Car insurance groups explained

See how and why your car’s insurance group affects your premiums

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If you're looking to save money on your premium, an understanding of car insurance groups and how they affect the price of your policy can be useful

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What are car insurance groups?

Every car belongs to one of 50 car insurance groups, which band cars from the cheapest to the most expensive to insure. It starts with group one (the cheapest) and ends with group 50 (the most expensive) – and the more powerful, expensive and rarer your car, the higher the group it will be in.

What do car insurance groups mean?

Insurers generally use the ‘group rating system’ – which is run by a research institution the car insurance providers all pay for together – to calculate your premiums, though some use their own groupings. Buying cars in a low insurance group is one way you can drive down the cost of your premium.

Not sure what insurance group your car is in? Use our car insurance group checker to find out.

The cheapest car make to insure is Triumph at a cost of £108

Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver holding a full UK licence. Data collected between Jan and Sept 2020, accurate as of October 2020

How are car insurance groups decided?

Insurance grouping is decided by the group rating panel, made up of members of the Association of British Insurers and the Lloyds Market Association and supported by Thatcham Research. The panel decides which insurance group new car models fall into based on the following factors:

  • New car values: The price of a new car and its specifications are a guide to potential replacement and repair costs
  • Parts and repair: The likely extent of damage to each model and the price of the parts involved also indicate repair costs, and lower costs usually mean a lower group rating
  • Parts prices: A list of 23 common parts is used to compare one manufacturer’s parts costs to another
  • Repair times: Long repair times mean higher costs and a higher group rating. According to Thatcham Research, over half of all money paid out in motor insurance claims goes on repairing cars – so the cost of spare parts and repair times are major factors in pricing motor insurance
  • Performance: High-performance cars are at higher risk of frequent insurance claims, so acceleration and top speed are taken into account
  • Safety: Vehicles fitted with AEB (autonomous emergency braking) systems are more likely to avoid low-speed front-to-rear accidents and could make for a lower insurance group rating
  • Bumper compatibility: The alignment and structure of bumpers is a factor
  • Car security: Cars with security features, such as alarm or immobilisation systems and high-security door locks, could enjoy a lower insurance group. But if you lose a key or fob it will be more expensive to replace.

Using this MoneySuperMarket tool, you can find out how the leading car insurance providers approach the subject.

Find out which insurance group your car is in

Every car in the UK is allocated an insurance group to help insurers work out the cost of cover, running from 1 (cheapest premiums) to 50 (highest).
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Find out which insurance group your car is in

MoneySuperMarket data, taken between January and September 2020, shows that some of the cheapest cars to insure fall into groups one to three. 

 

The cheapest car model to insure is the BMW Z3 at an average of £170 a year

Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver holding a full UK licence. Data collected between Jan and Sept 2020, accurate as of October 2020

What are the cheapest cars to insure?

Normally, the cheapest cars to insure are the same vehicles that are relatively inexpensive to purchase – low-specification models with smaller engines. Therefore you can expect to find cars such as the Citroen C1, the Ford Ka and the Volkswagen Up! In the lower groups.

We’ve analysed the data and below is a breakdown of some of the cheapest car groups to insure, depending on which age group you fall in to.

 

Age group

Car manufacturer and model

17-19

Fiat 500, Ford KA, Citroen C1, Peugeot 107, Toyota Aygo

20-24

Volkswagen Up!, Fiat 500, Vauxhall Adam, Citroen C1, Peugeot 107

25-29

Fiat 500, Citroen C1, Ford KA, Hyundai I10, Mazda 2

30-39

Fiat 500, Hyundai I10, Citroen C1, Mazda 2, Ford KA

40-49

Fiat 500, Hyundai I10, Citroen C1, Dacia Sandero, Hyundai I20

50-64

Mazda MX-5, Volkswagen Up!, Citroen C1, Hyundai I10, Fiat Panda

65+

Ford KA, Peugeot 107, Volkswagen Up!, Citroen C1, Fiat 500

What insurance group do electric cars fall into?

Electric cars, like any other cars, are sorted into insurance groups as a way of categorising the overall risk it would present to an insurer. These groups are numbered from one to 50, with the lowest being the cheapest to insure.

However at the moment electric cars are still viewed as somewhat specialist vehicles – they aren’t especially common, though their numbers on the road are rising. This means conducting repairs or finding replacement parts can be more difficult than it would be with a standard fuel-powered car.

As a result, you may find that electric cars aren’t often found in the lowest insurance groups – compared with petrol and diesel vehicles in their class and size, they’ll normally be more expensive to cover.

How is car insurance calculated?

Car insurance providers set your premiums based on the overall claim risk you represent to them, which is calculated by taking a range of factors into account. As well as the car you drive – and subsequently the insurance group it’s in – they also take the following into account:

  • Age: Your age is a major factor as it’s generally held that young drivers are more likely to be involved in a road accident owing to their inexperience on the road. The good news is once you turn 25, your premiums will usually fall
  • Driving history: Being inexperienced on the road is one thing, but having a record of previous claims or driving convictions are also likely to count against you
  • Location: Some areas in the UK see higher levels of theft or vandalism than others, so if you live in a postcode with high crime you might find this reflected in higher premiums
  • Occupation: Certain industries and occupations also carry higher risk factors, so your premiums can also be affected by the job you have

How can I cut the cost of car insurance?

Buying a vehicle in one of the lower insurance groups is one of the best ways to cut the cost of your policy. However, if your car is in a higher group and you want to reduce your premiums, there are several ways to get a cheaper insurance quote:

  • Car security and storage: Enhancing your car’s security features can reduce the chances of theft, as will keeping your car in a locked garage, so you’ll see lower premiums
  • Excess: This is what you pay towards a claim before your insurer covers the rest. You might be able to volunteer for a higher excess, which will drive your premiums down
  • Named drivers: Adding a named driver with lots of driving experience and few motor insurance claims can also reduce the cost of cover
  • Pay annually: Often insurers will give discounts to your premiums if you pay annually instead of monthly
  • No-claims bonus: Insurers may also reduce the cost of your policy if you haven’t made a previous insurance claim in a while – the longer the better
  • Drive less: You may be asked to give an approximate mileage for a quote, and if you drive less in a year, it reduces the chances of you being involved in an incident and needing to claim
  • TelematicsTelematics, or black box insurance, is when your insurer monitors your driving habits, and the better you drive the lower your premiums can be
  • Pay-as-you-go: There are increasing numbers of pay-as-you-go policies on the market. They generally involve a fixed monthly premium to cover your car while it’s parked, after which you only pay for how much you drive – usually by the mile

Compare car insurance quotes

Comparing car insurance quotes on MoneySuperMarket is the easiest way to find a cheaper deal for cover. All you need to do is tell us a little about yourself, your car and your driving history, and we’ll put together a list of deals from a range of providers.

You’ll be able to sort through by the level of cover you’ll get and the premiums you’ll pay for it, as well as any add-ons included either as standard or for an extra fee. Once you’ve found the deal you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.

As with all insurance policies, you should remember that the cheapest available quote isn’t necessarily the best. We recommend you aim for a balance between cost and coverage, as this ensures you have the right protection for the right price and you avoid being over- or under-insured.

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