Knowing this will save you from buying a car that is way out of your league when it comes to insurance.
Because you may have fallen in love with a sporty little number or think you’re getting an absolute bargain, but if it’s expensive to insure, the shine can quickly wear off.
Insurance groups are particularly important if you’re a learner or have just passed your test: a car in a high insurance group will cost you a lot to insure.
Car Insurance Groups: Explained
Every so often the insurance industry gets together to determine what insurance group all cars should be in.
It’s a way of sorting the many types of cars available on the market to make insuring them easier and more effective.
These days, every car on the road belongs to one of 50 insurance groups.
Read More: Tips To Lower Your Car Insurance
How are cars divided into which group?
Cars are grouped mostly by cost and how powerful they are: high performance and expensive cars are in the top groups and cheaper run-arounds are lower down.
But even though more expensive cars tend to be in higher group ratings, price is not the only factor.
The industry uses a number of criteria to decide which group a car sits in:
This is important: cars with smaller engines are most likely be in a lower group rating. Cars with larger engines are seen as more powerful and higher risk. So, if you're looking to save money, check the engine size – it’s a good guide to insurance costs.
It’s simple: cars with better security are harder to steal and so are at lower risk of theft. So insurance companies take this into consideration too. It’s also why you’re asked about alarms and immobilisers when you’re searching for a quote.
The panel also need to understand how much parts cost and how long it might take to repair a car, meaning increased labour costs. So, if you’re looking at a limited-edition model or a car that has rare or expensive replacement parts, it’s likely to be in a higher insurance group.
Here’s a great example: yes, most of us would choose the awesome Audi A8 over the humble Fiat Panda. But, back in the real world, the Audi is in Group 50 while that little Panda is in Group 1. Both have their merits depending on your priorities!
How to check your car insurance group
You can use the "My Vehicle Search Thatcham Research" tool to check car insurance groups for any model you’re interested in. You can then compare and save as many insurance quotes as you would like of different cars.