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Insurance is a big factor in the cost of car ownership, and prudent used car buyers are taking the time to investigate how much insurance might be on their potential new car. We've used our vast used car knowledge to bring you the top 10 low insurance used cars under £5,000. These are some of the best cars to run on a tight budget.

1. Ford Ka Insurance Group: 2-15

The Ford Ka has been around since 1996, a year in which it revolutionised the city car market with its quirky looks, decent practicality and excellent running costs. All those things are still true about the current generation, but with added safety technology and a more refined driving experience. The older generation 1.3i models, of which there are many under £5,000 in our used car pages, range between insurance group 10 and 11. Steer clear of the SportKa if you want to keep costs down, as that has a rating of 15.

The newer generation (2009 onwards) has a much lower insurance rating, as the cars are safer and actually a bit slower (the older 1.3is were deceptively quick), thanks largely to a smaller 1.2-litre engine. Studio models have a rating of just group 2, though they have very little in terms of specification. Edge models add air conditioning, and they're rated at group 3, as are Zetec models which adds bits like alloy wheels, a trip computer and a quickclear heated front windscreen.


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Peugeot 107/Citroen C1 (05-14): Insurance Group 1-7

Two of the most popular choices of first car, the Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1 utilise the same platform. This is a platform which allows for low running costs, easy to use controls and a car that is very easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces. £5,000 will be enough to land you a 2011 model, which has the added benefit of being facelifted over the original version. They're available in a range of funky colours, including bright blue, bright red and of course the bright yellow like the one pictured here.

Both the C1 and 107 should be able to achieve over 60mpg, and road tax is only £20 per year thanks to the low amount of CO2 emitted from the tailpipe. Every 107 (apart from the 2013 Envy models) are group 3 insurance, which is very low indeed. The C1 manages to go one step further however, and 1.0i Vibe and Airplay models manage to be in the very lowest group 1 for insurance. Other models range between 2 and 3, so you won't see too much difference in cost. Platinum and Edition models reach up to group 7 however, so if you want to keep your premiums ultra-low, go for one of the other many variants.


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3. Fiat Grande Punto: Insurance Group 4-19

One of the largest cars in this list, if you want low insurance but need a bit more space than a city car would provide, then the Grande Punto could be the answer. It's a good looking, frugal and practically sized motor, with plenty of comfort and refinement too. A £5,000 budget will easily get you into low mileage (less than 50,000) 2008 car, and the 1.2 engine we recommend (for low insurance purposes) should return around 47mpg combined.

Insurance groups for the Grande Punto range between 4 for a 1.2 Active (the most popular) model, to 19 for a 1.6 MultiJet diesel, but in fairness they are a fairly quick car. A nice compromise however might be the 1.3 MultiJet diesel variant, with an insurance group rating of 9 it will be a little more expensive to insure than a 1.2 petrol, but you may make savings on fuel - the 1.3 MultiJet manages 62mpg combined. Active models come with a CD radio, guide me home headlamps, electric front windows, and a fairly decent 275 litre boot, though obviously that applies to all models.


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4. Nissan Micra (03-10): Insurance Group 6-17

£5,000 won't quite get you into a newer shape Micra, but the old one still has plenty of virtues that make its residual values strong, so you'll get a good chunk of your money back when you come to sell it later down the line. The £5k budget will see you acquire a low mileage 2009 or slightly higher mileage 2010 model, with decent specification in Tekna, N-Tec or Acenta+ trim, though the insurance groups of those models are a slightly higher-than-you-might-expect 11. They come with a lot of equipment though, and Tekna models have sat nav, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, mp3 connectivity, 16" alloy wheels and automatic lights/wipers all as standard, so it might be worth paying a bit more. 'E' models have the lowest insurance group rating of just 6.

1.2 models are the most frugal as well as the cheapest to insure, and manage a respectable 47.9mpg on the combined cycle. The boot on the Micra is also bigger than you might expect, at 251 litres. Annual tax is £130. Steer clear of the 1.6 SR and Active Luxury models to keep renewal costs low, as they are rated at insurance group 17 - you don't really want to be paying that much for a car of this size. 1.4-litre models are rated group 13.


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5. Citroen C3 (02-10): Insurance Group 2-13

The Citroen C3 is another car in this list that provides a bit more space than a typical city car. Its useful 282 litre boot is one of the largest in this list. £5,000 will see you into a 2008 model, possibly even one with a diesel engine. The petrol ones are the cheapest to insure, with 1.1i Vibe and VT models rated at just group 4 (largely thanks to a puny 61bhp), but the diesels are only group 4 or 6 too, and you'd be hard pressed to find a diesel car with a lower insurance group than that. The diesel engine is a good one too, and combined economy is 64.2mpg on a 1.4 HDi Airdream+ model (insurance group 7).

