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Car Insurance Groups Explained

Find out some more about car insurance groups, what they mean, and their effect on premiums

Understanding your car’s insurance group and how this is understood by insurers can be useful for making savings

What are car insurance groups?

Every car is placed within one of 50 car insurance groups which, effectively, reflect the risk associated with the model of your car. These range from one to 50, with one being the cheapest car insurance group and 50 the most expensive. This grouping system is funded by insurance companies and used to determine quotes. That’s why aiming to buy a car in a low insurance group is a useful way to keep the cost of your cover down.

If you are unsure what insurance group your car is in, we recommend using a car insurance group checker to find out ahead of time.

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How are car insurance groups decided?

The car insurance categories used by providers are decided by a panel of members from the Association of British Insurers and the Lloyds Market Association. The group rating panel determine the grouping of each new car model based on a number of factors:

Repair timing

Some cars, particularly those that are rarer or of high value, will use parts that are harder to source and will often be less straightforward to fix. With repairs accounting for over half of all insurance claims, it is no surprise that a car’s repair time is one of the most significant factors in determining the insurance grouping of cars.

Performance

As anyone that has taken out car insurance before will be aware, your car’s engine size is sure to have an influence on the price of your cover. This is because cars that are able to accelerate quickly and reach high top speeds tend to cause more damage when involved in accidents and, as a result, are higher-risk.

Price of parts

Should you happen to drive a car that has been manufactured with foreign parts or a classic car that no longer has parts produced, this will be reflected in its insurance group. The group rating panel determine this by comparing a standard list of 23 common parts ordered as a result of accidents. The lower the average of these parts, the lower the insurance group.

Security

Cars that are fitted with extensive security features by the manufacturer will often result in a lower insurance grouping. High quality door locks, alarms, immobilisation systems, and locking devices for alloy wheels are common security factors that are considered when deciding car insurance groups.

Safety

Cars that are fitted with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems are much less likely to be involved in the kind of low-speed accidents that tend to occur in traffic. Cars that feature AEB systems will often be placed in lower groups as a result of this.

Why is it worth knowing which insurance group my car is in?

It is always worth considering car insurance groups as they can be a very good indictor of how safe your car is and whether it is likely to be expensive to get repaired in the event of an accident. You may find, for instance, that getting the same model of your favourite car but from a different year may result in significantly cheaper cover.

What are the cheapest cars to insure?

As you might expect, cars that feature smaller engines and are still in production are much more likely to be placed in the cheapest insurance groups. That’s why cars such as the Volkswagon Polo, the Ford Ka+, and Ford Fiesta are generally among the cheapest to insure. To see some of the best value options available, read Auto Express’s article on the cheapest cars to insure in the UK.

Insurance Groups Vehicle make and model
0-5 Chevrolet Spark, Citroen C1, Ford KA, Peugeot 107, Skoda Fabia Classic, Vauxhall Corsa  
6-10 Citroen C2, Toyota Iq 3, Fiat 500, Chevrolet Matiz, Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2  
11-15 Kia Soul 2, Ford C-Max Zetec, Chevrolet Kalos S, Seat Ibiza Sport  
16-20 Jeep Patriot Sport, Audi A1, Citroen C4, Toyota Auris Tr, Volvo C30 Es  
21-25 Audi A3, Peugeot 3008 Exclusive, Citroen C5, Subaru Outback S D, Honda Accord, Renault Megane  
26-30 BMW X1, Ford Escort, Landrover Defender, Audi A6 Tdi, Peugeot 407 Se V6, Volkswagen Golf  
31-35 Mini Cooper S Mayfair, Mazda MX-5, Vauxhall Corsa Vxr, Skoda Octavia, Vauxhall Vectra, Volvo S80 Se  
36-40 Cadillac Bls Elegance, Mitsubishi Shogun, Jaguar X-Type Se, Volkswagen Golf Hatchback, Porsche Cayenne  
41-45 Nissan Murano, Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayman, Honda Legend Ex, Honda Legend Saloon  
46-50 Infiniti M30D, Audi TT Roadster, Ford Mustang, Nissan 370Z, Bmw M6 Coupe  

How to cut the cost of car insurance

While buying a car from one of the lower insurance groups is one of the best ways to cut the cost of your cover, there are other things you can do that can help. Here are some of the key areas that can help reduce the price of premiums for low insurance group cars or lessen the financial impact of owning a car in a higher group.

Car security

Upping your car’s security can have a very positive effect on the price of your insurance. While not all providers will reduce premiums because of increased security, the majority do and use Thatcham Research as their way to measure this. Each car is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, where 5 stars is the most secure. To find out how you car fares, you can use Thatcham’s Vehicle Search. As a rule of thumb, electronic alarms, immobilisers, and wheel locks are some of the key features that are rewarded with cheaper insurance.

Increase your voluntary excess

With your insurance quote being based entirely on the risk that providers are taking on, reducing the amount they might need to pay our in the event of an accident is sure to be rewarded in cheaper cover. Upping your premiums does just this. While receiving cheaper quotes by doing this can initially be exciting, it is worth being realistic with the amount you set as you will need to pay this amount yourself should you need to claim.

Drive less

Much like increasing your voluntary excess, lessening the amount of time you spend on the road will always be looked upon favourably by insurers. By lowering your annual mileage, providers will tend to offer you a better deal on your insurance. Once again, however, this must be a feasible amount as driving more than your policy’s agreed upon amount can quickly lead to an upped voluntary excess and premiums.

Telematics

While many still consider black box car insurance policies as something reserved for first-time drivers, this kind of cover has become an increasingly popular choice. By monitoring your driving habits, insurers will reward safe driving with cheaper premiums. This can be particularly useful for those with cars in higher insurance groups that are looking to cut down their costs.

Pay annually

For many, the idea of paying for your insurance up front can feel very unrealistic. Paying annually can, however, be very financially-savvy. This is because when you pay monthly you are effectively taking out a loan from your insurance provider at a very high interest rate. Ultimately, this can increase the amount paid by anywhere between 15-35%. That’s why it is worth considering taking out a 0% interest credit card to pay the amount up front and then pay this off monthly.

Compare quotes

When it comes to finding cheaper insurance, comparison is essential. This is because no two providers are the same in how they reach their quotes and can, because of this, reach very different conclusions about the risk you present as a driver. That’s why Insuro’s comparison tool compares an extensive range of over 100 providers. Fill in our form below and see why over half of our customers receive quotes of less than £350 when they compare with us.

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