Whether you pay monthly or annually, there is no doubt that car insurance can be one of the most expensive bills coming out of your bank account. Outside of your accident history, one of the most important factors that influence the cost of your insurance is the group it is in. But, what does that all mean?
At Motors.co.uk, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Confused.com to pull together some of the key information to understand your insurance. And, the first topic we’re looking at is insurance groups.
How many groups are there?
Before 2009, there were 20 groups which all insurers categorised cars into; however, these days, there are a whopping 50 insurance ratings to choose from. The reason is so that insurers can more accurately place together cars with similar specifications.
With group 1 cars being the cheapest to insure (usually one litre city cars) and group 50 the most expensive (think supercars and luxury vehicles, often with a V6 or V8 engine), it’s relatively straightforward: the higher the number, the more expensive your insurance will be.
The majority of cars sit between groups 6 and 30, and this will generally cover family cars and most modern, efficient commuting vehicles. However, it isn’t necessarily the cost of the vehicle that determines its insurance group.
What determines which group a car falls into?
The cost of repairs is actually one of the most important elements in determining insurance group. This is primarily because repairs make up the majority of the money paid out in motor insurance claims.
The insurance group is also influenced by how quickly a car will travel from 0-60mph. The reason behind this is all about risk factors. The faster a car goes, so they say, the more likely it is to get into an accident. It is also believed that faster crashes generate more expensive claims.
Conversely, if your vehicle of choice has security measure in place, like immobilisers, alarms and VIN etching, then this will help to lower the insurance group.
If I know the insurance group, can I work out the cost of insurance?
Simply put, no. While insurance companies will use the insurance group as a starting point, there are various other factors which also influence the price. This includes your postcode, where you park overnight, your driving history and whether you have had any accidents or driving convictions in the past five years.
To get a feel for costs, take a look at the Confused.com car insurance calculator.
How can I get a better insurance deal?
There are ways to reduce your car insurance premium if you are buying a more expensive to insure car. For a start, many insurance companies give you a discount if you take the Pass Plus driver training course, pay one lump sum upfront instead of monthly instalments, accept a higher excess or remove the courtesy car element of the policy.
There are also some ‘black box’ telematics schemes which can also reduce your premium. This means you might download an app or install a tracking device in your car so that the insurer can monitor your driving behaviour. Drive in a calm and measured manner and your policy may go down, but be warned, if you are a speed demon then your costs will shoot up.
To help make a decision about your next car, we include the insurance groups in our handy Smart Search tool so you can select your next vehicle based on cost as well as lifestyle needs.