Insurance Groups: What Group is my Car & What They Mean
You’ve a lot of things to consider when choosing which car to buy. Speed, mileage, safety features – all of these things matter! But if you want to save money on your car insurance, one of the most important factors to consider is the insurance group.
What are insurance groups, and how can they affect the price of your policy? It’s worth taking the time to understand this before you start shopping around for cars and policies, so here’s your essential guide to insurance groups.
What Insurance Group Is My Car?
If you’re on the market for a new car and you want to pick one from one of the lower insurance groups.
What Are Insurance Groups?
Every car sold in the UK belongs to one of 50 car insurance groups. Car insurers use these insurance groups to calculate how much to charge for their premiums.
Unless they’re using their own grouping system, most car insurers will refer to the Group Rating System of insurance groups. This is decided by the Group Rating Panel, which is made up of members of the Association of British Insurers and the Lloyds Market Association, and supported by Thatcham Research.
How does the Group Rating Panel decide which car belongs in which insurance group? Essentially, they conduct a thorough assessment of each vehicle sold in the UK, taking into consideration things like the level of security, how easy the car is to repair, the cost of parts, and how long repairs would take.
They assess the price of the new car, bearing in mind the various trim levels available, to work out how much a settlement would be to cover a total loss. They also consider the car’s performance, looking at things like its top speed and its 0-60mph acceleration time, as this gives a good indication of the car’s relative safety levels.
The Group Rating Panel meets every month to determine the insurance groups for all new cars released. Their processes are periodically reviewed to ensure they accurately reflect any new technologies that may affect risk and security.
So in short, the Group Rating System of insurance groups is the most accurate and reliable measure of a car’s risk characteristics, which is why insurers rely on it to determine how much to charge for premiums.
What Does Insurance Group Mean?
The higher your car insurance group, the more your car will cost to repair in the event of an incident, so the more you’ll pay for your car insurance. So if you want to pay less for car insurance, choose a car from groups one to three.
Cars in the first three insurance groups are generally low specification models with smaller engines. These cars are relatively inexpensive to purchase. So if you’re a young driver or a first time driver looking for the ideal first car, look no further than the cars in these first three insurance groups. They don’t cost much up front, they’re cheap and easy to run, and as a result of all this, they will be cheaper to insure.
Examples of cars found in these first three insurance groups include the Citroen C1, the Fiat Panda, the Vauxhall Corsa, and the Ford KA. But take care when shopping around, as certain trims of these models may place them in higher insurance groups.
My Car’s in One of the Higher Car Insurance Groups!
For first time drivers, buying a car from one of the lower insurance groups is one of the single best ways to lower the amount you pay for car insurance. But don’t worry if you’ve already bought a car and you’ve found it’s from one of the higher insurance groups. There’s still a few things you can do that may reduce your premium:
- Take the government’s Pass Plus scheme. This is a short course you can take after getting your driving licence. It will give you the opportunity to practice driving in conditions that you may not have experienced during your original run of lessons, and a bit more time with a trained instructor might help to raise your confidence and competence as a new driver. Many drivers who successfully complete the Pass Plus scheme go on to pay less for insurance.
- Choose to pay a higher voluntary excess. This is the amount you pay in the event of a claim. Your insurer will set a mandatory excess level, and if you’re a young driver, you’ll pay a young driver excess on top of this. But if you choose to pay a high voluntary excess, you might look forward to a lower premium. Take care though – don’t volunteer to pay more than you’d be able to afford in the event of an incident!
- Add some extra security features to your car. Alarms and immobilisers will make your car more secure, and would make it less likely that you’ll make a claim due to theft. The end result might be a lower premium overall. You can also help matters by parking your car in a garage or a driveway. But if this isn’t possible, park it on a well-lit street, ideally in front of your house, so you can keep an eye on it.
But the best way to pay a fair amount for comprehensive car insurance is to buy from an insurer that truly understands your needs as a driver.
Beyond Insurance Groups – The Cover You Need at a Price You Can Afford
No matter what car you’re driving, our comprehensive car insurance is specifically designed to give drivers like you the cover you need at a price you can afford.
Our policies includes up to £100 personal belongings cover and £200 handbag cover. If you’re ever involved in an accident, you’ll get a courtesy car for the duration of repairs, so you won’t be off the road for long.
Our UK-based claims team are on call 24/7, and you can even add optional RAC breakdown cover. In short, help will be at hand round the clock, no matter what happens.