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All cars sit within an insurance group, ranging from group 1 up to 50, with vehicles that are cheap to insure in the lower numbers and those that are expensive to insure in the higher. Typically, everyday hatchbacks, superminis, and city cars equipped with frugal engines will usually sit in the cheaper groups, whilst large SUVs, rare models, and high-performance vehicles are in the pricier insurance brackets. We’ve chose the top 10 best cars from group 1 to 50 to help give you an idea of the range of vehicles on offer.
It is the group rating panel, supported by Thatcham Research, that is responsible for choosing a car’s insurance bracket, and this panel consists of members of the Association of British Insurers and the Lloyds Market Association. When it comes to assigning cars to a group, there is a meticulous system in place that involves several factors. These are:
We’ve broken the insurance groups down into 10 brackets going from 1-5 all the way to 46-50, choosing the leading cars available in each section to provide a varied range of vehicles, from the cheap to run, to high performers. Of course, cars can vary from group to group depending on the model and engine, so treat this list more like a useful guideline to help point you in the right direction. Please, read on to discover the top 10 best cars for each insurance group.
The Skoda Fabia is our top pick for the insurance groups 1-5. Unveiled in 1999, the supermini-based estate is superbly practical, with a spacious cabin, good levels of leg and head room, and a large 530-litre boot, in addition to lots of storage pockets, cubbies, and drawers. Equipped with the 59bhp engine, all Fabia models sit in group 1, which means the Fabia is also very cheap to insure. It offers good fuel consumption too, and an affordable starting price. On the road, the Fabia is confident, with a fairly engaging driving experience thanks to agile steering that is ideal for nipping around the city. It’s an all-rounder of a car that is good value for money and cheap to run.
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For insurance groups 6-10, the Ford Fiesta (with most variants falling between groups 4 and 15) is a class-leading supermini. Introduced in 1976, the popular car ticks all of the right boxes: it is one of the best to drive in the segment, with precise handling and a fun driving experience, it has nice styling, and a quality cabin. It also boasts a full five star safety rating with Euro NCAP and it comes well-equipped as standard, with 15-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a lane-keeping system, automatic headlamps, and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s also cheap to run and, sitting in the lower insurance groups, it’s cheap to insure too.
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Whilst most Kia Ceed models sit within the insurance groups of 6 to 15, this car is our best pick for groups 11-15. The Ceed, originally spelt Cee’d but now having dropped the apostrophe, has been in production since 2006, becoming one of the best-selling cars in Europe for the South Korean manufacturer. New models come with Kia’s fantastic 7 years warranty, which shows the company’s belief in the car’s good build quality and reliability and at the same time no doubt helps to increase the sales. Now in its third generation, the mid-size hatchback continues to improve on the previous incarnations, providing a spacious and comfortable cabin and an enjoyable driving experience, aided by agile handling.
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For groups 16-20, the Audi A1 is our choice of car. The A1 actually has a very broad insurance rating depending on the model and choice of engine, spanning from the low down group 9 up to group 33. The hatchback SE 1.2 or 1.6 models enjoy the lower group ratings, whilst most variants are comfortably in the 16-20 range, which is why it’s our pick for fourth place. Outside of insurance, the premium supermini has few rivals, offering strong build quality, good levels of practicality, and a well-laid out and suitably plush interior. It has a stylish sporty exterior too, and it’s great to drive. It comes with lots of tech and equipment as well, partly to justify its higher starting price (for the segment), but also to maintain the high premium standards that you’d expect from this leading German manufacturer.
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The Renault Megane is another car that covers a broad spectrum in insurance group ratings, ranging from group 14 to 35. When it comes to this top 10 list, the Megane models that sit in insurance groups 21-25 are the best for that section. Introduced midway through the 1990s, the good-looking car focuses on comfort and practicality, offering a standout interior with lots of leg and headroom, in addition to numerous cubbies and storage bays. Although it enjoys sporty styling, the Megane actually has a more refined approach to motoring opting for a more comfortable ride experience. It has a full five star safety rating with Euro NCAP and it comes with lots of useful tech as standard.
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For insurance groups 26-30, the BMW X1 is the car to check out. This premium SUV crossover, the smallest model in the company’s roster of sports utility vehicles, upholds everything that you’d expect from the renowned marque. It enjoys sharp styling and a well-laid out interior, finished with soft materials and good levels of practicality. Furthermore, the car is good to drive with precise handling, offering a composed ride and driving experience. It provides a decent selection of petrol and diesel engines, as well as a hybrid version, offering frugal running costs and punchier performance to suit the needs of various drivers. You can also enjoy it as a 4×4, although it is better suited for adverse weather, rather than full off-roading.
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The Mazda MX-5 is our best pick for insurance groups 31-35, although it is also available from group 24 for those wanting a cheaper insurance rating. The iconic, yet affordable sports car is a favourite amongst many a motorist and for good reason too. It offers a driving experience you won’t forget, with a lightweight body, a low centre of gravity, and responsive handling. It is quite simply a lot of fun to drive. It’s also a convertible which adds to the allure and style of the car. Plus, it enjoys an affordable starting price and a great reliability record. Most importantly, it is a sports car that stands its ground against the more expensive competition and it does so at a fraction of a price.
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Introduced in 1995, the Audi A4 is an executive car and one of the best-sellers for the premium manufacturer. Although it widely ranges in its insurance ratings depending on the model and engine selection, from the lower priced group 19 up to group 44, it’s also our top choice for insurance groups 36-40. Available as a saloon or as an estate, the car has classy styling with a sleek body shape, as well as a high-quality interior finished with suitably plush materials. The cabin is well-laid out too, with plenty of leg and head room. Finally, it offers a refined and comfortable driving experience, proving brilliant as a long distance cruiser on the motorway.
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For insurance groups 41-45, the British-built Land Rover Discovery is an iconic car that is a class leader in various departments. It’s one of the most practical vehicles available on today’s market with a huge boot and it has a very spacious cabin that can comfortably sit seven adults in its three rows. Furthermore, it offers that go anywhere capability that you’d expect from Land Rover, proving very capable in the harshest landscapes and in the worst weather conditions. And whilst it’s fantastic off the beaten track, it also proves excellent on the tarmac with impressive levels of comfort and a highly refined ride experience, which means it’s great as a long distance cruiser. In short, the Land Rover Discovery is one of the best family SUVs on the market.
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When it comes to convertibles, the Porsche 718 Boxster is one of the very best, offering a pure driving experience and exhilarating performance – everything you’d want and expect from the prestigious brand. And when it comes to insurance groups 46-50, the 718 Boxster is our top choice. The mid-engine two-seater sports car enjoys head-turning good-looks with iconic, streamlined styling and sleek lines in the right places. It has plenty of power to call on and quick acceleration, whilst at the same time always leaving the driver with a strong sense of control. It’s a very well-balanced vehicle, with agile handling and nimble characteristics. And with the roof down, it looks fantastic and provides endless fun.
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