Car Insurance groups. why are they important?

To kick off this subject, we start by asking .......... how many car insurance groups are there?

The answer is 50 and basically this means the lower the group the cheaper it will be to insure your car and the higher the group the more expensive it gets. 

The cheapest vehicle makes and models to insure are in the lower groups (e.g. one to five), while more expensive cars to insure tend to be in the higher groups (e.g. group 20 and above).

So, if you are thinking of purchasing a new car or maybe purchasing your first car, it’s always worth checking the car insurance group before buying. There would be nothing worse than agreeing to purchase a new car, to then find out your insurance costs are going to suddenly shoot up because the car is in a higher insurance group and you have not budgeted for this expense.

What are car insurance groups for?

They are used by insurance companies to calculate your premium based on a number of factors such as, your occupation, your previous claims history, the vehicle's value, your main address (post code) and where your car is parked at night i.e in a garage, on a driveway or parked on the road.

What can affect a car's insurance group rating?

Makes of cars come in a variety of different models, so even though you could choose a smaller car, it could be the sportier version with higher performance. Therefore, being more powerful this would result in a higher vehicle group than that of the same model, with a smaller engine or less performance. 

High performance cars are considered to be at a higher risk of having an accident, which is why the higher the car performance, the higher the insurance group will be. 

It is also worth noting that vehicles with high specification security equipment can often lower the insurance group. Whereas, Range Rover models are very high risk because their security is not as good as some of their rival manufacturers, such as the VW Audi group who also owns Lamborghini. 

Another element that can affect a car’s insurance group are vehicles that are manufactured in limited numbers, where potentially parts could be hard to source if involved in an accident. 

The Group Rating Panel at Thatcham Research considers a whole range of factors when establishing the UK car insurance groups. Below are just some of those factors;

Damage and parts costs

The cost of parts is a key factor if any repairs are needed, as the lower the costs and ease of availability will contribute to a lower vehicle group rating.

Repair duration

As mentioned above, some cars are manufactured in limited numbers which often means that parts are not always readily available and can of course delay repair cycle times. These delays influence claims inflation costs and therefore, some cars will be placed in a higher group rating.

Car values

The more expensive the car is when new and strong  second hand residual car values are, the higher the vehicle group will be. This is mainlybecause of the risk of replacement or repair after an accident.

Parts prices

After comparing common parts costs with over 23 manufacturers, The Group Rating Panel at Thatcham is more likely to apply a lower group rating to a manufacturer with a lower parts cost I.e VW will be a lot cheaper than Lamborghini but often the part source is the same.

Performance cars

It goes without saying that high performance cars, ones that can achieve quick acceleration and higher top end speeds are placed at the top of the car insurance groups listing.

Car safety

With the emerging sophistication of cars with improved safety systems such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), these are considered to be less likely to be involved in certain types of accidents and therefore, the insurance rating for these vehicles will be lower.

Bumper compatibility

The vehicle's design and structure, in particular the bumpers at the front and rear of a vehicle play a significant part in protecting against damage in the event of a collision. As such, cars with bumpers that 'meet the insurer's criteria' can also achieve a lower insurance rating.


Due to rising theft claims, cars with high specification security devices, including alarm systems, immobilisers, locking devices can all help to reduce insurance claims costs and again this contributes towards lower car insurance groups.

For more information on the insurance groupings and Thatcham Research


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