What are the cheapest cars to insure for young drivers?
Temporary car insurance prices are going through the roof, with Moneysupermarket car insurance groups recently reporting that insurance premiums are on average 40% higher in 2010 than they were at the same time last year. The hardest hit by the insurance price increases are young drivers, with the AA stating that drivers between the ages of 17 and 22 are now paying on average over £2000 per year.
The advice which is generally given out is that people should use price comparison websites and haggle with insurers to ensure they get the cheapest deal possible. However, this won’t be enough to make insurance affordable if you are a young driver trying to get insurer on a Ferrari sports car. Therefore the choice of vehicle is vital, and the ultimate yearly insurance fee should be one of your first considerations when you start looking for a new car.
The following is a list the cars which are the cheapest to insure, which would therefore be ideal first cars for anyone who are recently passed their driving tests. The decision on which one is best is entirely dependant on your own personal preference.
Toyota Yaris T2 1.0 litre VVT-i
- Price: Older shape can be bought quite reasonably, between the prices of £3000-£5000 depending on mileage
- Pros: Reliable
- Cons: Lacks power
The Yaris is a decent looking car and benefits from Toyota’s renowned reliability which means it will pretty never stop running. This makes the purchase of six year older versions for about £3,000 an ideal first car for any driver. The car is very easy to drive and has sufficient space to fit five people. However, the Yaris is slightly too big and heavy for its measly one litre engine and performance suffers are a result. The ride isn’t too good over bumps either.
Toyota Aygo 1.0 litre VVT-i
- Price: Decent four year old versions can be bought for between £3000 and £4000
- Pro: Very fuel efficient
- Cons: The bare minimum is provided and it is very small
The Aygo was an attempt to create a car which was affordable to buy and run. It can be classed as a success, with remarkable fuel efficiency and four year old versions being available for as little as £3000. Like the Yaris, it has good handling and is very reliable. It is also much lighter than the Yaris, which makes the one litre engine almost acceptable. However, you pay the price for the weight reduction as the car has the bare minimum (no electric windows etc), very little room for passengers and appears rather flimsy.
Ford Ka Studio 1.2 litre
- Price: This is the newest shape, so won’t get it for lower than £6000
- Pro: Cheap to repair, good engine and looks good
- Cons: Slight stigma to it and the price
This is the newest shape of Ka, which only came out last year. It therefore can’t be bought for less than £6,000. However, it is far better looking than its predecessor and being a Ford it is relatively reliable and cheap to repair. The 1.2 litre engine also puts it in a different league from the one litre Toyota’s. However, there is a slight stigma to Ka ownership which stems from the opinion splitting appearance of its predecessor.
Chevrolet Matiz 0.8 litre
- Price: Can get a very decent 2007 version with low mileage for about £3000 at the moment
- Pro: cheap to buy and tax
- Cons: very weak engine
The car looks okay and although it is small and very basic, the interior is slightly more appealing than that on the Aygo. On top of this, the 0.8 litre engine is quite fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, which means that the car qualifies for the £35 road tax bracket. However the engine is also its biggest downfall, as being only a 0.8 litre it is hideously underpowered. This would make motorway driving unadvisable and therefore isn’t the best option for a newly qualified driver planning on travelling home from university during the summer.
Suzuki Alto 1.0 Litre
- Price: Newer shape available from about £5,500
- Pro: Looks good and fuel efficient
- Cons: not much room for packages or people
The older version of the Alto is quite poor, and therefore it is best to avoid it as you would avoid a gentleman in a library who is struggling to find the anger management books. However, Suzuki has got its act together with the newest shape which looks great and has a very fuel efficient one litre engine. The engine is good enough for this car given that, like the Aygo, it is very light. However, also like the Aygo, this means that the room available for passengers is somewhat limited.
Volkswagen Fox 1.2 litre
- Price: Decent six year old versions available from about £4,000
- Pro: Reliable, good engine
- Cons: Expensive to repair
The 1.2 litre engine in the Fox is not sufficient for the heavier Polo, but in the Fox it works a treat. This makes it one of the most powerful cars in the group one insurance bracket. In Volkswagen tradition it is very reliable but also rather bland. Another disadvantage of being a Volkswagen is that it is rather more expensive to repair than many of its rivals.
Nissan Pixo 1.0 litre Acenta
- Price: Relatively new, so won’t get for less than £6,000
- Pro: Low running costs
- Cons: Not much effort gone into it
Nissan realised that due to the increasing price of car insurance it had to produce a car that was cheap to insure rather quickly. The result is a Suzuki Alto with different bodywork and engine. Unfortunately for Nissan the bodywork makes the car look quite bland as opposed to Suzuki’s stella effort, and to add to their woes the engine is a noisy disaster. Despite this it is priced higher than the Alto because apparently they think Nissan is a better name.
Fiat Panda 1.1 litre Active Eco
- Price: Can get decent six year old versions for about £2,500
- Pro: erm…
- Cons: unreliable, not pretty, very basic, no space
Not much more need be said other than this is a Fiat, which means it will probably be unreliable. Fiat’s cars are also always very good looking or hideous, with the Panda being the latter. In attempts to make it fuel efficient, cheap to insure and cheap to tax, Fiat have also gone down the same path as the Aygo and the Alto in reducing leg room to a comical level. On the plus side the engine is okay.
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