If you’re in the market for a new car, you’ve probably got in mind a specific make and model that suits you, your lifestyle and your budget.
And while ever-increasing petrol prices mean most savvy motorists will at least check a car’s mpg before they buy, not everyone stops to consider how much the thing will cost to insure - which can lead to a nasty surprise when it comes to getting cover.
So if you’re looking to cut down your motoring costs, choosing the right car could help make your annual premium more affordable – particularly if you’re a young driver.
Of course, insurers also take a number of other factors into account, such as your age, where you live, driving experience and claims history, but which make and model of car you drive is also key.
This is because insurers put each and every make and model of car into one of 50 insurance groups, and the general rule of thumb is the higher the group number, the more expensive your car insurance premium will be.
There is a separate listing for light commercial vehicles, so if you’ve got a work’s van that’ll be in one of 20 insurance groups.
So what factors affect which group your car will fall into?
Insurers work out policy prices on the basis of statistical risk – that’s why younger drivers pay more for cover than more experienced motorists – and so if your car is a highly desirable make or high performance, then insurers will consider it a greater crash or theft risk and put it in a higher group.
In short, that’s why a 1litre Ford Fiesta costs less to insure than a 3-Series BMW M-sport model!
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 its likely your car will fall into one of the higher insurance groups.
If, however, your car has an impressive range of security measures fitted as standard – this will put it in a lower group than a similar car with fewer security features.
So if you’re looking for a car, and you’ve a tight motoring budget, it’s worth finding out what insurance group it falls into before you buy – it could save you a packet on your premium.