Insurance policy with toy car
Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is a Digital Copywriter in the Carparison marketing team, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.

Read time of 5 minutes.

Do you know which insurance group your car is in?

All vehicles fall into an insurance group between 1 and 50, but understanding what each one means can help you to reduce the cost of your car insurance.

While car insurance might not be the most glamorous of subjects, understanding how insurers work out the cost of your insurance is a good first step to making sure you’re keeping the price as low as possible.

Insurers set your premiums based on the overall risk you represent to them.

There are several factors that go into working out this cost, including your age, driving history, address, and occupation.

But alongside these, car insurance providers also categorise every car into a different insurance group based on its value and perceived risk to the insurance company. This group can give you an idea of how expensive your insurance will be right off the bat, so understanding where to find this information and what each insurance group means to you is one way to drive costs down.

Ford Fiesta

What are the different car insurance groups?

Cars in the UK are categorised into 50 groups, decided on by the ABI Group Rating System (GRS), with group 1 being the cheapest and group 50 being the most expensive.

The insurance group system is in place to help insurers work out the relative risk of a vehicle.

Various factors go into determining which group a car will fall into, and it’s possible with different specifications for the same model to span across several groups. For example, the Tesla Model 3 ranges between insurance groups 48-50 depending on the trim you go for.

If you’re looking to keep your car insurance down, looking at the insurance group the car is in when you’re shopping around is a good indication of how much it could cost you across the year – though each premium is going to be different.

Toy car in front of colourful balls

What factors affect your car’s insurance group?

The ABI Group Rating System will consider several elements before assigning a car to an insurance group.

One of the biggest is the vehicle’s valuation.

The retail price of a car will have a big impact on the cost settlement the insurance company will have to pay out if the vehicle is written off. Specification and trim level also play a part, and can mean that an entry-level model falls into a lower insurance group than a top-spec model.

The type of vehicle can have an impact too. An expensive sports car could fall into a higher insurance group than an estate car with the same value.

As well as the vehicle’s cost, the GRS considers the cost of repair (using a standard crash test to assess the average time and price of a repair), as well as the vehicle’s performance, safety features and security, and the cost of spare parts.

This can mean that electric cars fall into a higher insurance bracket than their run-of-the-mill petrol or diesel counterparts because electric parts can be harder, and more expensive, to come across.

The upside is that EVs tend to be equipped with the latest safety tech, which lowers their chance of being involved in a collision.

Cupra Formentor

What do the numbers and letters mean?

Your car's insurance group will be listed with a number and a letter – i.e., 12A.

The number is easy to work out: the higher it is, the more expensive the insurance will be for that vehicle. But the letter refers to the level of security features fitted as standard on the car, and it also has an impact on the cost with the security requirements increasing in line with the insurance groups.

There are six letters applied to the car insurance groups, with each one meaning something slightly different:

-        A: the car meets the security requirements

-        D: the car doesn’t meet the security requirements and is in a higher insurance group

-        E: the car has exceeded security requirements and has been placed in a lower group

-        P: the data used by the GRS was incomplete when the car launched

-        U: the car has unacceptable levels of security – the car will still be insured but your insurer might ask that security features are added or upgraded

-        G: the car has been imported

If you’re looking to keep your insurance costs down, opting for a car with a class E rating that falls in a lower insurance bracket is your best bet.

Car insurance groups explained

Where does Carparison display insurance group information?

We display the insurance group information for different makes and models on the relevant model page.

You can find out the insurance group of the car you’re interested in by looking in the technical information section under the heading ‘general’. There’s a lot of useful info tucked away in this section, so make sure to click around when you’re shopping for your next car lease.

How can I reduce my car insurance payment?

Opting for a car in the 1-10 insurance group will help to reduce your car insurance payments. These tend to be smaller and cheaper cars that aren’t at risk of being stolen or in a crash, and won’t cost as much to repair.

Cars that fall into this group include the Toyota Aygo, Vauxhall Corsa, Kia Picanto, and the Dacia Sandero.

If you need a little more space, cars in the 10-20 group still work out fairly affordable, especially for younger drivers with fewer years on the road. Cars that fall into this group include the Peugeot 208, Renault Clio, Toyota Yaris, and the Ford Fiesta.

But if a smaller hatchback simply isn’t going to cut the mustard, there are other ways to try and keep your insurance costs down if your car falls into a higher group.

Man signing a contract

Making it as hard as possible for someone to steal your car reduces the risk to your insurer and will likely bring your annual price down. Measures to make your car safer include fitting an approved alarm or immobiliser, and parking in a garage or driveway where possible.

Driving safely can also help reduce your insurance.

Some companies will give you a discount if you’ve taken a Pass Plus or advanced driving course, and careful drivers can benefit from taking out a policy that uses telematics (a ‘black box’) to assess your driving.

Protecting or increasing your no-claims bonus can also help to keep costs down.

You earn a no-claims bonus for every year that you drive and don’t make a claim. Make sure you carry this over if you switch companies, and if you haven’t claimed on your insurance for over five years, you might want to look into paying an extra premium to protect this bonus.

Finally, adjusting the way you pay can help reduce insurance costs.

Increasing your excess – the amount you agree to pay towards any claims – can bring your premiums down, and, if you’re able to, paying your insurance annually rather than monthly can snag you a discount.