Average insurance premiums for the UK’s 10 most popular car models rose by £100 in the three months from the beginning of March to the end of May. That’s according to new research from the price comparison site CompareTheMarket.com, which suggests drivers could spend more than £300 a year by choosing a Vauxhall Corsa over a Fiat 500.

CompareTheMarket.com’s study found drivers of the most popular models were quoted an average of £675 for a year’s insurance between March 1 and May 31 this year. That’s up from £575 during the same period in 2021.

The study used data from insurance quotes to find the most popular models, with customers seeking more quotes for the Ford Fiesta Zetec than for any other car. However, the average quote for that model hit £785 between the beginning of March and the end of May - an increase of £129 compared with the same period in 2021.

Laptop on table showing car insurance

Similarly, the second-most popular model, the Mini Cooper, cost an average of £617 per year to insure, up £87 on the same point last year. And the Fiat 500 Lounge – the third-most popular model – saw its premiums rise £57 to £521. However, that still makes it the cheapest car to insure among the 10 most popular models.

The news comes amid a cost-of-living crisis, with CompareTheMarket.com’s research showing 84 percent of motorists say they have spent more on fuel in the past six months. The rising cost of insurance, which the comparison site claims is being driven by a rise in the value of second-hand cars and replacement parts, will doubtless add to the financial pressure under which many motorists find themselves.

However, CompareTheMarket.com has suggested drivers seeking low running costs might be best served by one of the cheaper cars on its list. For example, the organisation says those choosing a Fiat 500 Lounge instead of a Vauxhall Corsa SXI will save an average of £361 a year.

“Car insurance is usually one of the most expensive running costs for drivers, so the increase in premiums will be unwelcome, particularly in the current climate when household finances are being squeezed significantly,” said CompareTheMarket.com’s director, Alex Hasty. “Insurers use many factors to calculate car insurance premiums, based on the individual and their driving, as well as the make and model of the vehicle. Normally, the bigger the engine your car has, the higher the insurance premium. Alarms, immobilisers, or other built-in security features can bring down the cost of insurance by making a car more difficult to steal.”

Motor or car insurance application with car key