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Car insurance groups explained

Why the car you drive has an impact on your insurance

A man on the phone after being involved in a crash

It probably won't come as much of a surprise to learn that you'll pay more for the insurance on a Porsche than a Ford Fiesta. But you could also pay more for a Renault Espace compared to a Renault Grand Scenic. Why is that?

Understanding car insurance groups

Every private car in the UK is assessed and put into a 'Group' for insurance purposes.

There are 50 Groups, with Group 1 the cheapest to insure and Group 50 the most expensive. Typically, cars in the higher groups tend to be high performance models that are more expensive to repair.

The car insurance groups are set by the Group Rating Panel, which includes members of the Association of British Insurers and Lloyds Market Association.

Thatcham Research, the UK's automotive research centre, provides the Panel with most of the information they use to establish the insurance group for every type of private car registered in the UK.

Insurance companies use the group ratings system, together with your personal details and driving record to work out the overall price of your car insurance.

How does the group ratings system work?

There are several factors that influence the insurance group assigned to each car:

Damage and parts cost

According to Thatcham Research, over half of all money paid out on motor insurance claims goes on repairing cars. That's why the cost of spare parts is such a major factor in pricing insurance for each car.

The less likely a car is to be damaged and the lower the cost of repair, the more likely it is to be ranked lower down the rating scale.

Repair times

The length of time it takes to repair a car and how complicated the repair is will also influence the cost of the repair and therefore the grouping.

Cost of a new car

The price of new cars is a factor as it can be a guide to the cost of replacement and repair.

Prices of parts

A standard list is used to compare one manufacturer's parts with another. Lower costs can mean a lower group rating.

Performance

Fast acceleration and high speeds often result in more insurance claims, which is one reason why high performance cars are usually in the higher groups.

Safety

Cars with extra safety features, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking are less likely to be involved in low speed accidents, so this is taken into account in their ranking.

Bumpers

Bumpers that meet the insurer's criteria receive a lower insurance ranking as their alignment and structure is important in reducing damage.

Security

High security features fitted as standard, such as alarm systems and wheel locks can help to reduce insurance claims and lower premiums.

How can I tell which car insurance group my car belongs to?

You can check which car insurance group your car belongs to with Thatcham Research. You need to login to the My Vehicle page to access the information.

This could be particularly useful when you're looking to buy a new or replacement car as it will give you some indication about the insurance costs.

Check which car insurance group your car belongs to with Thatcham Research

What other factors influence the price of insurance?

At LV= it's not just what type of car you drive that determines the overall price of your car insurance. We also take into consideration:

  • Your age and driving experience
  • Where you live
  • When and how far you drive
  • Your no claim discount
  • Previous claims and convictions
  • Insurance Premium Tax
  • Cost of labour
  • Increasing cost of personal injury claims

Find out more about how we calculate the costs of your insurance premium.

How can I reduce the cost of my car insurance?

You know that the type of car you choose affects how much your insurance will cost. But apart from choosing a car that's in a lower car insurance group, there are plenty of ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance.

Take a look through our ten smart tips for buying cheaper car insurance.

Buying LV= car insurance is quick and easy