Group therapy for motorists

Driving
Buying a car, whether it’s second-hand or brand spanking new, is always exciting, but finding out how much you’ll have to pay to insure it usually isn’t quite so pleasurable. When deciding which car to buy, drivers have different priorities, but the majority are looking for a reliable model which will get them from A to B without breaking down, and which has minimal running costs. Aesthetics are also important to many people – after all, no-one wants their motor to be laughed at. It can be all too easy for insurance to slip down the list of things to consider, but if you don’t give it some careful thought, you could be in for a nasty shock when you eventually get round to buying cover. Soaring living costs mean that many of us struggle to cover the cost of car insurance, with younger drivers in particular facing premiums which can run into thousands of pounds a year. But choose the right car, and you could help ensure that your premiums are affordable. This might sound easier said than done, but in fact it’s not too difficult to get a rough idea of how expensive your car is likely to be to insure. You can do this by checking which insurance group your motor belongs to. Every make and model of car falls into one of 50 different insurance groups – the higher the number group, the more expensive your car insurance premiums will be. Of course, insurers also take lots of other factors into account, such as your age, driving experience and claims history, but which make and model of car your drive is also key. These insurance groups have been decided on by the Group Rating Panel, which is made up of representatives of the insurance industry, including members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Lloyd’s Market Association. Factors which will affect which group your particular car falls into include things such as any security measures which might be included as standard, as well as whether your car is a high performance model or not. Much as you might like to think your speedy Ford Fiesta falls into the high performance category, we’re actually talking about cars such as the Chevrolet or Porsche. Repair costs will also have a bearing, so if you’ve got a motor that was manufactured overseas and finding spare parts is tricky, then again your car is likely to fall into one of the higher insurance groups. So, for example, if you want a car in insurance group 1, you’re looking at cars such as the Fiat Panda 1.1 Active. By contrast, the BMW 6 Series Gran Couple 650i SE falls into insurance group 50, which means premiums are likely to cost an arm and a leg. Admittedly the Fiat Panda might not give you quite the same street-cred at a BMW, but at least when it comes to insurance premiums, you’ll be the one having the last laugh.

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