What Are the Different Car Insurance Groups?

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What Are the Different Car Insurance Groups?

What is car insurance?

Having car insurance ensures you are covered financially if the worst were to happen to your car. Such incidents could involve damage from an accident, theft, vandalisation and fire damage. Car insurance means you won't have to dig into your pocket to pay for potentially huge repair or replacement costs.

Car insurance is a legal requirement for cars driving on public roads. You will be heavily penalised if you are found to be driving without insurance. The minimum level of coverage you must legally have is third-party car insurance. Third-party insurance covers the damage to another person's car, for example, in a collision accident, but provides limited cover for your vehicle.

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How much does car insurance cost?

Car insurance is either made up of an annual or monthly premium. Annual premiums are paid in a single lump sum when a policy is purchased; monthly premiums require a deposit and a monthly direct debit. Many factors come into play that will affect the cost of your car insurance. It needn't cost the earth when you take the time to compare premiums.

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What Are the Different Car Insurance Groups?

Although insurers refer to car insurance groups by their number, consumers often don’t. Fifty groups exist, and this variety can raise questions and confuse those unfamiliar with cars. If you understand the automobile industry well, this knowledge assists you. If you can differentiate between ABS and MOT, you can likely gauge where a specific vehicle stands on the scale by comparing them.

However, as many still don’t understand, this article explores the basics and ensures everyone understands what to expect regarding premiums.

The Basics

To begin with, the various groups are rated sequentially from one to fifty, with fifty having the highest premiums and one the lowest. Recently, we looked at the cheapest cars to insure this year. However, you may be surprised that they are all in group one.

Conversely, the BMW 7 Series and the Jaguar XK R are two premium cars in group 50. Be prepared for the insurance to cost you a lot if you invest in one.

Consequently, in terms of insurance expenses between the Dacia Sandero and the Lotus Evora S, almost every other roadworthy and road-legal car is on the market.

What Makes the Difference Between Groups?

The question of which of the fifty groups a given car is categorised into is influenced by many factors and is a complicated decision. With new car models needing an insurance group as they come on the market, it can only sometimes be about the established road record of the existing makes and models.

Customer Demographic

Customer demographic and how risky the average driver of a given car is one factor; safety reports and resilience are another. How likely it is to be driven fast is a significant factor for Group 50. Whether a vehicle will likely be gone in off-road circumstances beyond its capabilities, as 4x4s are sometimes pushed to do – can also be a factor. A competent car is often made harder than one which isn’t expected to do as much.

Of course, this overlooks one of the best ways to drop a group or two down and save money on your car’s insurance requirements. To do so, look for the vehicle version you want to be used by professionals, taxis, delivery drivers, and the like.

Considering the demographic, the insurer places a risk on the age of the car’s driver.

What are the different car insurance groups in the UK?

In the UK, cars are placed into one of 50 car insurance groups. Insurance companies use this to determine the cost of car insurance. The groups range from Group 1, which includes the cheapest vehicles to insure, to Group 50, which consists of the most expensive cars.

The insurance group a car is placed in depends on several factors, including:

  1. Cost: The vehicle’s and parts’ fees determine its insurance group.
  2. Performance: Cars with high-performance engines and top speeds are often placed in higher insurance groups.
  3. Security: Cars with advanced security features like immobilisers and alarms are often placed in lower insurance groups.
  4. Size and weight: Large and heavier cars are often placed in higher insurance groups due to the increased risk of damage in an accident.
  5. Repair costs: Cars with higher repair costs, such as luxury vehicles or imported cars, are often placed in higher insurance groups.

Checking a car’s insurance group before purchasing it is always advisable. A car’s insurance group can significantly impact the cost of car insurance.

Group Rating System

The Group Rating Panel, administered by Thatcham Research, assigns new car models to an insurance group from 1 (cheapest to insure) to 50 (the most expensive).

Therefore, cars in the highest groups, typically high-performance models, will likely cost insurers the most in insurance claims. Insurers may use the panel’s recommendations in calculating car insurance premiums or use their groupings.

According to the Association of British Insurers, the cost of motor vehicle repairs accounts for over half of all the money paid in motor insurance claims. Repair costs feature strongly in how the groups are defined.

Based on its research, Thatcham defines the factors used to assess new cars below.

Damage and parts costs

This covers the likely extent of damage to each car and the cost of the parts used to repair. As a result, the cheaper the price, the more it’s expected to be in a lower group rating.

Repair costs and times

Longer repair times increase the cost, resulting in a higher group rating. Types of paint finishes are also an essential factor.

New car values

The prices of new cars are considered, as they’re an excellent guide to the cost of replacement and repair.

Parts prices

A standard list of 23 common parts compares the cost of manufacturer claims. The lower these costs, the more likely a lower group rating.

Car performance

Acceleration and top speed are important factors. Insurance claims statistics show that high-performance cars often result in more frequent insurance claims.


Cars fitted with AEB as standard will have a lower insurance rating, as they help reduce low speed.

Bumper compatibility

Cars with bumpers compatible with the insurer’s criteria will qualify for lower insurance ratings.

Car security

Lastly, features include high-security door locks, alarm or immobilisation systems and glass etching. Consequently, motor manufacturers’ security features can help reduce insurance claims costs.


In summary, the group rating system, administered by Thatcham Research, assigns insurance groups to new car models. Groups range from 1 to 50, one being the cheapest to insure and 50 the most expensive. Ratings are based on several factors, including repair and parts costs, repair times and type of paint finishes, new car values, standard parts prices, car performance, safety features, bumper compatibility, and car security. Insurance companies may use these ratings to calculate car insurance premiums or create groupings. The cost of motor vehicle repairs, which comprise over half of all insurance claims, heavily influences how the groups are defined.

Which car insurance group should I look at?

In conclusion, if you are considering buying a new car and wish to keep costs down, consider a low group-rated car. Remember, the Dacia Sandero is rated as one of the lowest.


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