Car Insurance Groups Explained

, Jan 08 2013 at 4:00 pm

The insurance group to which your car belongs will have a major bearing on how much your car insurance premiums will cost, so it’s important to understand which category your own model, or a model you are planning to buy, falls into.

Here, we explain how car insurance groups work, and the factors that determine which group different cars belong to.

What are car insurance groups?

There are a total of 50 car insurance groups in total, ranked between 1 and 50. The lower your car’s insurance group rating is, the lower your premiums are likely to be, as these cars are considered lowest risk by insurers.

Various factors are looked at to decide which car insurance group each model of car will fall into. These include its power and value, and how much spare parts and repairs are likely to cost. For example, if your car is a high performance model which accelerates quickly and can reach very high speeds, it will have a higher insurance group rating because there is a greater risk of theft or an accident.

Cars with fitted security measures, meanwhile, such as immobilisers, wheel locking devices and alarm systems may belong to lower insurance groups because they are less likely to be stolen.

Also, if your car is manufactured abroad or is defined a ‘non-standard’ vehicle, perhaps because of its construction or spec, then it is likely to have a higher rating as it may not be as easy to get hold of spare parts in the event of an accident.

Why is it important to check before you buy a new car?

If you are in the market for a new car, you should find out which insurance group the car you are interested in buying belongs to, so that you don’t end up getting any nasty surprises when it comes to getting the insurance.

You can find out which cars belong to which insurance groups at the Thatcham website: http://www.thatcham.org/.

What else can you do to bring down premiums?

If you have a car in a high insurance category there are tactics you can adopt to try and keep your premiums as low as possible.

First, make sure you don’t modify your car in any way. Fitting alloy wheels or expensive stereos can increase the chances of the car being stolen and lead to higher insurance premiums, so if you want cheap car insurance you should avoid any changes. (If you do modify your vehicle, be sure to tell your insurer straight away to avoid the risk of invalidating your cover.)

When obtaining insurance quotes, make sure you get your mileage right. If you over-estimate the number of miles you drive each year, you could end up paying more for your cover than you need.

You may also want to consider increasing your excess, which is the portion of any insurance claim which you must pay yourself. However, you must still be able to afford it, otherwise you won’t be able to make a claim if you have an accident.

Another way to keep premiums down is to build up a no-claims discount. Insurers reward careful drivers with a discount on their premiums, so avoid making claims wherever possible. If you don’t make a claim for five consecutive years, you could knock more than 70% off your car insurance premium.

Finally, remember that you should also always shop around for car insurance and seek out the best possible deal for your circumstances, as you could save hundreds of pounds. The MoneySupermarket quotation facility is easy to use and allows you to change the various elements of your quote details so that you can find the best combination of cover and price.

Once you have chosen a policy, try if possible to pay your premiums for the year upfront, as there will usually be steep interest charges added if you pay monthly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>