Whether you are a young driver or you simply want to cut costs, getting cheap insurance is critical.

Here are 10 cars in the lowest insurance groups.

But first, is it better to lease or buy a car?


For those entering the world of motoring in 2023, managing costs is a priority.

Soaring fuel prices are a challenge - but so too are forecourt prices, which have risen by around £2,000 on new cars over the last year.

Buying a second hand small car will be an attractive option for new drivers, but there are still some good choices if you want to purchase new.

However, it's important to consider which insurance category your car falls into, since this will directly impact your insurance premium.


Cheap insurance: which car should I buy?

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 somewhat 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.


Car insurance due for renewal?

Why not challenge Cornmarket to beat your car insurance renewal price to help you save money and even fix your price for 3 years*! (*Acceptance criteria, terms & conditions apply.)


Find out more



Here are 10 surprisingly cheap cars to insure in the UK in 2023.

VW PoloCredit: Daniel - stock.adobe.com


Volkswagen Polo - from £19,505

The Polo has been around for decades - and for good reason. It's stylish, well-built, is easy on petrol consumption (a critical consideration in the current era) and boast great safety equipment. As such, it’s been popular among young drivers.

Volkswagen Polo insurance groups start as low as 1. Indeed, the Polo is one of the best cars for low insurance premiums - 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. Although of course, the higher insurance category will attract a higher premium.

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


Hyundai i10 - from £14,995

The 2022 Hyundai i10 was no slouch: it offered lots of storage space, decent styling, good tech and solid safety equipment. But the updated variant, which is built on an entirely new platform, does even better in all these areas.

The new, larger i10 offers more space for both passengers and luggage, and the tech is great.

The entry level version of this acclaimed city car occupies insurance category 1, although the 1.2 MPi (84) is in category 5.

While the i10 ticks many boxes for new drivers in urban settings looking to keep running costs down, it is actually one of the more costly options to buy in the first place.


Volkswagen UpCredit: VanderWolf Images - stock.adobe.com 

Volkswagen Up - from £14,620

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

It's getting on a bit, but can still compete with its newer rivals.

There’s a good deal of space and buyers are rewarded with solid VW build quality - not to mention brand kudos.

It also returns 50mpg in 3-cylinder petrol engine guise, and has consistently hit a 98%+ reliability rating.

The 1.0 (65) Up! 3dr occupies insurance category 2, while the 1.0 (65) R-Line 5dr is rated as category 3.

Like many cars on this list, the lowest price for a new Up! has increased by around £2,000 in 2023.


Kia PicantoCredit: Vova - stock.adobe.com

Kia Picanto - from £11,380

The latest versions of the Picanto offer far more technology than its predecessors - all packed inside a diminutive yet stylish body.

Despite its bold looks and great kit, as with others on this list, motorway trips will be a chore with the Kia Picanto. But this small car is 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.

The 1.0 DPi (66) Auto 2 occupies category 1, while the 1.0 DPi (66) 1 lives in category 5.

Don't forget the Picanto boasts Kia's 7-year/100,000-mile warranty  - so you're less likely to face unexpected repair bills.


Ford FiestaCredit: pixarno - stock.adobe.com

Ford Fiesta - £18,245

With its classy interior and fun demeanour, the 2023 version of the Fiesta remains a leading supermini.

It's a shame, then, that the line is set to be axed this year.

Three Fiestas occupy group 5, two of which use Ford’s 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine.

Small yet surprisingly punchy, this 3-cylinder unit is both fun and economical.

These are fitting swan songs for one of the UK's best-loved cars.


Seat IbizaCredit: VanderWolf Images - stock.adobe.com

Seat Ibiza - from £17,995

With its 335-litre boot, four seats and five doors, the 2023 Ibiza remains a practical car and feels bigger than its low insurance groups suggest (with 3 now 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.

The 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!

Step up to the FR trim version and you'll also get considerably sportier looks.

The 1.0 MPI (80) SE lies in insurance category 3, while the 1.0 MPI (80) FR occupies group 4.


Skoda FabiaCredit: Mike Mareen - stock.adobe.com

Skoda Fabia - from £17,990

The hatchback version of the Fabia has benefitted from a relatively-recent facelift, and while not the most thrilling car on this list, is easy to drive and comparatively inexpensive to buy.

That said, the entry-level variant price has increased by around £2,000 since last year.

The 1.0 MPI (79) SE Comfort petrol engine unit occupies insurance category 3, and while it may not be ideal for longer trips, is perfect for getting around urban areas.


Kia Rio

Credit: ThamKC - stock.adobe.com

Kia Rio - from £16,150

Larger than the Picanto, the classy and family-friendly Rio offers a 325-litre boot and is fine for both grocery shopping and road trips.

Both available trim levels - 1.25 DPi (83) 1 and 1.25 DPi (83) 2 - fall in group 4. If you need cruise control and smartphone connectivity, you will need to choose the '2' - but the base model has some good kit - including air conditioning and auto headlamps.

Once again, the entry-level variant price has increased by £2,000. 


Vauxhall Corsa - From £18,065

It might not be as fun as its perennial rival the Fiesta, but the Corsa is by some measures the nation's bestselling car.

It is well-equipped, economical, and very easy to drive.

The standard trim is good too: LED headlights, 16-inch alloys and touchscreen infotainment come with all models.

Newer models have begun creeping up the insurance category rankings, but 2014-19 models lie in group 2 - making these second hand models ideal for keeping premiums down.


Renault TwingoCredit: VanderWolf Images - stock.adobe.com


Renault Twingo - c. £2,500 - £5,500 used

The likeable Renault Twingo is sadly leaving the French car giant's lineup, but there are many good condition examples available to buy second hand.

With its unique rear engine position (and rear wheel drive), the Twingo delivers more passenger and storage space.

The modest 1.0-litre petrol unit lands the Twingo in group 2 - meaning low premiums.

Honourable mentions

Many other cars land in low insurance categories – especially in the used market. For example the Nissan Micra insurance group is as low as 1 for the Visia+ 1.0 71PS 5d model.

Older Renault Clio insurance groups are also low, and even the newer Expression 1.2 16V 75 5d occupies group 3.

With a little research, great deals are to be had on older models in lower insurance groups.

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.

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

Looking to go electric? Find out all you need to know about insuring electric cars. 

If you're in the market for a new car, here's 12 tips for haggling down a cars price