Car Insurance Groups

All cars manufactured in volume and sold in the UK are allocated an insurance group rating. Each model of car is given a numerical rating between 1 and 20, with 1 being the lowest and 20 the highest insurance group. Although the insurance group system is only advisory it is with this data, along with a combination of other factors, that insurers calculate car insurance premiums.

So, if you want to minimise the cost of your insurance premium these insurance group ratings are a good indicator of the risk attached to a particular car, and by sticking to groups 1 and 2 you will have the best chance of receiving a cheaper quote for your insurance. Furthermore, if you are buying a car for the first time and want one with low running costs, then choosing a car from the lowest groups will not only give you cheaper insurance but parts and repairs are more likely to be cheaper as well.

How do they work out Insurance Groups?

Well, they base a lot of it on previous statistics for that particular type of car. Some of the factors used in assigning a group rating for a car are:

Damage and Cost of The parts

This is calculated from statistics relating to the average accident damage that occurs to this particular model. It also takes into account the cost of parts for repairing the most common damage to this type of car, so obviously the lower the repair costs the lower the insurance group will likely be.

Repair Times

Longer repair times constitute higher labour costs and can push a model into a higher insurance group. Other things taken into consideration are paint finishes on cars and the ease at which they can be matched and applied.

New Car Values

The cost of a brand new replacement for the particular type of car that is being allocated the insurance group rating.

Body Shells

Certain accident damage will require a new body shell for its repair, so the availability and cost of body shells for this type of car will be considered when calculating its insurance group.

Performance

High performance cars often result in more frequent and costly insurance claims, so when calculating insurance groups the acceleration and top speed of a particular car is taken into account. Data collected throughout motoring organisations and insurance companies prove beyond doubt that high performance cars are more at risk of accidents and have heavier repair bills.

Car Security

Standard factory security fittings come with a lot of modern cars, this may include enhanced door locks, immobilisers, alarms, glass etching, coded audio equipment, and locking wheel nuts etc. These standard features boost the security of a car and therefore play a significant role in reducing insurance claims.

If you have a limited budget and want the cheapest insurance, then buying a car in the lower insurance groups is your best bet. Some of the smaller more maneuverable cars are ideal for the first time buyer, and along with their good driveability they usually fall into the lower insurance groups too.

The following are examples of UK cars and their insurance group ratings.

Insurance Group 1

Citroen C2, Fiat Cinquecento, Skoda fabia and Vauxhall Corsa.

Group 2 -3

Seat Arosa

Group 3- 7

Renault Clio

Group 4- 8

Ford Focus

Groups 3- 10

VW Polo

Groups 4 - 11

Vauxhall Astra

If you would like to search through the complete list of UK car insurance groups you can do so by visiting www.abi.org.uk. Alternatively, we are compiling our own guides to insurance groups for the most popular cars in the UK today. You can browse the full Ford list here and also pick up tips on cutting the cost of insurance.

Thatcham Security Ratings

As well as the insurance group rating awarded to cars there is also a security rating given to nearly all new cars sold in the UK. A joint effort between Thatcham (the vehicle security and systems manufacturer), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Lloyds saw the implementation of the The New Vehicle Security Ratings (NVSR) scheme.

Each new car on the market is subjected to destructive attack testing and then awarded stars for security performance, with five stars being awarded to cars with the most efficient security. These results are also a great benefit to insurance companies and is another factor used in the calculation of their insurance premiums. Results of the NVSR are distributed as additional data alongside the Insurance group ratings for a particular car. The NVSR results are given as an alphabetical code and not a numerical one like the insurance groups. This is as follows:

A Meets all security requirements.

D Fails to meet the minimum standard of security and therefore the insurance group rating increases. For example, an insurance group 9 car with a code D fail automatically gets listed as a group 10D.

E Exceeds the minimum standard of security and therefore the insurance group rating is decreased. For example, an insurance group 9 car which surpasses minimum security standards and is given a code E will be listed as an insurance group 8E.

P Provisional rating due to insufficient data at the time of launch.

U Unacceptable low level of security. A car allocated code U might be refused insurance cover until security standards are upgraded.

You can easily search for your car's security performance and see how it faired in the Thatcham tests by visiting www.thatcham-sites.org

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Other articles relevant to this are: Ford Insurance Groups | About car Insurance
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