Top 10 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

Car insurance is a really complex area, with dozens of companies all giving different kinds of cover. And because of the way quotes are tailor made for individuals, there’s little freely available price information so you have no idea what’s a good quote and when your insurer’s taking advantage of you.

Fed up with not knowing where to look?

In this article, we’re going to try to sum up the market to give you a feel for what you might pay. We’ll look at different types of driver – young, older, with points on their licence – and at different locations. We’ll also consider the cheapest insurers for different types of car and different levels of cover. You should get a good idea of where to look for a quote – and how much you might need to pay.

Why is car insurance so complicated?

Car insurance is complex because an insurer is looking at a whole bunch of different risks when they make you a quote – you as a driver, your car, the area where you live, and even your mileage, can make a big difference to the policy premium.

For instance an insurer will want to look at the following factors:

  • Your age – younger drivers and those with less experience present a higher risk.
  • Your driving record – do you have points on your licence?
  • Your claims record – have you made multiple claims over the last few years? 
  • Your car – reliable, boring run-around or souped-up racer?
  • The value of your car – how much would it cost to replace if it’s written off?
  • Where you live – if you live in an area where car theft is common, expect your premiums to go up.
  • The use you make of the car – if you drive for business, expect to pay more than if you only use your car to go to the supermarket or drive to your five-a-side match at weekends.
  • Your mileage – the more you drive, the more likely you are to have an accident. Low mileage car users (below 5,000 miles a year) will get cheaper premiums.
  • The level of cover you choose.
  • Any extras that you want to add to the policy, such as a guaranteed courtesy car, or legal cover.

That’s quite a list. And considering the UK has 1.7 million postcodes and a vast number of different car models, often available with different engine sizes and stylings, you can imagine just how many different combinations there are! 

Other factors that make car insurance in UK complicated

Different car insurance companies have different sweet spots. Some high volume insurers will offer the cheapest insurance for low risk drivers – a 40 year old with a clean licence driving a Ford Focus, for example. Some smaller companies go for niche, higher risk markets such as young drivers or those with motoring convictions, or specialised markets such as kit cars, modded cars and classics or vintage motors.

And like other areas of business, insurance market conditions can change very quickly. That’s the cheapest car insurance today might look quite expensive in six months’ time. 

None the less, we’ve looked at quotes from different insurers and come up with some advice on ‘typical’ insurance policies for various categories of user. That should give you a good idea of where to look and how much you might pay.

By the way, one factor insurers are not allowed to consider in their pricing decision is your gender. Insurance quotes are strictly gender-neutral.

How to make sure you get the cheapest car insurance?

The best way to ensure you get the best deal is to shop around – use insurance comparison sites, look for cheap car insurance companies and compare car insurance quotes from as many as you can.

But that can be difficult to do quickly. Lots of sites want all your details and have exhaustive questionnaires before you get to a quote. Compare on Safe and it’s quick, anonymous, and free.

Which insurers are cheapest for younger drivers?

If you’re a young driver looking for cheap car insurance you’ll know it’s not easy to find. Young drivers represent a high risk as far as insurers are concerned and premiums can be high – well over the £1,000 mark.

Your best bet is to go for a black box policy. This type of policy uses telematics, through a device installed in your car, to track your driving – reducing the risk to the insurer. All but one of our top ten picks are black box policies.

The following companies have a good record in providing quotes for younger drivers. But you should still compare car insurance online to make sure you’ve got the best quote for your particular circumstances.

Company QuotesComments
logo carrot£1409
  • Black box that includes ‘treats’ like retail vouchers if you drive safely
logo hastings direct smartmiles£1945.47
  • Includes motor legal protection
ticker logo car insurance£2037.85
  • Self-install black box which links to your mobile phone
logo ingenie£2046.80
  • Good driving gets you a chance of a discount 3 times in your first year
logo more than smart wheels£2112.99
  • Good driving can deliver 10% cashback and a 30% discount on your next year’s premium
only smart driver logo£2379.20
  • Doesn’t include courtesy car cover
logo churchill£2434.88
  • Includes motor legal protection
logo rac£2442
  • Lowest compulsory excess at just £150
  • Free breakdown cover for first year
o2 logo£2454.55
  • Lowest compulsory excess at just £150
  • Free breakdown cover for first year
my policy logo£2664.24
  • Doesn’t include courtesy car cover
Cheap car insurance – UK drivers aged 17-21(Fully comp, mini car, 17-20, South West: all bar Churchill are black box policies.)

While the rankings are slightly different by region, all these insurers rank among the cheapest car insurance for 17-20s around the UK.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers over 21 years old

When you turn 21 the world looks a little different – at least in car insurance terms – with the entry of Admiral, Elephant and Diamond among the cheapest insurers. And fewer of the top ten are telematics policies – only Admiral Little Box, My Policy and General Accident.

