Insurance Group 1 cars explained

Last updated by mustard.co.uk on April 13th, 2021

What does it mean to be in Insurance Group 1, and which cars qualify? We round up the lowest insurance group cars to help save you money

If you’re a new driver – especially if you’re young – insurance is likely to be the biggest cost you face when you start driving. Sometimes your premiums can even be more than your car is worth.

That’s why it’s really useful to be able to choose your car based on its insurance group. Cars that sit in insurance group 1 tend to be the most affordable to insure, helping you to drive your motoring costs down.

We’ve answered your questions below and listed some of the cars in these low insurance groups that you might consider.

Related: How can I save money on my car insurance premium?

What does insurance group 1 mean?

Insurance groups are awarded to cars by an independent authority, funded by the car insurance industry. They classify cars into one of 50 car insurance groups – with 1 being the lowest, and 50 the highest.

Insurance groups are based on a car’s value, rarity, repair cost and parts prices, performance, safety and security.

This leads to exactly what you might expect, that the cars in the lowest insurance groups tend to be cheap, with small engines and minimal performance – but new enough to still be safe in a crash.

Are cars in insurance group 1 always cheap to insure?

Insurance groups aren’t the only thing that affects how much your premiums are, and a car in a low insurance group can still be expensive if companies deem it to be a ‘risky’ model. Cars in the lowest groups are often bought by young drivers, who are some of the most likely to make a claim. Thus, the insurance prices for these vehicles are driven up.

So while insurance groups can provide a good base line to start your search for a car, don’t consider them the be-all and end-all. Cars in anything up to group 5 will likely still prove affordable to insure.

Of course, before you buy we recommend you get a selection of insurance quotes to make sure you’re able to afford the premiums on your chosen model. You can do that by comparing car insurance quotes right here at mustard.co.uk.

Are any vans in insurance group 1?

Van insurance groups work a bit differently to car insurance groups. Until 2016, they ran from 1-20. After 2016, 30 new groups were added, with the numbers 1-20 being retired. So, a post-2016 van in insurance group 21 is the same as a pre-2016 van in insurance group 1.

We’ve got a full guide on van insurance groups if you want to find out more.

Best cars in insurance group 1

We’ve rounded up some of the best models you should look into if you’re after a car in insurance group 1. We’ve included some new and some used models, and you can search for used cars with low insurance on our sister site Parkers.co.uk.

Best used cars in insurance group 1

Under £1,000 – Fiat Panda 

If you’re on a limited budget, the Fiat Panda’s the ideal option. Cars fitted with the 1.1-litre engine fall into the lowest insurance group, and they’re perfect first cars – spacious, reliable, characterful and fun.

£1,000 – £3,000 – Citroen C1

The Citroen C1 is the very definition of cheap and cheerful, and it’s funky and practical with reliable, efficient engines. Some models do slip into insurance groups 2 and 3, but the lower-specification cars are in group 1.

£3,000 – £5,000 – Skoda Citigo 

If you’ve a little bit more to spend the fantastic Skoda Citigo is a brilliant option. You’re not even restricted to the lowest-spec models – SE trim cars are still in insurance group 1, and come with remote central locking, air-con and electric windows, plus you can plug in a separate touchscreen to add Bluetooth and sat-nav.

Best new cars in insurance group 1

Dacia Sandero 

The Sandero is the cheapest new car you can buy today, and that low price helps contribute to low insurance premiums. It’s also very large and practical for such a cheap car, while proven components should ensure it’s dependable and easy to drive.

Skoda Fabia 

When fitted with the slow-but-steady 75hp 1.0-litre engine the Skoda Fabia slips into insurance group 1, bringing a really rather classy interior, a big boot and a great network of highly-rated dealers within reach of younger drivers.

Volkswagen Up 

Small, stylish, spectacularly good to drive and cheap to insure – the VW Up is the ideal first car. It may be getting on a bit in years, but an up-to-date dashboard with smartphone connectivity ensures you can stay current – and it’ll cost pennies to run with its super-efficient 1.0-litre engine.

For more information on insurance, get in touch with mustard.co.uk today or get your online insurance quote in minutes.

Browse our guides to cars in insurance group 2 and group 3.

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