Car insurance groups: Which one is your car in?

Car insurance groups are a mystical thing. Most of us have heard of them but not many of us know much about them or even which one our car is in.

We know they can change the amount of money we have to spend on our car insurance policy but that’s about it.

So what are car insurance groups?

Car insurance groups help insurers calculate how much your car insurance should cost.

There are 50 car insurance groups and the higher the group, the more expensive the car is to insure.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) gets 70 per cent of the information it uses to determine insurance groups from Thatcham Research, an automotive research centre.

What does Thatcham Research analyse?

Thatcham uses a 15km/h impact test before its engineers determine the costs and time involved in returning the car to its pre-accident condition.

Thatcham will also look at the car’s new model price in the event of a total loss claim, its performance from 0-60mph and top speed, along with standard security levels.

The last test is a parts pricing one where the cost of replacements of a standard list of 23 parts (the most commonly damaged in accidents) is calculated.

All this is collated before the Group Rating Panel assigns the new car an insurance group based on its findings.

Car insurance groups - which one is your car in

Do all insurers use insurance groups?

Not all insurers use the insurance groups that are decided on by the Group Rating Panel but they will use their own version of the rating system.

Why do insurers use an insurance group rating?

An insurance group rating makes it easier for your insurer to determine how much your vehicle will cost to insure.

The test by Thatcham tell the Group Rating Panel how much it will cost to replace or repair your car in the event of an accident as well as looking at performance factors that could increase the chances of theft or of an accident.

But an insurance group looks only at your car, not the person driving it, so while your car could be in a low and affordable insurance group, your insurance could still be expensive.

What else impacts my car insurance?

Insurance groups look just at your vehicle, not where they park, where they’re driven or who is driving them.

That means that while they impact the cost of your insurance premium, they are not the only factor at play.

You can read our guide on how car insurance is calculated if you want to know the ins and outs.