A growing family requires more spacious transport so exactly which are the best family cars to choose?
We’ve worked with our pricing team to find out which cars are insured by customers with children, and from this we extracted the top 10 family cars with the cheapest car insurance costs.
Our list features a good mix of small, surprisingly spacious city cars and mid-size budget SUVs with more space in the back – a high priority for parents with children.
We’re featuring both new and used cars, many of which are bargains and can be bought for less than £10,000 brand new.
The findings illustrate the cheapest family cars to insure for Admiral policyholders aged 26+ with a child aged 16 or under between July and September 2019.
Skoda's acclaimed city car is fun to drive, well packaged and looks cute. You can buy a new Citigo for less than £10,000, though the pick the range (the frugal SE L 1.0 MPI 75PS GreenTech) will set you back a little more. Two adults can travel in the rear seats and there's a decent 251 litres of space in the boot (959 litres with the back seats folded).
The Citigo also makes a wise second-hand choice and there are plenty of low mileage examples in good condition available. Almost identical to its Volkswagen Group cousins, the Seat Mii and VW Up!, the Skoda Citigo is well packaged, fun to drive and generally one of the cheapest cars to insure.
Launched in 2012 and updated slightly in 2017, the Citigo has won many awards, including Best city car £9,500-£11,000 at the What Car? Car of the Year 2018 Awards.
Closely related to its not-so-distant relatives, the Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo, the VW up! is one of the most entertaining small cars on the market.
Add excellent build quality, plus low running costs, and this little cutie is sure to put a smile on your face. The Up! is available with a punchy little 1.0-litre engine (59bhp, 74bhp or swift 89bhp).
Deceptively spacious and available as a three or five-door, there's just room for two adults in the back. Boot space is a useful 251 litres, or 951 with the back seats down.
The up! was launched in 2011 and named World Car of the Year in 2012. Updated in 2016, it's won many other awards over the years including the 2017 Auto Express City Car of the Year.
Launched in 2013 and named after Adam Opel, the founder of Opel (Vauxhall's European sister company), the Vauxhall Adam is a rival to more style-focused small car rivals including the Fiat 500, DS3, Audi A1 and MINi.
The funky Adam is big on personalisation (apparently there are thousands of trim options available) so it's unlikely that you will come across two exactly the same. It's also well equipped with a premium feel, so the Adam certainly looks the part.
Go for the three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbo engine and it's nippy and economical too, but ultimately, it's more style over substance with average handling, cramped rear seats and just 170 litres of boot space.
The replacement for the earlier KA (2009-2016), the five-door Ford KA+ is a bit of a hidden gem. It’s only available with a 1.2-litre petrol engine (69bhp or 84bhp), but it’s a good car to drive and running costs are low.
It’s a little longer than the original version but shorter than the Ford Fiesta, but it’s still a great choice for families – despite its small size, the roof is high, making it feel surprisingly spacious. The back doesn’t feel cramped and adults can sit comfortably, while the boot capacity is 270 litres.
The one disappointment is that it was only awarded three stars in the Euro NCAP safety rating, compared to most other new small cars that achieved four or the maximum five stars.
The Citroen C1 is another popular choice for young families. Launched in 2014, the current second generation model isn't just a cheeky face – it’s a small car that’s cheap to run and competitively priced, so if you're looking for a fun drive and you like thrummy three-cylinder engines, it might be just what you're looking for.
Available as a three or five-door, it can be bought new for less than £10,000, or there are plenty of good used examples available. Some models feature a full-length retractable canvas roof which gives a great sense of space, but the reality is that it’s cosy in the back, so best suited to children and small adults. Boot space is 196 litres, rising to 780 litres with the back seats folded.
Produced between 2009-17, the quirky Yeti has always been a hard car to categorise because it's as much a family hatchback as it is an SUV. Available in two or four-wheel drive, there's no shortage of space inside, front and back, and there's a generous 416 litres of boot space – 1,580 litres with the back seats folded.
The Yeti has some hardcore fans – partly down to its looks, but also because it’s fun to drive, distinctive, well made and practical. It's won numerous trophies, including Best Small SUV at the What Car? Used Car of the Year 2018 Awards.
The award-winning Dacia Duster is a great option for families as it’s fantastic value for money. Not only that but it’s spacious, reducing the chances of squabbles between the kids, and it’s also rugged and sturdy. Despite a slight makeover in 2018, it’s not particularly luxurious inside, but that’s a plus point if you’re nervous of the kids making a mess.
Aside from that, it’s a decent SUV to drive and it’s available with either a 1.6-litre petrol or 1.5-litre diesel engine. The 4x4 version costs more, but it’s still one of the cheapest on the market.
The Duster’s many awards include the 2018 Carbuyer Best Car for Winter title, and it’s Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended too.
Still the cheapest new car on the UK market (priced from just £6,995), the Sandero is a lot of car for the money. Only available as a five-door, it's cheap to run and there's plenty of head and legroom for back-seat passengers.
At 320 litres, the boot is one of the biggest in its class, expanding to 1,200 litres with the rear seats down. It would be wrong to call it most entertaining car to drive, but it's practical and fine for everyday motoring.
The Dacia Sandero was awarded Best Budget Used Car by Diesel & Eco Car magazine in 2018.