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Car insurance groups

Want a car that’s cheaper to insure? Check its insurance group

The car you choose will have a big impact on the cost of your insurance. But it’s not just about how much the car’s worth – we take lots of things into account when we look at the potential costs and risks. And one of those things is the car’s insurance group.

What’s a car insurance group?

There are 50 car insurance groups. Generally, the higher the car’s group, the more it costs to insure. However there’s more to it than that, which we explain below.

Who decides a car’s insurance group?

An organisation called the Group Rating Panel get together every month to assess every new passenger car, using research from the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre (Thatcham). The panel includes members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Lloyds Market Association.

What goes into the decision?

The panel look at lots of things, like the cost of parts and repairs, and how long repairs take – because these would be costs for the insurer when an owner makes a claim.

Acceleration and top speeds are part of it, as high performing cars are statistically more likely to result in claims. Even a very expensive car could have a low insurance group if it’s extra-secure: for example, it has a good locking mechanism, advanced immobiliser and alarm system, glass etching, locking devices for alloy wheels and coded audio equipment.

How you can save money

Even the paint finish can affect a car’s insurance group – so it’s worth checking the group before you buy your next car. Choosing a car with a lower group could mean you pay less for your cover.

This is especially important for young drivers – insurance often costs more than the car itself. However things like our Smartbox technology, can help you earn discounts by driving safely.

Get a quote from us before you buy a new car and you’ll know the full costs of insuring it. Even if it’s an expensive car, insurance doesn’t have to cost a fortune – drivers with five years' no claims can get a 70% discount.

How to find a car’s insurance group

The car dealer or private seller should be able to tell you the car’s insurance group, but it’s a good idea to check it yourself on the Thatcham website. The same car might fall into different groups depending on the level of trim or the year it was made.

Other things that affect the cost of insurance

Having a car in a lower insurance group will bring down the cost. We also look at things like how long you’ve been driving, whether you’ve got points on your licence, your annual mileage and the type of job you do.

Insurance groups aren’t the be all and end all

Car insurance group ratings are provided to insurers and are based on the cost, security and risk of individual cars. If you’ve got your heart set on a fast or luxurious car, don’t despair. We might surprise you when you get a quote – especially if you’ve got a history of safe driving.

What if you’ve already bought an expensive car?

If your current car is quite expensive to insure, there are a few things you can do to save money on your insurance.

Keeping your car off the road at night will help.

Paying for your insurance all in one go is cheaper than paying monthly as we won’t charge you interest over the year.

You could also choose to pay a higher excess but make sure you won’t struggle to pay the excess if you do have to make a claim –not having the right cover could cost you more than you save.

It’s also a good idea to check you’re not buying any kind of cover twice. For example, some bank accounts include breakdown cover.