Car insurance groups
Use our interactive tool to find out your vehicle’s insurance group
- The Association of British Insurers (ABI) can determine a car’s insurance group
- Ratings are based on the risk of the vehicle and affect the cost of insuring it
- Check a car’s insurance group rating using the form below
Check your car insurance group
- The Group Rating Panel puts vehicles in groups between one (lowest) and 50 (highest) every month after assessing data gathered from Thatcham
- Not all insurers use this rating, but they will use something similar when they assess a vehicle
- The lower the insurance group, the lower your premium is likely to be, but.
- . your vehicle is only one factor when it comes to calculating insurance prices – there are many other factors in play that may prove more significant
What is an insurance group?
The Group Rating Panel is made up of representatives of the insurance industry and meets every month to determine car insurance groups.
It assigns a group number between one and 50 to every model of vehicle. A group one vehicle would be in the lowest insurance group, group 50 the highest.
The main factor used by the panel to determine groupings is research conducted by the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre (Thatcham).
Cars with low insurance groups
If you’re shopping around for a new car, knowing its insurance group and how much it’ll cost to insure, may help to sway your decision. Use the calculator above to find the insurance group of a specific car you’ve got your eye on, or use the table below for an overview of the group.
Damage and parts costs
If it doesn’t cost the earth to repair your car, and the parts are ten a penny, you’ll find that your car insurance group is nice and low too.
If it’ll take days and weeks to repair your car, that’s a larger number of mechanic hours on the clock – you may find the insurance group is higher than a car that’s in and out of the garage in 15 minutes flat.
This may be the case if you’ve got an imported car or classic car, because chances are the parts are rarer, need to be shipped in, and may take specialist know-how and time to fit.
The value of your car as new informs the insurance group because it reveals how much it would really cost to repair or replace.
Availability of body shells
The panel takes into consideration the cost to replace the basic skeletal frame of the car too, aside from the value of the spare parts.
Again, if the frame is affordable and widely available it may reduce the insurance group.
If you want cheaper car insurance, the odds will be in your favour if you don’t buy a high performance car that accelerates to top speeds in the blink of an eye.
Finally, to find a car with a low insurance group, look at its security features, namely its locks, alarms, and immobilisers.
Not all car insurance companies choose to use the groups set by the panel, with some opting to set their own groupings instead.
But rating factors will be similar and if you use the tool above to find your car’s insurance group you’ll get an idea of where your vehicle stands in the table.
In our quotes process you can then quickly and easily compare multiple insurance brands to find the right policy at the right price.
Whichever set of insurance groups an insurer uses, you’ll typically find that cars in lower groups attract a cheaper premium.
Cars in higher insurance groups attract a higher premium, often because they’re high-performance models or prestige cars that have expensive repair or replacement costs.
Bear in mind that making any non-factory-standard modification to your vehicle is likely to override the standard group rating in the eyes of an insurer and there’s a good chance that this will make the car more expensive to cover.
It’s not all about the insurance group.
Remember that, whatever rating your vehicle has, there may be more significant factors affecting the price of your insurance, such as the profile of the driver and where he or she lives.
As just one example of things to consider, a poor security rating for your vehicle may be somewhat countered in the eyes of certain insurers if you take measures to improve the security of your vehicle yourself.
To get a better idea of some of the factors in play, try our tips to cut the cost of car insurance and read our extensive collection of car insurance guides.
Car insurance groups explained
The cost of insuring your car will be influenced by a number of factors, one of which is the insurance group that your vehicle falls into. Every make and model of car on UK roads today will have been assigned to a group based on certain criteria – from the engine size to the cost of replacement parts – and these are numbered from 1 to 50. Cars with a lower group number are the cheapest to insure, and those in the top end are the most expensive.
Insurers will use these numbers as a guide when calculating premiums. If there are other factors likely to increase the cost of your car insurance, a way to reduce the overall amount could be to opt for a car in a lower group. For example, a new driver with limited experience who is yet to acquire a no claims history will be among the most expensive to insure, but this cost could be reduced by purchasing a car in group 1. Cars in this group also tend to be less powerful, with smaller engines, so could be a safer option for inexperienced drivers.
How are insurance groups decided?
Car insurance groups are decided by the Group Rating Panel, which meets on a monthly basis and is made up of representatives from the insurance industry, including the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Lloyds Market Association. Its decisions are based mainly on data provided by the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre (Thatcham), which takes into account a range of vehicle characteristics, listed below.
How easy are the parts to come by if the car is damaged, who can fit them and how long will it take? A specialist paint job, for example, can increase the group allocation.
