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Top 10 Cheap (Avoidable) Car Insurance Companies In UK

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If You are looking for information about the best avoidable or cheap car insurance in uk i guarrantee you that you are the right place read carefully to get the information yo needed thank you.

Are you looking for relatively cheap avoidable car insurance—and still want decent customer service and features? Look through the information on this page so you’re aware of how some of the cheaper UK car insurance brands compare when it comes to ratings and reviews, and also to find some great ways to save.

We’ve analysed dozens of UK car insurance brands (most of which are underwritten by the top 10 largest car insurance companies) for price, then ranked the cheaper names by a combination of independent professional and customer ratings. While no single insurance provider is the cheapest or best for everyone, some auto insurance companies stand out for their combination of good customer reviews, features and cheap quotes. Here’s what we found.

List of 10 Best-Rated Cheap UK Car Insurance Companies

RankMotor Insurance CompanyTrustpilot Customer RatingDefaqto RatingFairer Finance Score
1LV=4.75^63%
21st Central4.55 (3 for “Value”)66%
3Churchill4.4562%
4Hastings4.45 (2 for “Essential”)62%
5Swinton4.55 (3 for “Essential”)58%
6Bell1.9564%
7Admiral3.9561%
8Elephant3.5560%
9QuoteMeHappy4.6462%
10Diamond3.4560%

^note: some LV= products sold by brokers have a lower Defaqto score, such as their “Clear” and “Highway” products. Also, their “Flow” month-to-month product is rated with 3 Defaqto stars.

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How to Choose Car Insurance

While price is top of mind for most people when choosing car insurance, there are many other factors to keep in mind as well. We’ve written an in-depth page on the topic if you’d like to read more, but here is a quick recap:

  • Tier of cover (Comprehensive, TPFT or TPO). Comprehensive cover is the best, as it covers third party damage or injury (TPO); damage or loss of your car due to fire or theft (like TPFT); and damage to your car from an accident where you’re at fault (only comprehensive policies cover this last bit).
  • The insurance company. Check online customer reviews with sites like Trustpilot and reviews.co.uk, as well as professional car insurance reviews with companies (like NimbleFins). When scouring customer reviews, look for mentions of the claims experience in particular. Also find out if their customer service operates online only or if they have a call centre (and what the hours of operation are).
  • The features you want, including add ons. Common add ons are breakdown cover, legal expenses, personal accident, key cover and enhanced courtesy car. (The 3 options for courtesy cars are none offered, a courtesy car while yours is being repaired after an accident and a courtesy car if you’re is written off due to severe damage or stolen. You often have to buy an ‘enhanced courtesy car’ add on to get cover in the case of theft or a write off.)
  • Premium. Check prices with multiple comparison sites, brokers and/or direct insurers before making a decision. Each company has their own pricing model and appetite for risk, so some companies might be very unattractive for your risk profile. Choosing the right company means finding a company that is happy to take on your risks (e.g., you’re a young or inexperienced driver, you’ve had an accident, you drive an expensive car, etc.).
  • Excess. Make sure you could afford to pay the excess if you need to make a claim. While opting for a higher excess can reduce your premium, take a good look at the figures because it’s not always worth doing so (that is, sometimes you have to raise the excess quite a bit to get a meaningful discount on your car insurance premium).

Other High Quality Options

There are some excellent brands that didn’t quite make the list due to price for our sample drivers, but nonetheless are usually competitively priced and offer a higher standard in terms of their product and customer service than some companies mentioned above. For example, Direct Line and Sainsbury’s Bank missed the list due to price (just barely, in some cases) and both stand out for a high quality product and solid customer experiences with:

  • 5-star Defaqto rated products
  • A customer experience score from Fairer Finance of at least 62% and
  • Trustpilot score of at least 4 stars out of 5

When deciding which car insurance product to buy for yourself, use the metrics in the table above to get a sense of where the competition places, and check Defaqto, Trustpilot and Fairer Finance for yourself. Because price isn’t everything.

