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A guide to car insurance groups

When it comes to purchasing a new car, we know there are many aspects that have to be considered, most of which involve money. 

Alongside the vehicle’s purchase price, you’ll be turning your mind to how much it’s going to cost you to run, including how much you should expect to pay for insurance. 

All models of car are categorised into 50 car insurance groups, an element used in determining your insurance premium. While factors relating to you - like your age and driving history, for example - will also be factored in, these groupings play an important part.   

To help you select a car that’ll be within your ideal price range, we’ve created the following guide to tell you everything you need to know about car insurance groups. 

What are car insurance groups?

When it comes to car insurance premiums, a leading factor in what you’ll be quoted is which of 50 groups your car falls into. 

These groups are decided by the Group Rating Panel, with Group 1 being the cheapest to insure and Group 50 the most expensive. Supported by Thatcham Research, this panel is made up of members of the Association of British Insurers and the Lloyds Market Association

It’s worth noting that a handful of insurers use groupings of their own, which may be harder to find information on. 

How are car insurance groups decided?

When it comes to assigning a model’s group, there are several factors at play: 

Costs of potential damage

The likely extent of damage to the vehicle and the price of parts for each model are used to indicate potential repair costs. 

These days, the type of technology available on each car model - like radar, cruise control, fitted cameras, parking sensors, etc. - is also taken into account. 

Parts prices

There is a list of 23 standard car parts that are considered to be most likely to be damaged and require replacing.  The prices of these parts are compared between one manufacturer to another and used to help determine the car insurance group for a given model. 

Repair time

If it takes longer to repair a vehicle, the cost to carry out the work will be higher, which will then be reflected in the grouping of that model. 

Performance

If you have a high performing car, the likelihood of you making an insurance claim increases. Because of this, acceleration and top speed of each vehicle are considered when determining its insurance group. 

Safety

If your car is fitted with AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking)[1] systems, then it could benefit from being in a lower insurance group. This is because these systems can avoid ‘low-speed front to rear’ accidents and reduce potential injuries to others. 

Security

The more security features your vehicle has, such as high-security door locks, alarm or immobilisation systems, the better. 

Crumple zone[2] and bumper capability

A car is more likely to be in a lower insurance group if it has strong, capable crumple zone and solid bumpers, that could help limit damage in case of collision. 

How to cut the cost of your car insurance?

While there are many other potentially unavoidable factors at play, an easy way to cut the cost of your insurance is to buy a model that falls into a lower insurance group. 

However, if you’re looking to buy one that falls into one of the higher groups, there are other ways to get your insurance down. These include: 

  • Adding security-enhancing systems.
  • Agreeing to a voluntary excess.
  • Paying your annual policy upfront in one sum, as this will typically work out cheaper overall.
     

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