If you’ve recently passed your test and are looking to buy your first car, 2022 is a daunting time to begin driving.

Petrol has risen by about £1 per litre in the last 24 months, equating to a staggering 77% increase, while diesel is up 75%.

But even though you can’t control fuel prices, you can minimise costs by choosing a cheap-to-insure car.


What is the cheapest car to insure?

There are a number of smaller cars that cost less to insure. These usually have an insurance category of 1 to 5  - on a scale that rises to 50.

The higher the category number, the more expensive a vehicle is to repair or replace (such as a supercar).

Cars in lower insurance categories do tend to be a little lethargic due to their smaller engines, but they are more than sufficient for urban driving. However, they may not be best suited to regular motorway journeys.

Be aware that while the following models are among the most affordable to buy, most are a couple of thousand more than they were just two years ago.

 

Here are 10 surprisingly cheap cars to insure in the UK in 2022.

VW PoloCredit: VanderWolf Images - stock.adobe.com

 

Volkswagen Polo - from £18,855

The Polo has been around for decades - and for good reason. It looks good and is easy on the petrol consumption.

The lowest Group 1 Polo is one of the best cars for insurance - but the 1.0-litre models may be a little sluggish in out-of-town scenarios.

If you do plan regular long-distance/motorway trips, opting for a higher powered variant is worth the extra cash if - you have it.

Hyundai i10 carCredit: VanderWolf Images - stock.adobe.com

 

Hyundai i10 - from £12,820.00

Only the entry-level 67 hp i10s fall within the lowest insurance categories, so you may struggle to keep up with urban traffic.

And once again, you can rule out those Lands-End-to-John-o-Groats trips, since motorway journeys will be more stress than they’re worth.

However, the i10 is relatively spacious with room for four, and is more than enough for the weekly shop.

Charismatic styling and some great standard equipment (think AC and electric windows) make the starting model fine as an urban runabout.

And you’ll only need to pay a little more for a good infotainment system.

 

Volkswagen UpCredit: VanderWolf Images - stock.adobe.com 

Volkswagen Up - from £12,380.00

Despite its straightforward looks, the Up is a rather refined car, with DAB radio, Bluetooth and air-conditioning as standard.

There’s a good deal of space and buyers are rewarded with solid VW build quality.

The entry-level 60hp engine will raise the blood pressure in swift traffic, but this is balanced out by the 1-10 insurance groups (exc GTI models) - making it a surprisingly cheap car to insure despite its quality.

The cheapest 1.0-litre Volkswagen Up model starts at £12,380.00 and falls within the 2E insurance group.

 

Kia PicantoCredit: VanderWolf Images - stock.adobe.com 

Kia Picanto - from £11,380

You’ll need to pay a little more to get decent equipment on a Picanto, but mid-trim options do come with Bluetooth, alloy wheels and AC.

Go up another level to get Kia’s highly usable infotainment system.

As with others on this list, motorway trips will be a chore with the Kia Picanto, although it’s more than enough for tootling around town.

Road trip enthusiasts will want the 100hp version, but of course this will add to your insurance costs.

Funky styling is assured, whichever model you choose.

The '2' 1.0 66bhp AMT variant represents one of the best cars for insurance (group 1), but at £13,560 it’s nearly £2,000 more than the most affordable model, the '1' 1.0 66bhp MT (£11,380).

 

Dacia SanderoCredit: Santi Rodríguez - stock.adobe.com

Dacia Sandero - from £12,595

Occupying insurance groups 3-12, the Sandero keeps your premiums down. But what really benefits your wallet is the price - the entry-level models start at just £12,595 (excluding metallic paint). And while the updated Sandero costs several thousand more than just a couple of years ago, it still offers great value for money.

The 1.0-litre Dacia Sandero models are fine for zipping around town, but motorway fans need not apply.

It’s a solid option in terms of fuel economy, boasting 40-53 mpg combined.

 

Ford FiestaCredit: pixarno - stock.adobe.com

Ford Fiesta - £18,103

The Fiesta has dominated the UK top 10 for many years, and has been updated regularly to remain stylish, sporty and practical.

As another sign of the cost of living crisis, the cheapest model starts at £18,103 - over £2,000 more than 2020.

However, the new Fiesta is a great car, with 8" touchscreen, DAB radio, Emergency Assistance, Apple Carplay & Android Auto, 2 x USB & 6 speakers - even on the entry-level Trend model.

Most Fiestas fall within insurance groups 4 and 15, keeping premiums low.

 

Seat IbizaCredit: VanderWolf Images - stock.adobe.com

Seat Ibiza - from £16,945

With its 335-lire boot and four seats, the Ibiza is a fairly practical car and feels bigger than its low insurance groups suggest (with 2 being the lowest).

The pulse-quickening exterior is not replicated in the slightly disappointing interior, although even the entry-level version does get an infotainment system and alloy wheels.

Despite its sporty looks, the bog-standard model only produces 80hp, so you’re better off with the turbocharged option if you don’t want to be overtaken by everything on the motorway!


Renault Clio

Credit: art_zzz - stock.adobe.com

Renault Clio - from £17,850

The well-put-together Clio feels rather chic and classy for such a low insurance group vehicle (starting at group 3).

But no amount of great interior styling will calm taller rear passengers, who will find it rather cramped. The driver and front passenger have more space, but the rear view is somewhat limited.

And you guessed it, the entry-level model is sufficient for town trips - but underpowered for motorway journeys. Upgrade to the 1.0-litre turbocharged model for something a little more meaty.

 

Skoda FabiaCredit: Mike Mareen - stock.adobe.com

Skoda Fabia - from £15,055

The hatchback version of the Fabia has benefitted from a relatively-recent facelift, and offers great value for money, starting at £15,055 (up from £12,535 two years back).

The S model of this well-built small family car delivers great fuel efficiency and falls into category 1, rising to 12 for higher-spec variants.

 

Kia Rio

Credit: ThamKC - stock.adobe.com

Kia Rio - from £14,010

The entry-level Rio 1 starts at £14,010 (up from £12,495 in 2020) and falls into insurance category 2. 

It comes with air-conditioning, Bluetooth and front electric windows, and is perfect if you're looking for a low-cost small family runabout.

Despite its low starting price, it feels quite classy inside. That said, add more bells and whistles and the price rises to up to £22,000.


Cheap car insurance for bad credit

Due to the economic challenges experienced by many in the past few years, and exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis, those seeking cheap car insurance with bad credit are not alone.

Because offering insurance is not unlike a loan, insurers may carry out a credit check before calculating your premium.

If you’re in this position, a number of routes are available.

You can choose to pay your entire year’s premium in one go, trim your cover, and/or look for smaller or non-standard providers.