Car insurance groups explained

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

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Understanding car insurance groups and how they affect your premium can help you save money on your car insurance

What are car insurance groups?

Every car belongs to one of 50 car insurance groups, which are used by insurers to help set the premium you pay. Cars in group one are the cheapest to insure, while those in group 50 are the most expensive – and the more powerful and luxurious your car, the higher the group it will be in.

What do car insurance groups mean?

As car insurance groups are one of the factors insurers use to decide how much you pay for cover, you can often lower your premiums by choosing to drive a car in a lower insurance group, as set by the ‘group rating system’ used by most insurance providers. 

You can find out what insurance group a car is in using our handy car insurance group checker. If you have your heart set on a car in a high insurance group, you can also still save money by comparing car insurance policies to find the best deal for you. 

How are car insurance groups decided?

Insurance groups are decided by the ‘group rating panel’, which is made up of members of the Association of British Insurers and the Lloyds Market Association and is supported by Thatcham Research. The panel categorises new car models based on the following factors:

  • New car value: The price of a new car and its specifications are a good indication of potential replacement and repair costs 

  • Parts and repair: Repair costs can also be estimated based on the likely extent of damage to each model and the price of the parts involved (the price of 23 common parts is used for comparison purposes) 

  • Repair times: Repairs that take longer generally cost more, so higher average repair times can push cars into a higher insurance group 

  • Performance: High-performance cars are more likely to be involved in 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, which could mean a lower insurance group rating 

  • Bumper compatibility: The alignment and structure of a car’s bumper also affects the potential cost of insuring it – and therefore its insurance group

  • Car security: Security features, such as alarm or immobilisation systems and high-security door locks, can lower the insurance group into which a car is placed (but lost keys/fobs cost more to replace)  

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

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Your car

Your car insurance group

Group 8/50

8
1
50

This car is among the lower insurance groups which should be good news for your premium. Cars in lower groups are typically cheaper to insure.

This car ranks in the middle insurance groups so it isn’t among the cheapest cars to insure, but it won’t be one of the most expensive.

This car is towards the higher end of the scale which means it could be relatively expensive to insure.

Find out which insurance group your car is in

It’s easy to find out which insurance group your car is in using the MoneySuperMarket car insurance group checker above. MoneySuperMarket data shows that cars in groups one to three are often among the cheapest to insure.

 

What are the cheapest cars to insure?

Normally, the cheapest cars to insure are low-specification models with smaller engines that are cheap to repair when necessary and are also generally relatively inexpensive to buy new. Examples of cars of this kind include the Citroen C1, the Ford Ka and the Volkswagen Up!. 

 

Car insurance groups 1-10

Cars in insurance groups 1-10 are typically the cheapest cars to insure. Find out more about groups 1-10 in the links below:

Group 1 car insurance

Group 2 car insurance

Group 3 car insurance

Group 4 car insurance

Group 5 car insurance

Group 6 car insurance

Group 7 car insurance

Group 8 car insurance

Group 9 car insurance

Group 10 car insurance

What insurance group do electric cars fall into?

Electric cars, like any other cars, are sorted into insurance groups indicating the overall risk they present to an insurer. These groups are also numbered 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 that common, even though the numbers on the road are rising. This means conducting repairs or finding replacement parts can be more difficult than with a standard fuel-powered car.

As a result, electric cars may be placed in higher insurance groups than petrol and diesel vehicles of the same class and size – meaning they may well be more expensive to insure.

How is car insurance calculated?

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

  • Your age: Statistics indicate young drivers are more likely to be involved in road accidents due to their inexperience on the road. You therefore pay more for car insurance, at least until you turn 25

  • Your driving history: Having a record of previous claims or driving convictions is also likely to count against you

  • Your address: Some areas in the UK see higher levels of theft or vandalism than others, so if you live in a high-crime postcode you might have to pay higher premiums

  • Your occupation: Certain industries and occupations 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, even if your car is in a higher group, there are still ways to reduce your premiums:

  • 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

  • Excess: Increasing the amount you agree to pay towards any claims – known as the excess – will usually drive your premiums down

  • Named drivers: Adding a named driver with lots of driving experience and few motor insurance claims can reduce the cost of cover 

  • Pay annually: Insurers often offer discounts if you pay annually instead of monthly

  • No-claims bonus: Insurers may reduce the cost of your policy if you haven’t made a previous insurance claim in a while – the longer the better

  • Drive less: Driving less means you can give a lower approximate mileage, thus reducing the chances of you being involved in an incident and needing to claim

  • Telematics: Telematics, or black box insurance, policies allow your insurer to monitor your driving habits, and the better you drive the lower your premiums can be 

  • Pay-as-you-go: Pay-as-you-go policies generally involve paying a fixed monthly premium to cover your car while it’s parked, plus an amount based on how much you drive – usually per 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 wide range of providers.

You can sort these by the level of cover provided, and can also check any add-ons included either as standard or for an extra fee. Then just click through to the provider of the deal you like best.  

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.

This video information is available as a Text Transcript

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