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Car insurance groups explained

5 minutes

Car insurance comes in many shapes and sizes – a lot like the vehicles they protect.

Much of this variation relates to the different car insurance groups. The group your car belongs to determines how much it will cost to insure, among other things. 

Discover everything you need to know about car insurance groups to help you make an informed choice when shopping for your next vehicle. Read on to learn more. 

What are car insurance groups?

The car insurance groups system is officially called the ABI Group Rating. It was established by the insurance industry to help companies classify different vehicles when costing up insurance cover. There are more than 50 groups in the system, and every vehicle registered in the UK is assigned to one of them. 

Vehicles in group one are the cheapest to insure, while those in group 50 are the most expensive. We’ve grouped them below into tens and given examples of typical cars at the higher and lower end across each group range as an example:

0 to 10: Lower end Citroen C1 / higher end Fiat 500
11 to 20: Lower end Audi A2 / higher end Ford C-Max  
21 to 30: Lower end Honda Accord / higher end Volkswagen Golf 
31 to 40: Lower end Mazda MX5 / higher end Volvo S6 
41 to 50: Lower end Land Rover Discovery / higher end Porsche Boxster 


Who set up the system?

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Lloyds Market Association (LMA) established the car insurance grouping system. They meet regularly to decide which insurance group any new cars should be attributed to. The system was set up to give insurers an accurate idea of how repair costs differ across different types of car. 

How does it work? 

Every time a new car is given a rating, it’s added to the Group Rating System. This system tells the insurer or the car dealership what insurance group a car is in is managed by Thatcham Research. Engineers at Thatcham use complex technology to establish the time and cost it would take to repair a vehicle after a collision at 15km per hour. 


Can I check my car insurance group?

Yes, you can easily find out what group a particular vehicle is in online. The Thatcham website has a handy tool where you can search by:

Manufacturer, i.e. Audi  
Model, i.e. Golf 
Year, i.e. 2017-2020 

Explore the My Vehicle Search tool  

Why do car insurance groups matter?

Car insurance groups matter because they directly affect how much you pay for your insurance. If you’re buying a new car and working with a certain budget, insurance groups are great way to create a shortlist of cars to consider.  

For example, if you’re a younger driver looking for the most affordable way to get on the road, vehicles in the lower groups – from one to 10 – will best suit you. Where budget is less of a concern but you’re trying to choose between a few bigger, more powerful cars, the higher groups will help refine your search.

How are car insurance groups determined? 

Car insurance groups were created to help insurers create fair and accurate premiums for motorists. One of the main things the groups aim to predict is the cost of repairing a vehicle after an accident. But there are other factors too. 

The experts working out the ABI Group Rating consider: 

New car value: The showroom price is important to make sure an insurance company sets the right premium for a potential write-off (or total loss) of the vehicle. Cars with greater value indicate one of the higher car insurance groups. 

Cost of parts: Insurers will generally try to repair a car (where possible) and the cost of parts for that specific vehicle affects the car insurance group it’s placed in. Cheaper parts mean a lower group.

Repair times: Mechanics’ labour is important too. Certain jobs will take longer on some cars than others because of the vehicle’s design. Less labour time means a lower group. 

Security: Thatcham checks every new vehicle against its New Vehicle Security Assessment, which includes electronic alarms and immobilizers, tracking devices and more. Better security suggests a lower car insurance group. 

Brakes: Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) reduces a vehicle’s chances of being in a collision by monitoring the road up to 200m ahead even in fog and rain . Cars fitted with AEB systems are likely to get a lower insurance group. 

 

Car insurance groups were created to help insurers create fair and accurate premiums for motorists.

Common cars and their insurance groups 

If you’re considering buying a new car and want to make car insurance groups part of your process to find the right vehicle, our handy table of car insurance groups by vehicle model should help.

 

Car insurance groups

Vehicle make and model

0-10

Fiat Panda Active, Citroen C1, Skoda Fabia Classic, Citroen C3, Ford Fiesta, Fiat 500

11-20

Audi A2, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Audi A1, Citroen C4, Ford C-Max

21-30

Audi A3, BMW, 118, Citroen C5, BMW X1, Ford Escort,Volkswagen Golf

31-40

Mazda MX-5, Mercedes-Benz CLK, Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf Hatchback, Volvo S60

40-50

Porsche Cayman, Subaru Impreza Saloon, Honda Legend Saloon, Audi TT Roadster, Ford Mustang, Porsche Boxster

 

Want to learn more? Check out Flow to find car insurance that works for you, whatever car you have.  

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