Cheap Car Insurance in Your Area

Reviews of Top 10 Best, Cheap Car Insurance Companies

To be included in our list a brand has to have at least one 4 star Defaqto rated product and, according to our analysis of the UK car insurance market, consistently offer some of the cheaper car insurance quotes. We then ranked the car insurance brands according to a combination of ratings by TrustpilotDefaqto and Fairer Finance. Here’s what you should know about these companies before deciding which is best for you.

1. LV

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Consider this if you would pay a bit more for a company with great customer reviews and a solid set of features.

While Liverpool Victoria is not the cheapest car insurance company compared to these others on the list, their customer service and ratings are arguably about the best of the group. LV= policies can be purchased direct from the company, through comparison sites or brokers. Existing customers have high renewal rates and LV has recently launched multi-car discounts. Plus apparently 10% of customers pay £205 or less (July – December 2020). Customer satisfaction is a stated priority of the company, which helps explain their high Trustpilot rating by customers.

Quick Takeaway: LV= is usually moderately priced, so those looking for the cheapest premium are likely to find a more suitable plan elsewhere. But LV is a solid choice for those looking for great customer reviews and good features who don’t mind paying a bit more. If you are happy to pay for wider coverage then LV= offers some extras with their comprehensive cover such as personal injury, uninsured driver promise (you won’t pay an excess or lose your NCD) and misfuelling cover. Get a quote direct from LV here.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star
  • Fairer Finance: 63% (down from 65% in 2020)
  • Read our review
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2. 1st Central

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Consider this if you want a highly-rated smaller company and a choice of coverage options.

Around since 2008, 1st Central boasts solid customer and product reviews make 1st Central one to consider—they have the highest Fairer Finance Customer Experience Rating in the group. They are smaller than other big-name brands listed here, which might contribute to the great customer ratings. But with over 750,000 customers they’re big enough to be a serious player.

They include a lot of features as standard, such as a free courtesy car when using their approved network for insured repairs and offer higher limits for lost keys and in-car entertainment than you might find elsewhere. They also include some hard-to-value features like not losing your No Claims Discount if you’re hit by an uninsured driver and it’s not your fault.

Quick Takeaway: Given the strong product and customer experience ratings, it’s worth checking prices with 1st Central, which you can do with a comparison site like our partner QuoteZone to be sure (1st Central is in their panel). Or get a quote direct from 1st Central here.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star (3 for Value)
  • Fairer Finance: 66%

3. Hastings

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Consider this if you are willing to give up on some features in exchange for a lower premium.

Hastings Essential policies often pop up as one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, car insurance quotes. The Essential policies are only rated 2 star by Defaqto for fewer features, however—for instance, windscreen cover is not included and cannot be added, however legal and breakdown can be added for an extra charge (roughly £20 and £35, respectively). Their Direct and Premier policies are not quite as cheap but have lower excesses and more features.

Quick Takeaway: If you’re after very cheap car insurance then Hastings Essential might be one of your best options, but ultimately this depends on how their pricing models calculate the premium for your profile. It’s usually best to compare prices with a comparison site like our partner QuoteZone to be sure.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star (2 for Essential)

4. Churchill

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Consider this if you live in a lower-risk area and want a lower-cost option from the Direct Line Group.

Churchill is often the cheapest quote on offer at one of the major comparison sites (Moneysupermarket)—so while their customer service and ratings might be slightly lower than the top-ranked brand on our list (LV=), Churchill can be a solid option for those who prioritise price. Churchill policies can be purchased direct from the company or through many comparison sites (but not yet via our partner, QuoteZone). Churchill is one of the “budget” brands of the Direct Line Group. Direct Line is the second largest car insurance company in the UK, and 28.1% of their premiums are sold under the Churchill and Privilege brands via the price comparison website channel.

