Car insurance groups explained (UK)

A car driving in the countryside

June 16, 2021

Car insurance is something that no one really enjoys paying for, but it’s an incredibly important thing to have to ensure that you, your car and other third parties are protected if an accident or incident ever occurred.

In our guide to car insurance groups explained, we take you through what exactly car insurance groups are, how they work and the price difference between them.

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What does insurance group mean?

In order to decide how much you should pay for your car insurance, insurers use a group rating system between 1 and 50 to work out how much your car should cost to be insured.

Supported by Thatcham Research, and made up of members from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the group rating panel is responsible for deciding the different car insurance groupings.

How many insurance groups are there?

There are 50 insurance groups altogether, with group 1 being the cheapest car insurance group and group 50 being the most expensive insurance group.

How are UK insurance groups determined?

The car insurance group rating panel decides which cars are put into which group based on the following factors:

  • The value of new cars: The cost of a new car and how much its parts are worth are contributing factors when determining which insurance group to put a car in.
  • Safety: How safe a vehicle is, including whether it’s fitted with an autonomous emergency braking system (AEB), is another factor that helps the group rating panel decide which group to put a car in. The safer a vehicle is, the lower the insurance group it will be in (and cheaper to insure).
  • Parts and repair: How much a vehicle is likely to cost to repair, including the cost of the parts helps to put cars into the right insurance groups.
  • Performance: Even though you probably want your vehicle to be high-performing, having a high-performance car usually means that it will be put into a higher insurance group.
  • Car security: Cars that are considered to be more secure, such as those fitted with security devices or immobilisers, usually fall into lower insurance groups as they’re considered to be less at risk of needing to make a claim.
  • Repair times: According to research carried out by Thatcham Research, over half of the money that’s paid out on car insurance claims goes towards repairing cars, so things such as repair times and the cost of spare parts are both highly contributing factors when determining which insurance group a car should be in.

Car insurance groups list

Below you can find the average cost of car insurance, ranging from low insurance group cars between 1 and 10 and higher insurance costs in groups 40 to 50.

  • Groups 1-10 - an average annual premium of £657
  • Groups 11-20 - an average annual premium of £650
  • Groups 21-30 - an average annual premium of £717
  • Groups 31-40 - an average annual premium of £863
  • Groups 41-50 - an average annual premium of £906

It might seem odd that cars in groups 1-10 have a higher average car insurance premium than those in groups 11-20, but this is because young drivers take out cover on cars in lower insurance groups, but as they’re deemed to be more at risk due to their age and inexperience, this drives the cost of car insurance up.

You might like: How to get cheap car insurance at 17

What cars are in the cheapest car insurance group?

The cheapest cars to insure are usually the ones that are cheaper to purchase and run in the first place. Vehicles such as the Citroen C1, the Ford Ka, Hyundai i10 and the Volkswagen Up! are usually in lower car insurance groups.

Car models such as the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, and most BMW models fall into higher car insurance group ratings.

Read more: 5 low insurance models or 10 of the cheapest cars to insure right now.

How is car insurance calculated?

Car insurance providers use several metrics in order to determine the price of your car insurance.

Below, you can find some of the factors that insurers take into account when deciding which car insurance group to put your car in.

  • The age of the driver - typically, the younger the driver, the more expensive their car insurance policy will be as they’re considered to be more at risk of making a claim due to their lack of experience with driving.
  • Whether you’ve made any previous claims on your car insurance - the insurance provider will also consider whether you’ve had any previous driving convictions. If you have, you will find yourself paying more for your car insurance policy.
  • Your occupation - if you work in a certain job or industry, you may have to pay more for your insurance policy. Jobs such as footballers and fast food delivery drivers often pay the most for their car insurance premiums. Footballers are usually very well-paid, therefore, they often drive more high-end cars which means they’ll pay more for their car insurance.

Learn more about how car insurance is calculated by insurers.

How to save money on your car insurance

As well as trying to purchase a car in one of the lower insurance groups, there are several other things you can do to try and save money on your car insurance.

  • Keep your car as safe and secure as possible - if you install additional security features such as alarms and immobilisation systems, you could save money on your car insurance.
  • Pay your insurance premiums annually, rather than monthly - some insurers will often offer a discount if you pay for your insurance on an upfront annual basis.
  • Consider increasing your voluntary excess - doing this can reduce the cost of your insurance premiums, but just make sure that you can afford the cost of the excess if you need to make a claim.
  • Think about fitting a black box insurance system to your car - telematics insurance policies are based on how well you drive, so the better driver you are, the cheaper your car insurance is likely to be.
  • Add a named driver to your policy who has lots of driving experience to drive down the cost of your insurance.

Another major way of saving money on your car insurance premiums is by comparing quotes online - don't simply let your existing policy auto-renew, you could save up to £300 by switching providers! If yours is due for renewal in the next month or so, get a quote now to see how much you could be saving:

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