Last updated: 04/08/2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
Car insurance groups
The price you pay for your car insurance will, at least in part, be based on which group (between 1-50) your car falls into.
We'll go over how these categories are decided and how, whichever car you buy, you can make sure you get the best deal on your car insurance policy.
In This Guide:
- What are insurance groups?
- How are cars categorised in groups?
- Why are different models of the same car in different groups?
- What cars are in the lowest car insurance groups?
- What about specialist cars?
What are insurance groups?
Insurance groups are used by insurance providers as a guideline to work out the cost of premiums offered to customers. There are 50 groups in total, and cars in group 1 are the cheapest to insure, and those in group 50 are the most expensive. For example, a Peugeot 206 will typically fall in group 7-11, making it relatively cheap to insure, whereas a BMW Z4 will likely fall in group 34-37 and so will cost rather significantly more to insure, all other things being equal.
Having a car belonging to a cheaper group does not necessarily mean that you're guaranteed cheap car insurance (and vice versa). Various other factors like the statistical likelihood of an accident occurring based on things like the age of the driver also come into play, as well as the status of the potential policy holder's no claims discount.
How are cars categorised in groups?
The GRP uses research from the Motor Insurance Repair Centre (Thatcham) in order to work out the specifications by which each car is categorised.
Various factors are involved in the categorisation of cars, including (but not limited to):
- The price of the vehicle when bought new.
- The cost of and ease of sourcing replacement parts.
- The cost of repairs, as well as the time involved.
- The performance of the car, including engine size.
- The safety and security features of the vehicle.
The price of repairs and replacement parts are a big factor, especially given that research from the ABI suggests that these costs account for over 50% of the amount that the insurer pays out in the event of a claim.
The performance is another important consideration since a sports car that drives faster and accelerates particularly quickly is viewed as higher risk by insurers than a small car with a top speed of 80mph.
Just as keeping your car in a garage or using anti-theft devices like steering wheel locks can work to improve the cost of your insurance, having a car with already built-in security measures will push it down into a lower group, again reducing costs. A good alarm system or a visible Vehicle Identification Number (among other things) will work to reduce to probability of theft.
Car insurance group letters
Your car's full insurance group rating will be listed with a number and a letter, e.g. 23A. The letters refers to the security features, and are broken down as follows:
E - Your car's security features exceed what would normally be required given its group number, and it has been placed in the next group down
A - Your car's security features match the group requirements
D - The security features are insufficient for its group and the group number had been increased
U - Your car is a long way off having sufficient security features for its group, and you might be turned down by insurers
G - Your car is an import or specialist vehicle that is exempt from normal ratings
P - There is not yet enough information to rate your car
Why are different models of the same car in different groups?
For any given model, there are so many possible variations (from engine size, to security or safety features, and more), that it would be impossible for every iteration to be in the same group. Generally, each model will have a range of possible groups, sometimes as narrow as 3-4, but sometimes much larger.
What cars are in the lowest car insurance groups?
Cars in the lowest insurance groups tend to be smaller, less powerful cars, ideally with good security features and easily available parts for repair. Here are a few examples of cars that can fall in groups 1-5"
- Fiat 500
- Ford Ka
- Hyunda i10
- Seat Ibiza hatchback
- Vauxhall Corsa hatchback
What about specialist cars?
Car insurance groups only apply to cars built to UK specifications, and so imports, kit cars and some classic cars will have to undergo a Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) test in order for the price of insurance to be worked out. Insurance costs will vary quite a lot for these kinds of car. Check out our guide on specialist car insurance for more information.