A list of 23 common parts from one manufacturer is compared with that of another. Those that generally cost less are allocated to a lower group category.
How much was the car worth when it was new? The price of a new car is often used to gauge that of a replacement or repair.
Cars with more powerful engines, capable of bigger speeds and acceleration, are deemed a greater risk, and will therefore end up in a higher group.
What was the car fitted with as standard that will lessen the chances of it being stolen? Does it have an alarm, immobiliser, glass etching or coded audio equipment?
It is the cost of repairing the car in the event of an accident that is said to have the biggest influence in determining the group – the cost of repairs account for more than half of the amount paid annually for car insurance claims, according to the ABI. High-performance or luxury models have bigger repair costs, and are therefore placed in a higher group.
The list of groups is intended to be used as a guide only, and an insurer may still apply its own ratings if it prefers. Most, however, will class cars in a very similar fashion, combining this information with a driver’s claims history and risks to calculate a premium.
Which insurance group is my car in?
By finding your vehicle in the list below, or a similar model, it might be possible to determine roughly the insurance group your car belongs to. Bear in mind that certain factors, such as modifications, could cause this outline to vary.
Dacia Sandero, Vauxhall Corsa, VW Up!
Audi A3, Honda Civic, Mini Countryman
BMW 3-Series, Land Rover Defender, Seat Leon
BMW 5-Series, Ford Focus ST, VW Touareg
Audi R8, Jaguar F-Type, Porsche 911 Carrera
Taking two extremes, the VW Up! is a small city runabout that falls into a low category and will be among the cheapest to insure, ideally suited to a new driver or someone on a budget. By contrast, the Jaguar F-Type is in the highest category, and will carry one of the biggest premiums.
The list shows that it is not just exotic sports cars such as Ferrari or Lamborghini occupying the highest groups, but also more common makes of car.
car insurance groups
What do they mean?
Find out how they relate to running costs and theft resistance
If you’re changing your car you’ll want to think about the cost of insurance before you commit to buy. The insurance group rating is the key.
Most new cars are assigned to an insurance group – a rating between 1 and 50* that indicates the level of risk as seen by the insurers.
Insurance group ratings are advisory – insurers don’t have to follow them.
Insurers take many factors into account when setting premiums but with all else being equal, the lower the group number the lower the insurance premium should be. This means that the insurance group can give you an idea of relative insurance costs when comparing different models.
Specials, such as kit cars, imports and conversions are generally not covered by the insurance group rating scheme.
The Insurance Group Rating system is run by the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre (Thatcham). The Group Rating Panel (members of Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) and Lloyds Market Association (LMA) allocates groups based on Thatcham’s research.
Insurance grouping takes account of:
- price when new
- performance – image, top speed and 0 to 60 time
- repair costs – labour and parts following a standard low-speed crash test
- body shell – availability and price
- parts prices – associated with more severe collisions
To encourage car manufacturers to fit better security systems, the group–rating process also looks at locks and security devices fitted as standard. Insurers’ standards are more testing than the basic legal requirements and get tougher as the group rating increases.
Where security has been rated, the insurance group number, from 1 to 50, is followed by a letter, which shows the results of the assessment.
E= Exceeds the security requirement for a car of this type and the group rating has been reduced – so a group 10 car that exceeds the standard is listed as a 9E.
A = Acceptable security requirements for the car’s group.
P = Provisional – incomplete data when the model was launched.
D = Doesn’t meet the security requirement for a car of this type and the group rating has been increased as a result – so a group 8 car that doesn’t meet the standard is listed as a 9D.
U = Unacceptable – the level of security is significantly below requirements. The car won’t be uninsurable, but some insurers may insist on a security upgrade before they cover you.
G = Import – Insurance Group Ratings and security ratings are currently only allocated to vehicles built for the UK market.
Whiplash to both the driver and to passengers accounts for around 80% of all personal injury claims following car accidents. Some seat and head restraint designs offer better protection against whiplash than others.
Insurers here and abroad have developed a rating system that predicts the whiplash potential of different designs. This has become part of EuroNCAP’s safety ratings but could also become part of the insurance group rating system in the future because whiplash injuries feature so highly in insurance claims.
(22 November 2011)
* This has changed from the old system of groups from 1 to 20 over the past few years. The Insurance Group Rating panel stopped reporting group 1 to 20 ratings for new car models from the beginning of 2010.
Car Insurance Groups
Discover the impact of car insurance groups on premiums
By Peter Carr on Wednesday 22 November 2017
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.
In this Article
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
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
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).
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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.
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