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Car Insurance Groups Explained

When you get a car, you have to get it insured. Sometimes when people are looking at their budget, they overlook the cost of insurance which can often take you up and over your budget. This is particularly true as it has been reported that the cost of car insurance has risen by £110 over the past year (2017).

Every car model is put into an insurance group, which will determine how much it will cost you. What determines which group they are in depends on a variety of things. But, how do the insurance group’s work?

In this article, we are going to look at the different groups, what cars you might find in those groups, and what determines which insurance group a car is in.

How do the car insurance groups work?

There are 50 car insurance groups in total and are what car insurance companies use when calculating your insurance quote. The insurance groups don’t vary from insurance company to insurance company. If a model or trim is in an insurance group, it stays in that insurance group regardless of who you go through. We aren’t going to go through every single insurance group because as we said, there are 50 of them. Instead, we are going to go through in blocks of ten to show you which cars you might find in those insurance groups.

Groups 1-10

The first ten groups are where you would find the cars that are cheapest to insure. These have small engines and tend to be small city cars. However, it’s not always the case and you will find bigger cars such as the Citroen Berlingo in these groups. Some of the cars you may find include;

  • Citroen C1
  • Ford KA
  • Citroen Berlingo
  • Fiat Panda
  • Fiat 500
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Vauxhall Corsa
  • Alfa Romeo Mito
  • Audi A1
  • Fiat Punto
citroen C1

So as you can see, they are mainly small city cars but you also do have the likes of the Berlingo in the cheapest groups. You also don’t have to compromise on style either with the Fiat 500 and the Audi A1 sitting in these groups.

Groups 11-20

The cars that sit in these groups are still very affordable to insure. You will find slightly larger and more premium cars in these groups. Cars you might find sitting in these groups include;

  • Audi A2
  • Citroen C4 Picasso
  • Audi A3
  • Citroen Ds3
  • Renault Clio
  • BMW 116 I
  • Citroen C5
  • Peugeot 207
  • SEAT Ibiza
  • Mini Cooper
Mini Cooper

Groups 21-30

In the middle of the insurance groups, you will find more premium cars with slightly larger engines. You may also find premium base level cars and city cars in higher trims. Some cars that you will find in these groups include;

  • Audi A4
  • Skoda Superb
  • Nissan Qashqai
  • Mazda MX-5
  • Volkswagen Passat
  • BMW 320
  • Land Rover Discovery
  • Audi A6
  • Volvo V40
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Volkswagen Passat in grey driving

Groups 31-40

Now we’re into the higher tier of the insurance groups expect premium and luxury brands. Some of these include;

  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Mitsubishi Shogun
  • Mercedes E-Class
  • Volkswagen Golf Gti
  • Vauxhall Insignia
  • Volvo V70 Sport
  • Volkswagen Touareg
  • Audi Q7
  • Porsche Cayenne
  • Range Rover Sport
Audi Q7

As you can see, the cars have become more premium and have bigger engines.

Groups 41-50

The highest tier of the insurance groups contain the luxury and premium brands as well as bigger cars with bigger engines. Some cars include;

  • Volvo Xc90
  • Jaguar S-Type V8
  • Porsche Cayman
  • Audi A8
  • BMW M3
  • Porsche Boxster
  • BMW 7 Series
  • Infiniti G37
  • Porsche 911
  • Jaguar XJ
how reliable are Mercedes?

Hopefully, this has given you a rough idea of the different insurance groups, how they work and where your car might sit within them. Of course, we have given only a few examples but they should give you an idea if you compare size and price.

What determines insurance groups?

So how is it decided which cars go in which insurance groups?

The groups are decided by the Groups Rating Panel. This is made up of representatives from the insurance industry including the Association of British Insurers and Lloyds Market Association. They meet on a monthly basis and are the ones who judge which car should go in which group.

Their decisions are mainly based on data provided by the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre. This takes into account the following;

  • Parts prices
    • A list of 23 common parts is compared between each manufacturer. Those with the lowest costs are put in the lower category (generally).
  • Repair time
    • This includes how common the parts are, where they can be fixed and how long it will take. The longer or the more expensive, the higher the insurance group.
  • Value
    • The more expensive the car, the more expensive the insurance.
  • Performance
    • Statistics show that high-performance cars often result in more frequent insurance claims. So, the higher the top speed and the quicker the acceleration the more likely it is that the insurance will be expensive.
  • Safety
    • The more safety equipment the car comes equipped with, the less expensive it will be to insure.
  • Bumper compatibility
    • A bit of an odd one, but cars with bumpers that are compatible with the insurer’s criteria will have lower insurance ratings. But, this varies from insurer to insurer.

All those factors are taken into consideration and it is that way that the group will determine what group they think each car goes into.

What else affects the cost of insurance?

Of course, that isn’t the only thing that affects the cost of insurance. There are some other things that can increase or decrease the cost of insurance;

  • Your age
    • If you are young then your insurance will be higher.
  • How long you have been driving
    • This is essentially the same thing. Young and inexperienced drivers are a higher risk and therefore the insurance will cost considerably more than for an experienced driver.
    • If you have had any accidents in the past
  • Where you live
    • If you live in a densely populated area with more cars then you are at a higher risk of accidents, theft and collisions.

Hopefully, this has cleared a few things up regarding how insurance groups are determined, what sort of cars go in which insurance groups and what affects insurance rates.

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Holly Martin

Holly Martin

Content Co-ordinator at OSV Ltd
Holly enjoys: Reading, music and spending time with friends.

Within a week of Holly starting work at OSV she became an indispensable part of the marketing team. She's very intuitive and gets on with the whole office effortlessly.
Holly Martin

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1 Comment

  • tom waywell| 2nd July 2017 at 11:56 am Reply

    Didn’t there used to be only 20 groups? And then they changed it to 50? So i have an old car – is that rated under the old 1-20 scheme or has it been converted to a new rating under the 1-50 scheme? More of a question than a comment, but can anyone answer it?

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