InsurerQuotecomments
logo admiral little box£1248.50
  • Black box policy with no curfew, though night driving can reduce your score and lead to higher premiums
logo diamond£1327.20
  • Woman-orientated insurer offers windscreen cover as standard plus £300 handbag cover
logo admiral£1432.48
  • Non-black box policy
ford insure logo£1444.80
  • Specialist in insuring Ford cars, as the name indicates
logo elephant£1449.28
  • A good budget choice with Bonus Accelerator for young drivers
my policy logo£1810.03
  • No courtesy car cover
logo general accident£2011.28
  • Legal protection included
logo insure wiser£2065.77
  • High £3,000 compulsory excess
  • Breakdown cover included
logo one call insurance£2075.86
  • High £3,000 compulsory excess breakdown cover and legal cover included
nci insurance£2235.22
  • High £3,000 compulsory excess
Cheap car insurance – UK drivers over 21 (Fully comp, eco car, 21-30, West Midlands)

Which insurers are cheapest for older drivers?

Older drivers generally get better rates. According to Consumer Intelligence, drivers over 50 pay only £395 on average for their car insurance – way under the average. 

One name you’d expect to see in car insurance for the 61+ driver is SAGA – and it figures among the ten cheapest in most regions. But Admiral, Elephant and Diamond are at the top of the list for the cheapest car insurance for seniors.

Car insurance – compare quotes for drivers aged 61+

InsurerQuoteComments
logo admiral£661.92
  • You might even beat this quote with Admiral’s multi car cover
logo elephant£663.04
  • Includes windscreen, audio and courtesy car as standard
logo diamond£665.28
  • Includes 90 days EU cover as well as windscreen and courtesy car cover
logo admiral little box£777.28
  • Telematics policy – possibly rather confining for the older driver
logo saga£1224.22
  • Aimed specifically at drivers over 55, includes courtesy car if you break down and 365 day overseas cover – great for the active retired
my policy logo£1225.41
  • Excludes courtesy car cover
logo quote me happy£1283.62
  • A very full standard coverage, but support is mainly via website – not for the technophobic
logo general accident£1313.52
  • Good cover with 24/7 phone line and online policy management too
ford insure logo£1439.20
  • Ford specialist
logo insure wiser£1534.85
  • Includes breakdown cover
Cheap car insurance for older drivers ( Eco car, 61+, clean licence, Yorkshire and the Humber, fully comp)

Which insurers are cheapest in London?

London drivers pay the most expensive insurance premiums in the UK, at £1,460 according to a report in the Evening Standard. At those prices, it’s got to be worth doing a proper car insurance comparison to make sure you get the best car insurance at an affordable price.

Quotes for London car insurance

InsurerQuoteComments
logo bell£647.36Very competitive on price, but check the exact cover
logo admiral£719.04One of the biggest companies in car insurance – oddly, its regular car insurance is cheaper than the black box policy here!
logo elephant£721.28One great benefit is up to £300 cover for sports kit in the car, as well as good cover for car stereo
logo diamond£724.64Female focused insurer – offers handbag cover and child seat cover as standard
ford insure logo£726.88Cover designed specifically for Ford car owners
logo admiral little box£844.48Telematics policy which for once comes in more expensive than Admiral’s regular insurance
logo liverpool victoria£1000.25Doesn’t include courtesy car
logo churchill£1043.845 star Defaqto rated insurance comes with unlimited windscreen, window and sunroof cover 
logo esure£1076.04Courtesy car and up to 90 days EU cover are standard
logo sheilas wheels£1076.17This female-focused insurer includes handbag cover and courtesy car as standard
logo hastings essential£1199.07Hastings guarantees repairs done as part of a claim for 5 years and includes £300 personal belongings cover
Cheap car insurance companies in London (Greater London, eco car, driver 41-60 with clean licence, fully comp)

Which insurers are cheapest in different regions?

According to Which? magazine, drivers in the South-West have the good luck to get the cheapest car insurance in the UK. Scotland and Wales also get cheaper insurance than the average, while drivers in the North-West (which includes the large conurbations of  Manchester and Liverpool) are the second highest payers behind Londoners.

If you live in the inner city you’ll probably find your premiums are higher than those of rural dwellers, but at least you won’t be paying London premiums.

Which insurers are cheapest for different types of car?

Insurers who are very competitive for hatchbacks and family estates may not give the best car insurance quotes for performance cars or classics. Car insurance comparison sites often want you to enter your exact car model and trim – but as a very quick car insurance check you can look at the table below.

Car categories Insurance companies
Best for luxury cars
  • Insure Wiser
  • Churchill Brightside
  • A choice
  • Sterling Insurance
Best for family car (eg VW Passat) 
  • Ingenie
  • Admiral
  • Only Smart Drivers
  • Insure The Box
  • Insure Wiser
  • Ford Insure
Best for eco cars (eg Vauxhall Corsa)
  • Admiral
  • Elephant
  • Diamond
  • Churchill
  • Ford Insure
Best for SUVs
  • Admiral
  • Elephant
  • Diamond
  • General Accident
Cheapest car insurance for different types of car

If you have a modded car or a kit car you might want to check out our page about insurance and car modifications before you get a car insurance quote. 

