You’re young, you’ve just passed your driving test, and you’ve got the keys to independence. It’s time to buy a car. Only it’s not that simple, because the shortlist of four-wheeled delights you’ve lined up for your first taste of the open road soon becomes even shorter. The problem: car insurance.
Research by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed that one-tenth of a young driver’s salary is spent on car insurance, and that’s before you’ve factored in the cost of fuel, servicing and the monthly repayments on your new motor. Comparethemarket.com has released details of the top 10 cheapest cars to insure for 17-24 year-olds, based on the average price returned for vehicles with more than 1,000 enquiries for a particular model. Opt for one of these motors and you stand a better chance of not paying over the odds.
10. Citroen C1: £1,267.24
A car’s insurance group rating will play a big part in the price you pay for your annual premium, with groups ranging from one to 50. The lower the group, the less you’ll pay, but other factors will influence the price, such as your postcode, employment status, how many miles you drive in a year and the value of the car.
According to Comparethemarket.com, the new Citroen C1 costs an average of £1,267.24 to insure, which is actually more than the £973 average quoted by ABI in its young driver analysis. A couple of things play a part here: this average is based on 18-21 year-olds and it also includes cheaper, used vehicles.
9. Ford Ka+ Zetec: £1,267.06
“More than any other drivers, young motorists need relief from rising motor insurance premiums. While telematics technology is helping many young drivers manage their insurance bills, cost pressures keep mounting. The Government has a key role in helping keep motor insurance costs under control, and this latest analysis highlights why they need to implement their proposals to reform personal injury compensation and lower value whiplash-style claims as soon as possible,” says James Dalton of the ABI.
The Ford Ka+ won’t top many lists of dream cars, but at least the insurance premium is unlikely to result in too many nightmares. The basic Ka+ Studio slots into the lowest insurance group, although Comparethemarket.com says the Ka+ Zetec 1.2 Ti-VCT 70PS is the one to have.
8. Kia Rio 3: £1,265.39
The only Kia to be referenced in an Arctic Monkeys song – sort of – but the Rio won’t cut the mustard on the dancefloor. But, do you wanna know how much it will cost to insure Kia’s supermini? Around £1,265, if Comparethemarket.com is correct.
Prices start from £11,995, but you’ll have to dig deep to secure a Rio 3, for which the lowest price is £16,785. As first cars go, a well-specced Kia Rio 3 would be quite a start. Sure beats a rusty Mk3 Ford Fiesta or an Austin Metro with a hole in the floor. Or does it?
7. Vauxhall Viva: £1,259.76
It is said that young drivers are falling out of love with the car, but when faced with the prospect of the Vauxhall Viva, is it any wonder? Sure, the Viva is a thoroughly decent car, but since when was ‘thoroughly decent’ good enough for a young person? The Max Power generation wouldn’t have stood for it.
In fairness to the Vauxhall Viva, it does exactly what it says on the website: “Just think of the Vauxhall VIVA as insanely rational. It has everything you need, including five doors, five seats, class-leading comfort, ride and handling, together with class-defining assistance technology.” If you’re insanely rational, this is the car for you. Probably.
6. Fiat 500: £1,258.32
The Fiat 500 could be the automotive case of having your cake and eating it. It offers character and style by the bucket load and won’t break the bank when it comes to lacing your insurance broker’s palm with silver.
Much will depend on which engine size and trim level you opt for as insurance groups range from seven to 15. The 1.2-litre is likely to be cheaper to insure than the fizzy 0.9-litre TwinAir.
5. Skoda Citigo: £1,212.87
The Skoda Citigo might be the cheapest of the Up/Mii/Citigo trio, but it’s likely to be the most expensive to insure. But before you go running to your local Volkswagen or Seat dealer, it’s worth remembering that some models fall into the lowest insurance group.
Even the top trim levels with GreenTech engines slot into group four, so drive a Citigo for a year, build up some no-claims discount and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Or all the way to your banking app.
4. Volkswagen Up: £1,210.58
You’re young and enlightened, so you’re probably not bothered about the old Skoda jokes (ask your parents), but if you’re swayed by the VW roundel, the ‘Up exclamation mark’ is a wise choice.
According to Comparethemarket.com, it should be cheaper to insure, although you’ll want to avoid the turbocharged versions if you’re hoping to run a car on a strict budget. No GTI frolics for you. Well, not yet, anyway.
3. Seat Mii: £1,191.77
This lady has just been shopping. Why? Because she’s just saved a packet on her car insurance. Lower premiums mean more money to spend in Mango. Or something.
Seat is gunning for the female market with the Mii, which is why its website is filled with images of international bright young ladies. Jogging with dogs, chatting with friends, connecting a smartphone – it’s all there.
2. Vauxhall Adam: £1,189.14
The Vauxhall Adam is the very antithesis of the Viva, offering more personalisation options than you could shake a stick at. There are three trim levels to choose from – Jam, Glam and Slam – along with the crossover-styled Rocks and sporty S.
You will, of course, need to avoid the S to ensure your insurance quote stays the right side of a price comparable to the national debt, but many Adam models slot into groups two and three.
1. Fiat 500X: £1,040.39
This is a surprise: the Fiat 500X might be the cheapest car to insure for young drivers. The groups range from five to 16, but this isn’t reflected in the prices returned by Comparethemarket.com. But ask yourself this: do you really want to drive a crossover at your age?
The Comparethemarket.com data would suggest otherwise, as the most popular car to insure for 17-24 year-olds is the Vauxhall Corsa. Other modes in the top 10 include the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Seat Ibiza and Fiat Punto. The Audi A3 also gets a mention, which is proof that badges matter.