Quick Takeaway: Churchill is usually very competitively priced for the typical driver who doesn’t have any significant marks on their record, and customers report pretty good service. However, in our tests Churchill wouldn’t quote for around 30% of UK postcodes, so many people across the UK will have to look elsewhere. Churchill here.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star

5. Swinton

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Consider this if you are a high-risk driver needing specialist cover or want to choose from a few different levels of coverage and features.

Swinton offers policies underwritten by a range of insurers, and while they closed their last branch in 2019, they still have a customer-focused vibe. They’ve been helping customers find insurance for over 60 years—even those with convictions or those needing specialised cover. Swinton’s Essential cover is their cheapest policy, and while it is lacking in some features it does include a few nice-to-haves for such a budget plan (e.g., a courtesy car during accident repairs and windscreen cover, but only up to £150).

Quick Takeaway: Swinton can be a great brand to consider if you need specialist cover and want to pay less. Swinton is perhaps the best option in this list for situations like high-risk drivers with a conviction, young drivers, modified cars, etc. Get a quote direct from Swinton here.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star (2 for Essential)

6. Bell

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Consider this if you would use a black box in order to save money on your car insurance.

Bell is an Admiral brand that can offer cheaper prices through the use of black box telematics policies to track safe driving. This black box policy is more attractive than some, because there’s no curfew and no mileage limits, plus you typically only need the black box for six months. That said, some other black box providers have snazzier apps to communicate your driving reports.

Quick Takeaway: Bell can be a decent option for safe drivers who don’t mind using a telematics black box for a period of time to get a lower price on their car insurance. Get a quote direct from Bell here.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 1.9 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 4 star
  • Fairer Finance: 64% (up from 60% in 2020)
  • Read our review

7. Admiral

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Consider this if you want car insurance from the UK’s largest car insurance company.

The Admiral Group is the largest auto insurance company in the UK with more than 15% of the car insurance market, underwriting policies through their Admiral, Bell, Diamond, elephant.co.uk and Gladiator brands. Technically speaking, Admiral is the trading name of EUI Limited.

In 2019 they grew the number of vehicles insured to 4.37 million, earning profits of over £590 million before taxes on £2.16 billion of motor insurance premiums written, making them the most popular car insurance company in the UK. One of Admiral’s stated corporate goals is to increase customer retention, which is good to know if your policy is up for renewal. Admiral also writes the car insurance for Ford-branded car insurance.

Quick Takeaway: Admiral can be a great auto insurance company for anyone who wants to arrange a car insurance policy quickly online for a good price. Their brands can be found on most price comparison sites, such as our partner QuoteZone and one of their brands may be amongst the cheapest available offers. Or get a quote direct from Admiral here.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 5 star
  • Fairer Finance: 61%
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8. Elephant

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Consider this if you want a budget option from the UK’s largest car insurer.

Elephant is an Admiral Group brand that is marketed as a budget option, with some features like personal belonging or key cover available as extra add ons. Premiums may be lower but there’s no onward travel or accommodation after an accident and cancellation fees are on the high side.

Quick Takeaway: Elephant is typically one of the cheaper quotes you’ll find and they report that 10% of reporting customers saved 25% with Elephant (July 2019 & December 2019). Get a quote direct from Elephant here.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (up from 3.2 in 2020)
  • Defaqto: 5 star

9. Quotemehappy.com

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Consider this if you a more affordable Aviva brand, and are willing to give up on customer call centres.

Quotemehappy is one of Aviva’s cheaper car insurance brand. Despite the low price, drivers get a lot of nice features included in their policies, such as legal and windscreen cover. As an added bonus, customer rate their experience very highly at Trustpilot (although this reflects the sales process more than the claims process), despite the fact that this is an online brand with no call centre.

Quick Takeaway: Quotemehappy.com frequently returns one of the cheapest quotes for car insurance, but this will vary from person to person. Get a quote direct from Quotemehappy.com here.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars
  • Defaqto: 4 star

10. Diamond

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Consider this if want to consider another lower-cost Admiral brand.

