Car insurance groups

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What are car insurance groups?

Car insurance groups are used to determine the risk faced to insurers by insuring a particular vehicle.

  • Every private car in the UK is allocated a car insurance group which is then used by insurers alongside things like your address and driving history, to calculate your insurance premium
  • There are 50 different insurance groups ranging from 1 to 50 with 1 usually being the cheapest to insure and 50 being the most expensive
  • The motor insurance repair research centre Thatcham is responsible for working in conjunction with the Association of British Insurers to allocate a group to each new car

Some of the models you may find within the different insurance groups include:

Group Range Manufacturers & Models
1 - 10 Citroen C1, Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Ka, Audi A1, Volkswagen Golf
11 - 20 Audi A3, Fiat 500, Honda Civic, Kia Picanto, Mini Countryman
21 - 30 Audi Q5, BMW 1 Series, Land Rover Freelander, Mini Cooper S
31 - 40 Lexus IS, Audi TT, BMW 5 Series, Ford Mondeo, Porsche Boxster
41 - 50 Infiniti M, Volkswagen Phaeton, Audi R8, Citroen C6, Volvo XC90

*This is not an exhaustive list - some of the models within each group range will be allocated different groups depending on their exact specification. All details taken from Parkers.co.uk.

How are car insurance groups calculated?

There’s lots that goes into determining which group a car should be placed in, but one of the biggest factors is the repair costs involved following an accident. Typically, those cars that cost more to repair become more of a risk for insurers to cover.

Factors that affect the grouping of a car include:

  • Performance - A car's 0-60mph time and top speed
  • New car price - Adjusted to accommodate different trim levels and cost of replacement if the car becomes a total loss
  • Parts pricing - The cost of parts from a list of 23 standard parts
  • Security - How secure a car is against attacks (see group security ratings below)
To calculate repair costs, Thatcham engineers use an internationally recognised impact test where each car is put through a 15Km/h impact then assessed to determine the cost and time involved in returning the car to its pre-accident condition.

Group security ratings

When allocating a group rating for a car, if the cars’ security features have been rated, the insurance group number (rated from 1 to 50) is followed by a letter showing the result of the security test:

E Exceeds the security requirement for a car of this type and therefore the group rating has been reduced – e.g. a group 12 car that exceeds the standard is listed as a 11E
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, therefore the group rating has been increased – e.g. a group 11 car that doesn't meet the standard is listed as a 12D
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

If you'd like more information on how a car's group rating can affect your premium, take a look at our guide.

How can I find which insurance group my car is in?

Although car insurance groups are just one of the factors involved in calculating the price of insurance, it’s generally accepted that those cars in a higher group will result in a higher insurance premium, which is why if you’re looking to reduce the cost of your insurance, you should consider a car that falls into a lower insurance group.

If you’d like to check the insurance group of your car, you can do so on the Thatcham website. For further advice on how you could reduce the price of your car insurance take a look at our top tips below.

Ways to keep your car insurance premiums down

As well as picking a car in a lower insurance group like groups 1-10, there are other ways that may help to reduce the price you pay for insurance:
  • Different types of cover - traditionally many drivers think of third party as being the cheapest level of cover, but sometimes it can be cheaper to opt for a comprehensive policy. Be sure to compare different policy types like telematics, comprehensive or third party fire and theft to help you find the policy that meets your needs and budget the best.
  • Increase your excess - increasing the amount of voluntary excess you're willing to pay toward any claim may reduce your quote price.
  • Fit extra security - an additional security device such as an immobilizer or tracker could help reduce the chance of your car being stolen which understandably, is a positive thing to insurance companies.
  • Be accurate with your mileage estimation - over exaggerating your annual mileage could end up costing you more. Try and be as accurate as you can when calculating your mileage during the quote. There's no need to pay extra for miles you're not driving.

It's also important to be clear to your insurance company who the main driver of the car is. Not telling the truth about who the main driver is, could invalidate or void any claim you make.

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