When you think of a VW Polo, it’s hard not to think of its closely related big brother, the VW Golf. The two models share a similar body shape and even many of the same engine parts, though the Polo is a smaller car – and cheaper too.
Its lower price point makes it a popular choice with young drivers (Millennials rank it higher than the Golf, according to YouGov), but the Polo’s appeal extends across all ages. VW Polo was the fifth best-selling car in the UK in 2021, beating the VW Golf in sixth place. In a slow year for car sales, that’s not a bad performance.
The Polo’s smaller size, price tag and engine size are matched by its lower insurance costs too. You can find a number of VW Polos models in insurance group one (out of 50) – making them among the cheapest cars to insure.
Even the most expensive Polos are still quite affordable when it comes to insurance. The priciest options only make it as high as group 30 (compared with Golfs, which range from group 6 to 36).
But insurance groups are just one factor insurance companies use to work out their quotes – your age, address, marital status and driving history could see you pay more than standard, while a good no claims discount could bring down your costs.
First, here's a quick insurance groups explainer:
Some of the cheapest Polos to insure
Some of the most expensive Polos to insure
A 35-year-old woman driver could pay as little as £410 a year to insure a 2018 VW Polo Beats 1.0 litre 5-door (but to get this price you’d need to fit a special telematics box to your car, which tracks how you drive).
There are some real bargain-basement second-hand Polos on the market, with prices as low as £300 for a 2001 1.4 Match 5-door. The insurance costs will be higher than the price you pay for the car (but still cheap), starting from around £323 per year.
If you’re after that new-car-feeling, the updated 2022 VW Polo is available in the UK now and starts from £17,885 for the Polo Life, while the sportier R-Line versions start at just over £20,000. The price of insurance is pretty good on a brand-new Polo too. The Life range can cost as little as £463 a year if you’re willing to set a voluntary excess of £500 on top of the £300 compulsory excess.
When trying to decide between a Golf and a Polo, it all comes down to price, size, and how you’ll use it. The Golf offers that extra bit of comfort on longer drives, while the Polo makes a great city car – easy to park and light on petrol.
Bottom line? The Polo offers all the benefits of a small car with a similar look to the Golf, and the reliability and quality of the VW brand. It’s easy to see why the VW Polo continues to pull its (light)weight as one of the most popular cars in the UK.