Diamond is another of the Admiral Group’s brands. It’s aimed at women and safe drivers. As with Elephant, there’s no provision for accommodation or onward travel after an accident (although they will move your passengers away from the accident site if it’s not safe to the nearest point of local amenity) and cancellation fees are higher.

Quick Takeaway: Diamond is not just for women, although they do provide up to £300 for handbag cover. Diamond gets you a policy underwritten by the largest UK car insurance company and prices are typically very competitive if you’re a safe driver—usually on par with Admiral quotes, not surprisingly. Get a quote direct from Diamond here.

  • Trustpilot customer rating: 3.4 out of 5 stars (up from 3.1 in 2020)
  • Defaqto: 5 star

We are not recommending any one brand in particular and these brands are certainly not guaranteed to give you a cheap price and you may find cheaper cover elsewhere. Please just use the information in this study to support you in learning about the market. Remember to shop around for car insurance, since some companies may be much more affordable than others for your profile. Choosing the best car insurance for your needs will depend on factors like price points and car insurance features you desire, such as breakdown, motor legal or courtesy car cover.

Where to Find Cheap Car Insurance

Cheap Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

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Finding a car insurance policy that fits in your budget can take a bit of legwork, but there are lots of tools available to help you out. For example, getting quotes from a comparison site (e.g., our car insurance partner QuoteZone) can give you access to dozens of quotes in just a few minutes, as opposed to checking prices with each brand individually. Also check out our top tips to save money on car cover.

If you have a specific car insurance company in mind (e.g., one of the top-rated brands in our list above), you can see which car insurance comparison quote systems include them in our article on Best Car Insurance Comparison Sites.

Those with an unusual situation such as a modified car or a poor driving history might have fewer options available to them. If you’re finding it difficult to get suitable car insurance, try contacting the British Insurance Brokers’ Association. Their “Find a Broker” service can be reached at 0370 950 1790 or biba.org.uk.

When is the best time to find cheap car insurance?

Our recent study of car insurance premiums shows that you’re likely to get the cheapest rates when buying around 3 weeks ahead of when you need a policy to start. The closer you get, the higher the premium is likely to be. In fact, it’s common for motorists to pay at least 30% more for a policy when buying at the last minute.

What’s the Best Car Insurance Comparison Site?

According to customer review sites Trustpilot and Reviews.co.uk, the best car insurance comparison site is QuoteZone. QuoteZone boasts scores of 4.6 out of 5 stars from Trustpilot and 4.8 out of 5 stars from Reviews.co.uk, which are higher overall than GoCompare, MoneySupermarket, Confused and Compare the Market.

The table below ranks the top car insurance comparison sites according to their customer ratings from Trustpilot and Reviews.co.uk—note that QuoteZone comes out on top. They are who we’ve chosen as our partner for car insurance comparison. 

Best Car Insurance Comparison SitesTrustpilot ScoreReviews.co.uk RatingWeighted Average (based on the number of reviews)
1QuoteZone4.64.84.70
2Go Compare3.94.64.57
3Confused4.44.554.55
4Moneysupermarket4.53.984.48
5Compare the Market2.94.513.00

To see which car insurance companies are in each of the panels, read more in our article What’s the best car insurance comparison site?

How To Pick a Cheap Car Insurance Company

Why is some car insurance cheaper than others? In the car insurance market, the cheaper brands are able to offer lower prices by reducing their operating costs or expenses using some of the following methods:

  • No customer service phone lines (webchat and/or email only)
  • Higher cancellation and administration fees
  • Fewer features included as standard
  • Requiring a telematics black box to track your driving style
  • Higher excess (the amount you pay towards a claim)

Some insurance companies will focus on providing a low-cost product by eliminating customer service call centres altogether, leaving you to contact customer service via webchat or email. Or they may not include features like breakdown, legal expenses or a courtesy car as standard. Others may offer less beneficial terms, such as no guarantee on repair workmanship or only providing Third Party cover if you drive to Europe. By learning about how products and terms can vary, you can pinpoint which features are most important to you.

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