The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

What are car insurance groups and how do they affect insurance premiums?

All cars belong to an insurance group, the one it’s in will affect your premium. So, if you’re looking for a new car, it makes sense to check what group it’s in before you drive it off the forecourt. Here, we explain what a car insurance group is, how the system works and how it impacts the cost of car cover.

What is a car insurance group?

Insurance groups range from groups one to 50, as a general rule, the lower the group number, the lower the premium.

The 50 groups are determined by a number of organisations including the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Thatcham Research who are experts in car safety and security. Thatcham also oversees the management of the insurance group system.

How do car insurance groups work?

Cars are put into groups based on a range of factors, which include:

  • The cost of parts – the lower the cost of key parts and repairs, the lower the group is likely to be.
  • Repair times – the length of time it takes to repair the car. The more complicated a car is to repair and the longer the repair time, the higher the group.
  • Value when new – pricier cars skew towards the upper end of the scale which can increase premiums.
  • Performance – higher performance cars with quick acceleration and high top speeds are usually involved in more claims which is reflected in higher insurance groups.
  • Safety and security features – cars with efficient safety features (such as autonomous emergency braking AEB) are involved in fewer incidents which can lower the insurance group. Cars that are also equipped with security features (and by default harder to steal) are also more likely to be in a lower insurance group.

As well as the group number, suffixes are sometimes attached which give more information about the car. For example, if the car slightly exceeds security for its group, then this could lead to a slightly lower premium. The suffixes currently used are:

Ameets all the security requirements for its specific group number.


the car doesn’t meet the minimum security requirements for its group so it has been placed in a higher group and suffixed with a D to show this. For example, a group 5 car might be put into group 6D instead.


the car exceeds the security requirements for its group and has been placed in a lower group to reflect this (suffixed with an E). For example, what was a group 9 car might become a group 8E car.


this stands for provisional and means there was not enough information about the car at its launch to determine a group.


this stands for unacceptable, and the car may have to be upgraded before it can be insured.
Gthese cars have been imported and as a result, don’t fall into the insurance group system. To help insurers classify these cars, they will be categorised as either:
Parallel import—which are cars manufactured for the European market and will conform to all European requirements.
Grey import—cars manufactured and aimed at other markets outside of Europe and don’t conform to European requirements.

What cars are in car insurance group one?

Group one cars are the cheapest to insure and are a solid choice for anyone looking to keep car running costs to a minimum—for instance, young drivers. Remember that even the same model of a particular brand can be in different groups depending on its specification. With that in mind, always double check what the insurance group number is for the specific car you’re thinking of buying.

Although insurance group will vary by make, model and spec, a car’s initial value can act as a rough gauge to what group it might be in. In many cases, less expensive cars (and with smaller engine sizes) tend to be in the lower groups. For example, popular cars that belong to insurance group one include:

  • Citroën C1
  • Ford Ka
  • Kia Picanto
  • Nissan Micra
  • Volkswagen Polo
  • Volkswagen Up!

What other factors affect car insurance premiums?

Insurance group is an important feature that has a big influence on the cost of your premium, but it isn’t the only factor that’s taken into account.

Insurers will also consider a range of other factors, including your age, driving experience and driving history. The information you give helps insurers work out your risk profile and what the likelihood of you making a claim is. The higher the risk, the higher your insurance costs. That said, it’s vital to ensure you answer as honestly as you can, not disclosing details can mean you invalidate your policy—leaving you to cover the cost of damage.

Compare car insurance quotes for the best deals on car cover

As costly as they are to run, owning a car is a necessity for many of us and there are a number of ways to keep costs as low as possible. For our tips and advice, take a look at these ten ways to save money on car cover without compromising on the protection you need.

You can also make sure you get the cover you need without paying over the odds for it by comparing quotes— which you can do right here. We’ve teamed up with Quotezone to bring you up to 60 insurance quotes, simply by filling in one form. For cover that suits you and your budget, compare quotes now.

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The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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