Every car belongs to a car insurance group, which effectively bands cars from the cheapest to most expensive to insure. Insurers will use the Group Rating System, or their own groupings, in their calculation of premiums.
Buying cars that belong to a low insurance group is one way you can drive down the cost of your premium. Another way to reduce premiums is to compare cheap car insurance quotes and find the most appropriate cover for the best price.
Not sure what insurance group your car is in? Use our car insurance group checker to find out.
What is the Group Rating system?
Insurance grouping is decided by the Group Rating Panel (members of the Association of British Insurers and the Lloyds Market Association), which is supported by Thatcham Research.
This panel decides which insurance group new car models fall into – group one being the cheapest, and group 50 the most expensive to insure.
MoneySuperMarket data, taken between June and December 2016, shows that some of the cheapest cars to insure fall into groups one to three, including the Fiat Panda, Fiat 500 and the Ford Ka.
Low insurance car groups
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, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Up! In the lower groups and among the cheapest to insure.
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.
Car manufacturer and model
25 and under
Volkswagen Beetle, Volkswagen Fox, Fiat Panda, Peugeot 107, Citroen C1
Ford Ka, Volkswagen Up!, Fiat 500, Mazda 2, Seat Mii
Mazda MX 5, Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat 500, Vauxhall Adam, Volkswagen Up!
Skoda Citigo, Volkswagen Up!, Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat 500, Peugeot 108
Volkswagen Up!, Skoda Citigo, Fiat 500, Fiat Panda, Volkswagen Beetle
Mazda MX5, Skoda Citigo, Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10, Fiat Panda
Mazda MX5, Skoda Citigo, Hyundai i10, Fiat 500, Ford Ka
Skoda Citigo, Volkswagen Up!, Ford Ka, Fiat Panda, Mazda MX5
Volkswagen Up!, Smart Fortwo, Skoda Citigo, Ford Ka, Suzuki Alto
66 and over
Mazda MX5, Smart Fortwo, Mini One, Ford Ka, Fiat 500
MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of December 2016.
How are car insurance groups decided?
Cars are assigned to their insurance group based on a number of factors. These include:
New car values: The new car price and specifications provide a guide to replacement and repair costs.
Damage and parts costs: 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 manufacturers' 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 the acceleration and top speed of vehicles 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 so could benefit from a lower insurance group rating.
Bumper compatibility: The alignment and structure of bumpers can help a car to receive a lower insurance rating.
Car security: Cars with security features, such as alarm or immobilisation systems and high security door locks, could see a lower insurance group. But be aware, 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).
Key in your reg to find out where your car sits
Enter your registration number
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The car registration
Matches the car
Which belongs to Car Insurance Group
Cutting 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 you already have a car not among the lower groups and want to reduce the price of your policy, there are still a number ways to get a cheaper insurance quote...
- Add some security-enhancing systems, such as recognised and approved immobilisers and alarms. These devices make your car more secure and therefore reduce the chances of you claiming due to theft.
- If you choose to pay a higher voluntary excess – the amount you contribute in the event of a claim – then you may get a lower premium quoted.
- Perhaps pay the annual policy upfront in one lump sum. This will typically work out cheaper than monthly direct debits as insurers often charge interest on monthly payments.
- Choosing to include just the essentials and not adding optional extras – such as having the use of a courtesy car if yours is unavailable – will also keep costs down.
- All of the above will help, but one of the best ways to find the best value insurance policy for you is to shop around.
Or try telematics
- New and young drivers might consider a telematics insurance policy. This uses a satellite tracker to monitor how well the car is being driven. By measuring speed, acceleration and braking, this technology gives insurers a detailed picture of the risks drivers pose.
- In short, safer and considerate drivers can be rewarded with lower insurance premiums – MoneySuperMarket data suggests that young drivers could save up to £200 a year on their premium if they have a telematics policy.
For more ideas on how to reduce the cost of your car insurance premiums, visit our money saving tips page.