VT models aren't really the last word in specification, but it makes them good value. Remote central locking, electric front windows, steering wheel audio controls, and a rather cool-looking aluminium gear knob are the plus points of over the usual stuff. A CD and mp3 compatible stereo is present though, so that should keep you entertained at least. The aforementioned Airdream+ model adds rear parking sensors, alloy wheels and tinted windows to the mix. The most expensive C3 to insure is the 1.6i petrol VTR model, which is unsurprising given that with 110bhp, it has almost double the power of the 1.1i models.

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6. Toyota iQ (09 On): Insurance Group 3-6

The Citroen C3 is another car in this list that provides a bit more space than a typical city car. Its useful 282 litre boot is one of the largest in this list. £5,000 will see you into a 2008 model, possibly even one with a diesel engine. The petrol ones are the cheapest to insure, with 1.1i Vibe and VT models rated at just group 4 (largely thanks to a puny 61bhp), but the diesels are only group 4 or 6 too, and you'd be hard pressed to find a diesel car with a lower insurance group than that. The diesel engine is a good one too, and combined economy is 64.2mpg on a 1.4 HDi Airdream+ model (insurance group 7).

VT models aren't really the last word in specification, but it makes them good value. Remote central locking, electric front windows, steering wheel audio controls, and a rather cool-looking aluminium gear knob are the plus points of over the usual stuff. A CD and mp3 compatible stereo is present though, so that should keep you entertained at least. The aforementioned Airdream+ model adds rear parking sensors, alloy wheels and tinted windows to the mix. The most expensive C3 to insure is the 1.6i petrol VTR model, which is unsurprising given that with 110bhp, it has almost double the power of the 1.1i models.


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7. Smart ForTwo Coupe/Cabriolet (07 on): Insurance Group 2-7

The 'Smart Car' has been around since 1998 believe it or not, but it still looks fresh and funky today. It is however due to be replaced in the near future by an all new model.
As the name suggests, it can only seat two people, and space for luggage is understandably limited, though there is a woman who works at Evans Halshaw HQ that swears she once got a washing machine in the back of hers (this video kind of backs up her story). Its tiny size allows for a tiny 999cc engine, and with it only producing 61bhp, insurance costs can't be anything but low. Group 2 for the lowest spec pure variant, group 3 for the pulse and ratings rise to group 7 for an 84bhp Passion with a Luxury Pack fitted. Insurance groups for the Brabus models are in the double digits, but you'd be hard pressed to find one of those under £5,000 anyway.


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8. Seat Ibiza (02-09): Insurance Group 5-30

Yes, group 30. That's the highest insurance group for this shape Ibiza, and it's attracted by the very powerful 1.8 20V Turbocharged Cupra model with 180bhp. Totally irrelevant for this particular article, however. What is relevant however is the more sensible 1.2-litre petrol option, more specifically in 5dr reference or S trim, where the Ibiza has an insurance group rating of just 5. 3drs are a group higher. They are good, stylish cars and older models can be purchased for way under the £5,000 budget we've set ourselves here. Official mpg for the 1.2 is 47 combined, and a 267-litre boot should be enough for your daily needs.

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9. Renault Twingo (07-14): Insurance Group 9-18

The Renault Twingo is due to be replaced very shortly with an all-new rear-wheel-drive model, but we're focusing on the 07-14 model, or more specifically the 2010 cars that that be had for under £5,000. Expression, Bizu, Pzaz and Freeway and Dynamique models are the cheapest to insure, at group 9. Add A/C to a Dynamique model however, and the rating goes up to group 12, so we guess you'll have to be hot if you want to keep your premium down! I-Musics are also popular, but they are group 12 as well.

Dynamique models feature a CD/MP3 compatible stereo, auxiliary input, alloy wheels, electric mirrors and electric windows. Its boot is on the small side at 165 litres, but space for rear passengers is decent. Turbocharged 1.2-litre Gordini models are in insurance group 18, so best to leave them to the boy racers, even if they have got a really cool white stripe.


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10. Suzuki Alto (09 on): Insurance Group 4

The Alto had a four year absence from the UK between 2005 and 2009, while Suzuki went back to the drawing board to make a city car that was more suited to life in Britain. It became more refined, more economical and much safer than the version that was sold over here between 2003 and 2005. Current Altos can be had in either SZ, SZ2, SZ3 or SZ4 specification, and the good news is there is no insurance group penalty for moving up the specification ladder. All Suzuki Altos are in insurance group 4 - even the automatic version.

SZ4 models are very well equipped, and come with alloy wheels, a trip computer, 6 speakers for the MP3 compatible stereo, electric windows, front fog lamps, a height adjustable driver's seat and air conditioning, while ABS, brake assist and electronic stability programme are all present to keep you safe. All Altos come with a 1.0-litre engine, and the manual version manages 65mpg on the combined cycle.


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Thanks for reading our article about low cost, low insurance used cars. Think we've missed any? Let us know on Twitter @evanshalshawuk

All insurance group ratings were sourced from www.parkers.co.uk, and are correct as of 23 September 2014.