How Car Insurance Groups can affect Cover Costs

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The cost of insuring a car can be astronomical, mainly depending on the type and model, your age and driving record. The ‘type’ of car carries a great degree of weight in deciding how much you pay. Types of car fall into different groups. These groups are decided by industry experts and although insurers can use their own assessment methods, they nearly all follow the insurance industry’s Group Rating Panel’s decision.four-wheeled-arachnid-2013-mclaren-mp4-12c-spider_2

Flash cars cost more!

There are 50 such groupings, and generally speaking the closer your group is to 50, the more you’ll pay. Put simply, it tends to be the flashier, more powerful vehicles that are also the most expensive to repair and replace that fall into groups closest to 50. Of course, your driving record and length of driving experience both matter hugely too, but there’s not much you can do about that. However, buying a vehicle in the lowest groups is a fairly sure fire way to keep insurance costs lower than they otherwise might be.

Highest and lowest paying drivers

So if you’re in your early 20s, have a couple of points on your licence and own a powerful open-top Mercedes, which is kept on the street, you should expect to be in or close to the top group, and quite possibly pay thousands a year for cover. At the other end of the scale, if you’re in your 50s, have an exemplary driving record and own an ultra-economical electric Honda hybrid, which is kept in a highly secure garage, you’ll be close to the lowest category and probably only pay a couple of hundred pounds a year for insurance. Here are the factors with the greatest effect on which car insurance group a car falls into

1. Power: Statistics show that more powerful, faster cars tend to end up being involved in more insurance claims. So, in most cases, the more powerful the car, the higher the grouping.

2. Security: Security features such as glass etching, immobilisers and other locking devices, and attractive features such as alloy wheels, all have considerable bearing on which grouping a car falls into.

3. Price: The price you pay for a car is taken as a good indication of how much it would cost to repair and replace. So the cheaper the better for your insurance costs!

4. Cost of repair: The cost of spare parts which are needed when damage or breakdown occurs to a vehicle is of major influence.

5. Time for repairs: Depending on the brand of car, it might take longer to fix and be more difficult to find a garage that can fix it, pushing up costs and therefore grouping for the vehicle.

6. Body shell availability: Car body shells are viewed separately to spare parts, as they’re essentially the vehicle itself with the moving bits taken out. Vehicles with the most readily available shells, often needed in serious repair work, are viewed favourably for grouping purposes.

How to check your car insurance group

Thatcham, the company which largely supplies most of the information to the insurance body which then decides a car’s ‘group’, let’s you check for a vehicles grouping on its website. It’s a useful tool if insurance costs are of paramount importance to you and you’re thinking of buying a second hand vehicle (if you’re buying new, from a trusted source, the vehicle’s group should be readily available from the seller). Thatcham’s car insurance group calculator is free and easy to use http://www.thatcham.org/myvehicle 

Policy Expert

We have a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. We’re driven by a desire to help you find not only the best value insurance, but the right insurance for your individual needs. For more information speak to one of our experts on 0330 0600 602 or email ask@policyexpert.co.uk

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.