The insurance group a car is allocated largely determines the cost of annual cover, with the vehicles in the lowest groups typically the cheapest to insure.
Ranging from groups 1 to 50, every car on the market is assessed by the Group Rating Panel (members of the Association of British Insurers and the Lloyds Market Association). However, insurers can also use their own system to assess risk, too.
What influences insurance groups?
When the panel decides which insurance groups to assign cars to, it considers the following:
Performance: High-performance vehicles are almost always more expensive to insure – they are more likely to make a claim. However, specialist insurers can bring down the cost significantly.
Cost of repair: Some vehicles are extremely reliable and cheap to repair; conversely other go wrong often and cost a lot to fix. Therefore, this is a key factor in determining which group a vehicle is assigned to.
The value of the car: The retail price of a new car is closely linked to the insurance group it is given. It indicates how much it might cost to replace or repair.
Car security: Unfortunately, car theft is on the rise, but built-in security features can reduce the cost of insurance and help achieve a lower insurance rating. Approved immobilisers, security locks and alarms all help reduce insurance costs. The security rating of a car is indicated by letters E, A, P, D and U – with U being the least secure.
Safety: The level of safety technology also has an impact on insurance groups. Autonomous braking systems, for example, can reduce the chances of having an accident and therefore the cost of a policy.
Cheapest cars to insure
We recently conducted some research to find the UK’s cheapest car to insure (April 2019), with the ŠKODA Fabia coming out on top. These are all insurance group 1 vehicles.
ŠKODA Fabia Petrol 1.0 manual 5dr SE MPI 75
Nissan Micra 2019 1.0L Manual 5dr VISIA Hatchback
SEAT Mii S 1.0 Manual 3dr S (60) Hatchback
Skoda Citigo Petrol 1.0L Manual 3dr S (60) Hatchback
VW UP Petrol 1.0L Manual 3dr TAKE UP! 60 Hatchback
Chevrolet Spark 1.0L annual 5dr LS Hatchback
Kia Rio 1.2L Manual 5dr 2 Hatchback
Smart FORFOUR PURE Petrol 1.0L
Ford Ka+ 1.2L Manual 5dr STUDIO TI-VCT 70 Hatchback
Hyundai I10 1.0 manual 5dr S Hatchback
We also researched how other variables, including occupation, impact the cost of insurance. We selected the 10 most common jobs according to the Office for National Statistics and ranked them from one to 10 (April 2019).
Computer programmer (information technology)
Sales Executive (retailing)
Admin officer (retail)
Sales assistant (Retail)
Cleaner (cleaning services)
Nurse (health authority)
Care worker (professional NHS)
Catering staff (food store)