Motor insurance groups

The Group Rating Panel, administered by Thatcham Research, assigns new car models to an insurance group from 1 (cheapest to insure) to 50 (the most expensive).
Cars in the highest groups, typically high performance models, are likely to cost insurers the most in insurance claims.
Insurers may use the panel’s recommendations in their calculation of car insurance premiums, or they may choose to use their own groupings. According to the Association of British Insurers, the cost of motor vehicle repairs accounts for over half of all the money paid out in motor insurance claims, so repair costs feature strongly in how the groups are defined.
Based on its research, Thatcham defines the factors used to assess new cars as below.
Damage and parts costs
This covers the likely extent of damage to each car and the cost of the parts used to repair.The cheaper the cost, the more it’s likely to be in a lower group rating.
Repair costs and times
Longer repair times increases the cost, resulting in a higher group rating. Types of paint finishes are also an important factor.
New car values
The prices of new cars are taken into account, as they’re a good guide to the cost of replacement and repair.
Parts prices
A standard list of 23 common parts is used to compare the cost of parts from manufacturers. The lower these costs, the more likely a lower group rating.
Car performance
Acceleration and top speed are important factors. Insurance claims statistics show that high performance cars often result in more frequent insurance claims.
Cars fitted with AEB as standard will have a lower insurance rating, as they help reduce low speed.
Bumper compatibility
Cars with bumpers that are compatible with the insurer’s criteria will qualify for lower insurance ratings.
Car security
Security features fitted by motor manufacturers can help to reduce insurance claims costs. Features include high security door locks, alarm or immobilisation systems and glass etching.
Your car plays a big part in getting cheap car insurance. Read on to understand more about the different car insurance groups and the cheapest cars to buy and insure in 2018.
There are a number of ways to bring down the cost of your car insurance, and choosing a car in the right car insurance group is high up on the list. This guide will help you understand what factors are considered, check your car’s insurance group and outline our top 10 cheap cars to insure.
In this guide:
Car insurance group checker
How do car insurance groups work?
Cheapest cars to insure
Compare car insurance quotes
What insurance group is my car?
While common sense tells us it costs less to insure a Fiesta than a Ferrari, car insurance groups can be a difficult thing to wrap your head around. Use our car insurance group checker to find out which insurance group any car is in.
Find a car’s insurance group
Cars are allocated a group from 1–50, with 1 typically being the cheapest to insure and 50 typically being the highest. The group ratings are based on a number of factors, including the car’s value, repair costs and performance.
Once you’ve found your car’s insurance group, find out exactly how much your cover could cost by comparing insurance quotes below:
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Car insurance groups – how the different insurance groups work
Every car on the market belongs to one of 50 car insurance groups set by the Group Rating Panel (members of the Association of British Insurers and the Lloyds Market Association). Insurers can also use their own grouping system if they want.
Typically, the lower a car’s insurance group number (1-50) the cheaper it will be to insure – for example, group 1 insurance cars are far more likely to be the cheapest cars to insure.
What factors are considered?
When the panel decides on how to assign cars to the different car insurance groups they consider the following:
Repair costs
The cost of vehicle repairs accounts for a huge chunk of the money paid out in car insurance claims. Logically then, the cost to repair the vehicle is considered before being assigned to a car insurance group.
The time it would take to repair the car is also considered as this would lead to higher repair costs.
Cost of the parts
The cost of 23 of the most common car parts is also considered. The lower the cost of the parts, the lower the car insurance group will be. To get the best car insurance quotes the cost of the parts will need to be relatively low.
The value of the car
The value of the car as new is used as an indication of how much the car will cost the insurer to repair or replace.
Performance of the car
The statistics clearly show that high performance cars that can reach great speeds are the most likely to make insurance claims. Consider the acceleration and top speeds of a car if cheap car insurance is a priority. Read our guide on insuring high performance cars to learn more.
Car security
The cheapest cars to insure will often be ones that have built-in security features by the manufacturer such as alarms, high-security locks, or immobilisers which prevent the car from being hotwired.
The security rating of a car is denoted by letters ranging from E, A, P, D down to U. The E category stands for ‘exceeds’ and the U is for ‘unacceptable’. Cars in the lower and cheaper car insurance groups will likely have an E or A security rating.
Cheapest cars to insure in 2018
Scroll down to see ten of the cheapest cars to insure that you can buy in 2018, with models in the lowest car insurance groups.
Nissan Micra
Cheap to buy and with an all-new look, the Nissan Micra could be the cheapest car to insure in 2018 depending on your driving history and other factors. While the Micra has been around since the 1980s, the latest version has shaken off the clunky image of its previous iterations to become a desirable supermini, with models starting in insurance group 1.
Toyota Yaris — number 1 cheapest car to insure in 2018
Kia Rio
The Kia Rio is a cheap car to insure for small families, with models starting in group 2. The Rio has received praise for its ample boot space and low CO2 emissions.Kia Rio — Number 2 cheapest car to insure in 2018
Volkswagen Polo
The Volkswagen Polo has been a favourite small car since it was first introduced in 1975. Its new sixth generation looks set to be just as popular in 2018, and could be one of the cheapest cars to insure with some versions in car insurance group 1.
Volkswagen Polo — Number 3 cheapest car to insure in 2018
Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback
Popular with young drivers since its first iteration, the Corsa is a sensible and reliable supermini — the latest generation has two models (Sting and Life) in insurance group 2.
Vauxhall Corsa —
Number 4 cheapest car to insure in 2018
Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta is another old favourite, with its first generation dating back to 1976. The latest version is a good choice for a car with cheap insurance, with two of its Style trims in insurance group 2.
Ford Fiesta — 5th cheapest car to insure in 2018
Hyundai i10
The second generation i10 is in car insurance group 1, meaning it is far cheaper to insure than previous models. The new Hyundai i10 comes with a 1.0 litre engine and is packed with entertainment features, making it an ideal first car for young drivers. It was voted best city car at the 2014 Car of the Year Awards.
Hyundai i10 is 6th cheapest car to insure in 2018
SEAT Ibiza
The latest version of the SEAT Ibiza has impressed critics, recently winning the best small car category at the What Car? Car of the Year awards and being praised as “everything a small car should be”. It should also be cheap to insure, with the 1.0-litre S and SE versions in insurance group 2.
Cheapest car insurance — Top 10 — SEAT Ibiza
Smart Forfour
Arguably less recognisable than its two-seater cousin, the Smart Forfour is a more practical choice that should be cheap to insure. The Pure version is insurance group 1 while there is a huge range of other options starting in group 2.
Cheapest car — Top 10 — Smart Forfour
Skoda Citigo
Part of the Volkswagen group, the Skoda Citigo is in car insurance group 1 as a result of its low price and solid engineering. The Skoda Citigo is a compact but spacious 3-door city car, designed to be easy to drive and park on busy city streets.
Cars in insurance group 1 — Top 10 — SKODA Citigo
Ford Ka+
The Ford Ka+, introduced in 2016, is an update on the original model that became hugely popular in the late 1990s. The Ka+ range includes models in insurance groups 1 and 2, making it a solid choice for those looking for a cheap car to insure.
Cheapest first cars to insure — top 10 — Ford Ka Plus
Compare car insurance
Whatever car you drive, one of the best ways to save on your car insurance is to shop around for quotes. Get started by entering your car’s registration or searching by make and model below: