Car insurance. Something that every driver must have. Something that often costs more than any other purchase you make in a year. Even with no claims bonus, it’s a big outlay. And you can’t even spread the cost without spending more. For new drivers, the cost of insurance can stop you from driving completely.
One way to counter this is to go for cars that are cheap to insure. And for the best insurance prices, you want to go for cars in insurance group 1.
Every car on the market is divided into an insurance group. This is how the insurance companies classify cars based on a number of factors: how easy are the vehicles to repair, how commonplace are the parts needed to make those repairs, how often does the vehicle break down, and is the car something like a sportscar or likely to be driven recklessly?
Out of all the insurance groups, 1 is the lowest. That means they are the cheapest to insure out of all the vehicles on the market. While your personal circumstances may affect the price, the car itself will not be the biggest factor in the price you pay.
But, does being in insurance group 1 mean the car is no good? Thankfully you can find a more than decent vehicle in this group. Here are our picks for the 7 best.
Most of the cars in insurance group 1 are small hatchbacks, making them ideal for new drivers, young drivers, or those with small families who only need to make short journeys on a regular basis.
The Citroen C1 is not going to set any pulses racing with how it drives. But it is a good all-round reliable vehicle. Cheap to run thanks to its 1.0 litre petrol engine, you won’t be spending too much at the pump unless you’re really trying to burn some fuel! Available in 3 or 5 door versions, its also surprisingly roomy, even for taller drivers. Space in the back is slightly smaller, so younger children are fine but you might need to upgrade to something bigger when they grow up.
When it comes to small hatchbacks, Hyundai make some of the smartest on the market. Must be something about driving in Korea that means they design their cars to excel at city driving.
The i10 is the smallest in their range, but doesn’t suffer from the lack of size of the i20 or i40. Instead it is a smartly designed city car, perfect for weaving in and out of traffic. Its size means its easy to park, but don’t think you have to sacrifice comfort. Its long wheelbase means you have plenty of room in the cabin and the boot. There are also an excellent array of safety features that mean the car is safer than its ever been.
You won’t feel a rush of blood to your head if you put the foot down. But you will feel safe, secure and comfortable as you cruise around town.
Another top quality car from Korea, the Kia Picanto has one big selling point – the 7-year warranty that comes as standard from the manufacturer. That means that even if you buy a nearly new or used Picanto, you are likely to have some protection on your car (provided the seller followed the rules). That means they have a great deal in the car’s reliability and likeliness to break down. It’s also a big reason why the car is in the lowest insurance group.
But does that make it a good car? Well, like the i10, the Picanto has been well-designed for city driving. Only available as a 5-door, it’s ideally suited for short trips around town, but you won’t be too uncomfortable on a long drive (providing you don’t have a lot of luggage!). The car is also cheap to buy, with new ones available at £9,995, making for a perfect starter car.
Once known primarily for its unique design (either quirky or ugly depending on who you ask), the Nissan Micra has softened its looks and focused more on a decent all-round vehicle. It now looks a lot more sporty, following the same design trends that have been proven to be safe, but without looking too cookie cutter.
One of its key selling points is its economy, with an MPG ranging between 48-63mpg. It’s another all-rounder from the far East, this time Japan. So if you are driving in a town or city, its ideal.
It seems every list of best cars has at least one entry from Skoda these days, and this is no different. And, surprise surprise, its another city car! But this one has won a few car of the year awards.
The Skoda Citigo comes with a range of economical engines to choose from and won’t break the bank as a new car, so you can find one that won’t cost you to much to buy or run. It also feels a lot more fun to drive than some others on this list, so if that’s something you are interested in, choose this one!
Third most popular car in the UK. One of the best all-rounders on the market. British made. Can’t go wrong with the Vauxhall Corsa.
It’s fun to drive, and the standard equipment isn’t too shabby either. Like most small hatchbacks, its best suited for younger families. But you’ll be surprised about the amount of headspace you’ll find in the front seats. So if you are a bit taller, don’t overlook this option.
Similar to the Citigo, the Volkswagen Up is another all-rounder that comes with a pedigree. Winning What Car?’s car of the year award back in 2012, the car hasn’t changed much since then, albeit for some improvements to efficiency and tweaks to the styling.
It’s not the most thrilling drive (choose a Golf for that), but its no frills approach is something you need from a starter car.