If you have a classic car (and that can include recent classics as well as true vintage), check out our Classic car insurance page and compare insurance quotes.

Cheapest car insurance per coverage: third party, third party fire & theft, fully comp

You can choose three different levels of cover for your car:

  • Third party only – this insurance protects other people and their cars and property. If you crash, it will pay the other driver (‘third party’) for any damage caused, but it won’t pay for repairs to your own car. You’d expect this to be very cheap car insurance, but because it’s often applied for by people who can’t afford fully comp insurance because they’re high risk drivers, it can turn out to be quite expensive.
  • Third party fire and theft adds two important covers; if your car is damaged by fire, or if it’s stolen (including if it is damaged in an attempt to steal it). It’s often not more expensive than third party only.
  • Fully comprehensive insurance, which includes cover if you damage your car in an accident, or in the event of other accidents (eg a tree falls on your car in a storm, or a flood damages it). Fully comp often includes cover for courtesy car provision while your car is repaired, cover for your possessions in the car, and personal injury or legal cover. All the other examples in this article are for fully comp insurance.

Cheapest car insurance for third party only coverage

Insurance companiesQuotesComments
logo one call insurance £1474.90
  • Compulsory excess £3,000
  • Includes courtesy car and breakdown cover
logo insure wiser£1644.79
  • Compulsory excess £2,000
logo sterling insurance£1952.86
  • Compulsory excess £3,000
logo go girl£3166.24
  • Zero excess
logo insure 2 drive£3168.48
  • Zero excess
logo dialdirect£3718.32
  • Includes courtesy car and breakdown cover
logo endsleigh£4024.32
  • Zero excess
logo halifax£4368.45
  • Zero excess
logo post office 1£4370.32
  • Post Office Money Premier quotes the same price but includes breakdown cover
logo rac insurance 1£4467.44
  • Legal protection cover free in first year
Cheapest car insurance third party only coverage (Third party cover, North East, driver 31-40, eco car, clean driving licence)

Third party only is not a very commonly requested type of insurance and some insurers don’t offer it at all. More specialist companies than big insurers show up in the list. 

When you come to third party fire & theft, on the other hand, the big insurers are prepared to offer cover. Several of them are very competitive.

Cheapest car insurance for third party fire and theft

InsurerQuoteComment
logo bell£601.44As so often Bell provides the cheapest quote!
logo admiral£664.16Includes 90 days EU driving: car hire cover can be added as an extra
logo elephant£665.28Has a bonus accelerator – useful for younger drivers
logo diamond£668.64Female focused insurer – TPFT includes good cover for car entertainment systems
logo admiral little box£778.4Telematics policy which requires black box to be installed
logo one call insurance£1576.84£3,000 excess includes personal accident, courtesy car and breakdown cover
logo insure wiser£1681.14£3,000 excess includes personal accident, courtesy car and breakdown cover
logo sterling insurance£2079.45£3,000 excess includes legal protection
logo go girl£3495.52female focused insurer with a strong suit of policies of younger drivers
logo insure 2 drive £3497.76includes unlimited audio cover for standard fit equipment, and has NCB protection plan
Cheapest car insurance quotes for Third Party Fire and Theft (Third party fire & theft, eco car, 41-60, East Midlands, 3 points on licence)

Cheapest car insurance for fully comprehensive cover

All these policies include personal injury cover, and all but one include a courtesy car. However only four (Tesco, Churchill,One Call and Quote Me Happy) include legal cover as standard. 

InsurerQuoteComment
logo admiral little box£834.40Telematic policy
logo admiral£987.84Non-telematic policy from the low cost leader
logo elephant 2£992.32Another insurer that regularly appears in the top 10 cheapest lists
logo diamond£999.04Female-focused insurance (but also available for blokes)
ford insure logo£1003.52For Ford owners, as the name implies
logo tesco bank£1209.05Black box policy, which includes legal protection as standard
logo churchill£1249.92Highly rated insurer with good No Claims Discount protection
logo one call insurance 2£1351.50This policy has a £3,000 excess: £200 is normal for these policies. But unlike the others it does include breakdown cover.
logo my policy 2£1354.40The third black box policy in our selection and the only policy not to offer a courtesy car
logo quote me happy£1418.09Online only insurer backed by Aviva
Cheapest car insurance for comprehensive coverage (Fully comprehensive, eco car, 31-40, South-East, clean licence)

Which insurers are cheapest if you’ve got points on your licence?

Although the financial adverts say “past performance is no guarantee of future results”, insurers believe that it is. If you’ve got a driving conviction already, they reckon that you’re more likely than other drivers to get even more points on your licence. So when you go for an insurance quote you might get significantly more than your previous renewal quote.

We looked at the right insurance for a driver with a single minor conviction – speeding or jumping a red light. If you’ve been convicted of drink driving or a more serious motoring offence, you might need touse a specialist insurer – check out our page on Convictions and car insurance.

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