How do Car Insurance Groups Work?

When looking to buy a new car it always helps to be aware of how car insurance groups work so that you can get cheap car insurance when it comes to insuring your car. Your insurance premium will be based on the make and model of your car, and which insurance group it falls into. So before making your next purchase, be sure to check which group the car will fall into and understand how this will affect the cost of your premium.

The Group Rating System

There are 50 different insurance groups that a car will be assigned to (up from just 20 in 2009). Group 1 being the cheapest to insure, and group 50 being the most expensive to insure.

The system is administered by Thatcham Research, with the groups being allocated by a ‘Group Rating Panel’. The Group Rating Panel consists of members of the Association of British Insurers, and Lloyds Market Association, and they make monthly assessments on which category new models will be assigned to.

The idea is that cars with similar characteristics are banded together in the same category.

Which factors determine the group a car falls into?

The following factors are taken into consideration by the Group Rating Panel when determining which category a car will be allocated to:

  • Damage and Parts Costs – lower costs will contribute to a lower group rating.
  • Repair Times – cars that take longer to repair are placed in higher categories as they usually cost more.
  • New car values – more expensive cars are placed in higher categories
  • Performance of the car – high performance cars are placed in higher categories
  • Car safety – cars with better safety features are seen to be less likely to be involved in an accident and are put into lower categories
  • Bumper Compatibility – bumper alignment plays a role in protecting against damage in collisions, and cars are placed into lower categories if their bumpers satisfy the insurers criteria
  • Car Security – cars with security devices fitted are placed into lower categories

List of car insurance groups

Here are a few examples of the categories some popular cars fall into. This list is by no means exhaustive, and be aware that sometimes cars are reclassified so be sure to double check before you buy:

Car Insurance Groups 1-5

Citroen C1, Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Ka

Car Insurance Groups 6-10

Fiat Punto, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Fiat 500

Car Insurance Groups 11-15

Audi A2, Citroen C3

Car Insurance Groups 16-20

Citroen Xsara, Audi A3, Renault Clio, Vauxhall Astra

Car Insurance Groups 21-25

BMW 318, Hyundai Coupe, Landrover Discovery, Renault Megane

Car Insurance Groups 26-30

MGF, Peugeot 207, Subaru Impreza, Audi A6

Car Insurance Groups 31-35

BMW Z3, Honda Accord, Mercedes-Benz C200, Mini Cooper

Car Insurance Groups 36-40

Jaguar Sovereign, Lotus Elise Convertible, Audi A6 Le Mans Quattro

Car Insurance Groups 41-45

Citroen C6, Porsche Cayman, Audi A8, Mitsubishi Lancer, BMW 550

Car Insurance Groups 46-50

BMW 730, Ford Gt, Porsche 911 Carrera

Which cars are the cheapest to insure?

Cars with smaller engines, lower specifications, and that are cheaper when new all tend to be cheaper to insure, and thus fall into the lower categories. So Vauxhalls Corsas, Ford Kas and Ford Fiestas are much cheaper to insure than Mini Coopers and Mitsubishi Lancers. But remember, insurance groups are just one factor that determines the overall cost of your insurance premium.

What other ways can I save on car insurance?

First and foremost, you have to make sure that you shop around for insurance quotes before you take out an insurance policy. With a car insurance price comparison site can take just minutes for you to find cheap deals that meet your exact needs and are organised conveniently by price. Why pay more for the exact same thing you can get from another insurer for cheaper?

Aside from this, you can also play around with the specifics of your insurance policy in order to get a cheaper quote. Opting to pay a higher excess could reduce the price of your premium, as well as paying annually instead of monthly. Also, counterintuitively, opting for a more comprehensive insurance package can sometimes lead to paying lower insurance premiums too.

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