Every car belongs to one of 50 car insurance groups which band cars from the cheapest to the most expensive to insure, starting with group one (the cheapest) and ending with group 50 (the most expensive). 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 firms 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.
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
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 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). Key in your reg to find out where your car sits
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MoneySuperMarket data, taken between January and June 2019, shows that some of the cheapest cars to insure fall into groups one to three.
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.
Car manufacturer and model
Fiat Panda, Citroen C1, Peugeot 107, Skoda Citigo, Volkswagen Fox
Citroen C1, Ford Ka, Peugeot 107, Fiat 500, Mazda 2
Mazda MX-5, Volkswagen Up!, Citroen C1, Fiat 500, Hyundai I10
Mazda MX-5, Citroen C1, Hyundai I10, Volkswagen Up!, Fiat 500
Mazda MX-5, Peugeot 107, Fiat Panda, Citroen C1, Ford KA
Mazda MX-5, Smart ForTwo, Mini One, Fiat 500, Ford KA
How to 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 it reduces the chances of you being involved in an incident and needing to claim
Telematics: Telematics, 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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