Lifestyle Guides

The 10 cheapest cars for learner drivers

Admiral's Pricing Team has calculated the 10 cheapest cars to insure for those with a provisional licence and aged 25 or under

collage of cheaper cars for learners

Admiral's pricing team has calculated the 10 cheapest cars to insure for learner drivers with a provisional licence and aged 25 or under

Learning to drive is an exciting experience, but it's also expensive because you have to pay for lessons, the tests and everything that goes with owning a car too, including fuel, car insurance, servicing and road tax.

To help you save money, our pricing team has calculated the average premiums for the top 10 cheapest cars between January and March 2021 for policyholders aged 25 or under with a provisional licence (where we have 50+ cars on cover). 

There’s a real variety of cars on our list – they’re all small and cheap to run, many are great value and some are really funky. If you choose one of these cars, or any other, make sure you come to us first for your learner driver insurance quote.

1. Citroen C1 - average annual premium: £394.72

Citroen C1

Always a popular choice for young drivers, whether it's the first-generation car (2005-14) or the latest model (pictured), the Citroen C1 is a cutie. 

If you're looking for a fun drive, low running costs and you like thrummy three-cylinder engines, it might be right up your street. 

There's plenty of choice and Mk 1s are available from less than £1,000. If you can stretch to at least £3,000, then the improved current model is even better.

2. Peugeot 107 - average annual premium: £434.91

Peugeot 107

Developed alongside the first-generation Citroen C1 (see above) and Toyota Aygo (below), the little Peugeot 107 is a fun package. Built from 2005-14 (when it was replaced by the Peugeot 108), it's another sensible used city car choice. 

Cheap to insure and maintain, it's also nippy, available with three or five doors and powered by an enthusiastic little 67bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine. 

As you'd expect from a city car, space is tight inside, so if you do need to carry passengers in the back, opt for the five-door version to make life a little easier. 

You can buy a decent low-mileage second-hand example for as little as £2,500.

3. Toyota Aygo - average annual premium: £442.35

toyota aygo

Whether you choose the first-generation model (pictured), which was built between 2005-2014, or the latest version (launched in 2014), the Toyota Aygo is one of the most popular small cars on the market. 

Built alongside the similar Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107/108, the Aygo is also easy to drive and cheap to run.

Like its French cousins, space is a little tight in the back and the boot is small, but it's great value second-hand. Less than £2,000 will buy you a decent low mileage Mk 1, while the current model (highly recommended) starts at around £3,500.

4. Hyundai i10 - average annual premium: £455.59

hyundai i10

Hyundai's little gem has been a top city car choice ever since the first-generation model went on sale in 2007. The Mk2 (pictured), which was made between 2014-2020, was even better. Stylish, surprisingly spacious, refined, economical and reliable, it's another ideal first car. 

Pay at least £1,500 for a cherished Mk 1 and £3,000+ for a low mileage second-generation car.

5. Ford Ka - average annual premium: £458.50

ford KA

Built from 1996-2008, the original Ford Ka was a first car favourite in its day, but it's a bit long in the tooth today. So, we'd recommend going for the Mk 2 (2009-2016). 

Developed alongside the Fiat 500, it may not look as retro cool as its Italian cousin, but it makes just as much sense as a small, efficient three-door runabout that's cheap to run. 

There are plenty to choose from, so be picky and choose a well-maintained low mileage example. Expect to pay at least £1,750 privately.

6. Volkswagen up! - average annual premium: £470.69

Volkswagen up!

Named What Car? Used City Car of the Year 2020, the VW up! is a cracking small car. 

Originally launched in 2012 and still looking fresh today, it's almost identical to its Volkswagen Group cousins, the SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo. The up! is the classiest of the trio, though they all offer an entertaining drive, more space than you might think and low car insurance costs. 

Powered by an eager 1.0-litre petrol engine, early examples are now available from just £2,500. If you can spend closer to £3,500, you'll get a car with a full service history and low miles.

7. Fiat 500 - average annual premium: £475.72

fiat 500

The iconic and funky Fiat 500 is just as much fun to drive as it looks. On sale since 2007, it was treated to a minor facelift in 2016, which included upgraded safety and infotainment tech. 

There's no shortage of Fiat 500s in the classifieds with high milers starting at less than £1,500. However, we'd recommend spending at least £2,500 on a later, low-mileage example with a full service history. 

You can choose a diesel version, but the 1.2 petrol is the best all-rounder.

8. Kia Picanto - average annual premium: £482.40

kia picanto

The award-winning Picanto is another great first car choice. Whether it's the second-generation model (2011-17) or the latest version (pictured), it's a winning combination. 

Sassy, well-equipped, refined, reliable and nippy, recent examples make sense second-hand because they were supplied new with a seven-year warranty and there might be a year or two of cover left for that extra peace of mind. 

Expect to pay at least £2,500 for a cherished Mk 2, while early examples of the current model start at £5,000.

9. Nissan Micra - average annual premium: £531.54

nissan micra

Another driving school favourite ever since it first appeared in the 1980s, there have been a few versions since then, with varying levels of success. 

The cool-looking current model, launched in 2017, is the best yet, but you'll have to go back to the Mk 4 (pictured) if you're on a tight budget. On sale between 2010-2017, it's cute, cheap to run and easy to drive. 

A well-maintained low mileage car will set you back at least £3,000.

10. Toyota Yaris - average annual premium: £544.09

toyota yaris

Looking for a dependable supermini-sized second-hand car? The Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa tend to top most people's lists, but the Yaris deserves some serious consideration. 

The latest model launched in 2021 is the best yet, but the Mk 2 (2006-2011) and Mk 3 (2011-2021) are top buys if you're on a budget. 

Low mileage post 2010 examples of the Mk 2 (they get the better 101bhp 1.33-litre petrol engine with a six-speed manual gearbox) are available from less than £3,000. 

At least £4,000 will buy you a cherished Mk 3 (pictured), which was also offered as a self-charging hybrid (starting at £6,500).

I'm an experienced journalist, digital editor and copywriter, now specialising in motoring. I’m editor of Automotive Blog and have worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online for household names including the BBC, GMTV, ITV and MSN. I’ve produced digital content in the financial sector for Lloyds Bank, Nationwide and the Money Advice Service. I'm married with two children and live near Bath in Somerset.