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What are car insurance groups?

A car’s insurance group can give you a pretty good idea about how much your premium will cost. But what exactly are car insurance groups? Our guide explains.

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By Cazoo editorial team

Insurance is one of the main costs of running a car, and it can vary widely depending on your age, type of car and where you live. One of the main factors that insurance companies consider, however, when calculating your premium (how much you’ll pay) is your car’s insurance group. Here, we explain what insurance groups are and why they’re important.

What is a car insurance group?

Car insurance groups are, in essence, a rating system used by the UK insurance industry to help calculate how much your premium will cost. The groups are numbered 1 to 50 – the higher the number, the higher your premium. In general small inexpensive cars are in the lower groups and fast, expensive cars are in the higher groups.

Looking at insurance groups can be helpful in deciding which car to buy if you want to keep your insurance costs down – a high priority for many new drivers.

How are insurance groups decided?

Before a car goes on sale in the UK, an independent research institute paid for by the motor industry gives it an insurance group rating. The institute considers a number of factors in deciding which rating to assign.  

These include a car’s price when it’s new, how fast it can go, how safe it is, and how good its security systems are. The cost of 23 common parts, how complex it will be to repair after an accident and how long those repairs will take are also taken into consideration.

Generally speaking, cars in the lower insurance groups cost less to buy, have relatively low-powered engines and are comparatively inexpensive to repair. Cars in higher insurance groups cost more to buy, have a lot more power and are often more difficult and costly to repair.

How are car insurance premiums calculated?

Insurance group ratings are a very important factor that car insurance companies use when calculating your premium. However, they also consider other factors such as your age, your job, where you live, whether you have any points on your driver’s licence and if you’ve been involved in an accident.

Insurance companies use this information to determine how likely you are to make a claim. New drivers, for instance, are much more likely than experienced drivers to make a claim, so insurance for new drivers generally costs more. And people who drive to work every day are more likely to make a claim than those who work from home.

What are the most cost-effective cars to insure?

Any car in insurance groups one to 20 (of 50) should be relatively inexpensive to insure. If you want to really minimise your costs, though, you need to get a car that’s in Group 1. Such cars tend to be small city cars with quite basic equipment. 

That may sound off-putting, but even the most basic modern car has better standard features than some premium cars had 20 years ago. They’re also inexpensive to buy and run, and their relative simplicity means they may be less likely to break down than a more expensive car.

There are a surprisingly large number of cars in insurance group one. Check out our rundown of the top 8 used Group 1 Insurance Cars.

What are the most expensive cars to insure?

At the top of the insurance group scale is Group 50. Cars in Group 50 are usually high value, high performance and rare. They also tend to be made from materials like aluminium and carbon fibre, and have complex electrical systems, which make them difficult and costly to repair. 

Luxury cars like Bentleys and Rolls Royces, and supercars like Ferraris and McLarens are generally in Group 50. But if you can afford those cars, you’re probably not particularly concerned about the price of insurance.

What insurance group includes electric cars?

There’s no hard and fast rule about which insurance groups include electric cars. The usual rules apply, though – a small inexpensive electric car will be in a lower group than a larger costlier one.

However, generally speaking, electric cars tend to be in a higher group than a similar petrol or diesel car. That’s because electric cars are still a comparatively new phenomenon and even though they have fewer mechanical parts than a petrol or diesel car, the cost of maintaining and repairing them over time is more of an unknown.

Can I get a car that has insurance included?

Car subscription services give you access to a new car for a flat monthly fee that covers everything you need to keep the car on the road, including insurance. A Cazoo subscription includes a new car, insurance, maintenance, servicing and tax, and you can choose a subscription length of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months.

There are lots of high-quality used cars to choose from at Cazoo. You can also get the latest models with a Cazoo subscription. For a flat monthly payment you get a new car, insurance, maintenance, servicing and tax included. All you need to do is add fuel.

Find the car you love, then simply decide on the length of your contract and choose either home delivery or collection from your nearest Cazoo Customer Centre.

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