How to Find Out Your Car Insurance Group

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What You Need to Know

  1. In the UK, all makes and models of cars are assigned an insurance group. The groups, numbered from 1 to 50, take into account the performance levels of a car, as well as how much it would cost to repair.
  2. How secure a car is also affects what number insurance group it is assigned to; the easier it is to steal, the higher the group number.
  3. If you're a driver over the age of 25, the car insurance group of your vehicle is likely to be the biggest factor influencing your premium rates.
  4. You should have a good idea of roughly which insurance group your car is likely to be placed in.
  5. If you do want a more exact answer and want to find out the specific insurance group to which your car belongs, then the best way of doing this is to visit the Thatcham website.
  6. Even if your car is in a high insurance group, it's still possible to keep your insurance premiums as low as possible.
  7. Staying out of trouble on the roads and keeping your car safe and secure are the best ways of keeping premiums at the bottom end of the band for a certain insurance group.

Introduction to Car Insurance Groups

How much you have to pay for your car insurance depends on a number of factors. For instance, if you're under 25, over 70 or you've had a few accidents in the past, you should expect your premiums to be at the higher end of the scale. If, however, you've never made a claim on your car insurance or you live in a safe, crime-free area, then you should expect to benefit from relatively inexpensive premiums.

As well as you as the driver, your choice of car will also be a major factor on how much you have to pay for insurance. In fact, if you're a driver over the age of 25, the car insurance group of your vehicle is likely to be the biggest factor influencing your premium rates. As such, it pays to know what car insurance group your vehicle has been assigned to. Quite simply, having this knowledge will help you save money on your cover.

Group Rating System: What is it?

Made up of various members of the insurance industry, the Group Rating Panel meets once a month to assign individual makes and models of cars to specific groups. These groups are numbered 1 to 50, with 50 being the most expensive to insure. Among the key factors the panel take into account when choosing groups are:

  • Engine Size: The bigger the engine, the more powerful the car and, therefore, the higher number group it's likely to be in. As insurers see it, cars with larger engines are more likely to be involved in accidents, so for this reason, they tend to cost more to cover.
  • Ease and Cost of Repairs: Insurers don't like paying for repairs. As such, they'll charge more to cover a car that would be costly to get back on the road in the event of an accident. If your car is a relatively rare model, or if the model has long-been discontinued (ie if your car is a vintage) then it may take longer for a garage to source spare parts, making repairs more expensive. This means, even if you are a good driver, your car will be in a high insurance group, pushing your premiums up.
  • Performance: It's not just the engine size insurers take into account when assigning groups. They also look at overall performance and, again, the higher the performance, the higher the group number. So, if your car is an enhanced version of a model, expect it to be in a higher insurance group than the standard version.
  • Security Level: As well as paying out for repairs, insurers are also required to pay out for stolen cars. Given this, they offer favourable rates to owners of cars with enhanced security measures built into them. For instance, a car with high security door locks, glass etching and immobilisers as standard, will be in a lower group than a model of similar size and performance but without such protection.

Examples of Insurance Group Ratings

Even the smallest variation between makes and models can make a difference when it comes to car insurance groups. As such, it can be hard to predict the exact group a vehicle will be placed in. These examples can be used as a rough guide to the grouping system:

  • The Porsche 911 Carrera 4s is in the highest group, Group 50. So, even if you are an extra-safe driver living in a safe, crime-free area, your insurance premiums will be right at the top end of the scale.
  • The Vauxhall Corsa Energy Ecoflex, meanwhile, is placed in Group 2, though modifications and higher-spec models could be in Groups 3 or 4.
  • Since it offers enhanced performance without being a supercar, the VW Golf Bluemotion TDI will be placed in a middle-ranking group, usually between Group 15 and Group 20, depending on the particular model.

How to Find Out your Car's Insurance Group

Generally speaking, you should have a fair idea of whether your car will be in a high insurance group or in a low one. Again, group ranking depends on a variety of factors, but you should still be able to guess whether your vehicle is going to cost a lot to insure or whether cover will be relatively cheap.

However, if you do want a more exact answer and want to find out the specific insurance group to which your car belongs, then the best way of doing this is to visit the Thatcham website. Thatcham works with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to rank each and every car make and model, with their online database fully searchable. Simply follow this link to Thatcham’s ABI group rating database and use the step-by-step instructions to find out your car insurance group.

Keeping Premiums Low, Even in a High Group

Even if your car is in a high insurance group, there are a number of ways you can keep your premiums as low as possible. Indeed, while insurers will first and foremost look at what group your car is in, they will also take into account what you yourself are like as a driver, with a good driving record likely to ensure that your premiums are at the lowest end of a fixed scale. Simple but effective ways of ensuring you get the best-possible deal on your car insurance, even if your car is in Insurance Group 50, include:

  • Shopping around for the best deal. Go online, use specialist brokers or simply phone around for the best-possible deal. Remember, smaller, more-specialist firms may be able to offer the best rates for high-performance or vintage cars.
  • Staying out of trouble: Far and away the best way of enjoying the lowest-possible premiums is to stay safe and accident-free on the road. In fact, even supercar drivers can benefit from no-claims discounts and such perks are likely to be even more noticeable if you're paying to cover a vehicle in a high insurance group.

Further Reading

  • Looking for a new car insurance deal? Use our handy tool to compare car insurance premiums here.
  • Avoiding convictions for speeding offences is vital if you want to avoid paying inflated premiums. Read our guide to speed awareness courses for information on how you can avoid penalty points if you’re caught speeding.
  • If you’re a young driver, you’ll be hit with above average premiums, even with a vehicle in a low insurance group. However, there are things you can do to make insurance more affordable. Our guide to young drivers’ insurance is full of tips on how to make yourself more attractive to insurers and get a great deal.

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