapest cars to buy and insure for young drivers.

1. Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo is a classic, compact car that’s easy and comfortable to drive. It’s great for navigating town and city streets, but also doesn’t feel out of place on a motorway. Its sensible design feels sturdy and four adults (and a little luggage in the boot) fit in easily.

Best Features

Insurance Group 1 – Average annual premium: £959

Best features:

  • Safe and easy to drive
  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Low insurance group

2. Fiat 500

With its retro looks and cheap price tag, the Fiat 500 is popular among young city drivers for many reasons. Models built after 2016 come with upgraded safety tech, while older 500s are aplenty in the classifieds. If you opt for the basic 1.2-litre engine model, the insurance group could be as low as 5.

Best Features

Insurance Group 5 – Average annual premium: £712.70

Best features:

  • Fun to drive
  • Stylish appearance
  • Economical engine options

3. Seat Mii

Based on the Volkswagen Up! but cheaper, the Seat Mii is a solid city car that’s slow, but fun to drive. Available with 59bhp or 74bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engines, the Mii went electric in 2019. Although compact, it comfortably fits four adults inside and feels safe and sturdy on the road.

Best Features

Insurance Group 1-4 – Average annual premium: £959

4. Citroen C1

Another popular choice for young drivers is the Citroen C1. It’s reasonably priced and smooth and fun to drive, with low running costs and good acceleration. If you can look past the small boot and interior quality, you’ll be spoilt for choice when browsing the classifieds.

Best Features

Insurance Group 1-7 – Average annual premium: £1,159

  • Cheap to run
  • Smooth and fun to drive
  • Small and stylish

5. Skoda Citigo

The Skoda Citigo is smart, stylish and surprisingly spacious. With two adults sitting in the back, it can store up to 251 litres in the boot — or if you fold the rear sits down, it can pack an impressive 959 litres. Practical and cheap to drive, its simple design feels grown-up and timeless.

Best Features

Insurance Group 1-4 – Average annual premium: £959

  • Smart, stylish and timeless
  • Spacious design
  • Cheap to drive

6. Ford Ka+

Longer than the Ka and with five doors, the Ka+ comfortably holds 4 adults and 270 litres of luggage capacity (or 849 litres with the rear seats folded). Available with either a 1.2-litre petrol engine or 1.5-litre diesel engine, it’s an affordable car that’s quiet to drive and well equipped inside.

Best Features

Insurance Group 1-10 – Average annual premium: £1,046

  • Quiet and fun to drive
  • Attractive design
  • Spacious and well equipped

7. Suzuki Alto

The Suzuki Alto is a firm favourite among young city drivers. No longer available to buy brand new, it lacks in the luggage space and acceleration departments. But if you’re looking for the cheapest small car to insure for young drivers, this compact drive with low running costs is a good option.

Best Features

Insurance Group 4 – Average annual premium: £1,046

  • Cheap and cheerful
  • Low running costs
  • Compact and easy to drive

8. Seat Ibiza

Sharing its parts with the Volkswagen Polo, the Seat Ibiza is a slightly cheaper alternative that’s also sharper to drive. It’s not quite as comfy as the Polo, but the five-door drive scores points for its smart interiors, easy access, luggage capacity and up-to-date infotainment.

Best Features

Insurance Group 2-19 – Average annual premium: £1,003

  • Smart interiors
  • Surprisingly spacious
  • Up-to-date infotainment

9. Hyundai i10

Offering plenty of space and equipment, the Hyundai i10 is a small city car that offers great value for money. Available in a wide range of colours, it’s comfortable and fun to drive and feels like a grown-up car with low running costs and smart interiors. It can also hold its own on motorways.

Best Features

Insurance Group 1-7 – Average annual premium: £1,003

  • Large boot
  • Low running costs
  • Smart interiors

10. Renault Clio

The Renault Clio is a stylish drive that keeps on getting better. Well built with impressive interiors and plenty of technology for its price tag, this practical car is a great choice for young drivers. Spacious for its size, it’s great to drive and frugal to run thanks to its light body.

Best Features

Insurance Group 4-2- Average annual premium: £1,033

  • Stylish and spacious
  • Well-equipped interiors
  • Great to drive

Now that you have a better idea about the cheapest cars to buy and insure for young drivers, getting yourself on the road needn’t break the bank. Remember that you’ll save money by buying a used car with in-built safety features, opting in for black-box policies and adding additional named drivers to your policy.

Whether you’re looking for the cheapest automatic cars to insure for young drivers or entry-level cars that are fun to drive, we’re here to help. Find cars that are cheap to insure here.