Car insurance groups are one of many factors used to determine the risk insurers face when covering a particular car. Typically, the higher the insurance group, the higher the premium as cars found in higher groups will be more expensive to repair or replace.
- Every private car in the UK is allocated an 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 many car insurance groups are there?
Thatcham introduced the 1-50 system in 2007. This means that each model of car tested can be banded more accurately with similar cars. The 50 different groups are determined by a number of factors that your car will fall under. For insurance companies, this serves as a recommendation or guide for when preparing a new policy and price for a customer.
There are many factors that go into determining which insurance group a car should be placed in. One of the biggest factors is the repair costs involved following an accident. Over 50% of the money paid out in car insurance claims goes towards the cost of repairs, according to figures from the ABI (based on research collated from May 2015).
But this isn't the only factor that's considered when groups are allocated. Typically, 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 can influence the insurance group. High-performing cars typically have more frequent insurance claims.
- New car price: Newer, more expensive cars tend to be more costly to replace.
- Parts pricing: This is the assessment of the extent of damage that a car model might incur, and the cost of the parts involved in its repair.
- Security: Enhanced security features help protect your vehicle against thieves, and may also help the car be placed in a lower insurance group.
- Average repair time: Long repair times could mean a higher insurance group rating and higher costs as a result.
- Car bumper: The performance of a bumper in an accident can also affect how the car is grouped.
- Body shell: Group ratings can be affected by the availability of body shells in addition to parts, because they may well be required in the repair of damage to a car.
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
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 could 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. The proposed groupings are recommendations only, and hence are not binding on insurers, who can set their own groupings if they choose.