When you’re buying a new car you probably look at the engine size, the space inside, the price, even the colour.
But if you want a car that’s cheap to insure, then it’s worth checking its car insurance group before you part with your money - it’s used by insurers to calculate car insurance.
Generally, the higher the car insurance group, the more you will pay to insure it, while lower groups are cheaper to cover - you can quickly find out with our tool.
It's just one thing insurers looks at when they decide how much to quote you - there are other factors they’ll take into consideration.
Your history as a driver, whether you’re keeping the vehicle in a safe place, and your annual mileage all count too.
That’s why it’s always worth comparing car insurance before you buy, so you know what your premium will be.
“If you usually just compare insurance, and don't check the cars insurance group as well, it's worth doing.
"A car’s insurance group gives you an idea of how safe and secure a particular model is, and whether it’s likely to be pricey to get it repaired. It’s useful if you’re comparing two different models of car too.
"It’s always a good idea to compare car insurance premiums too, so you know what it’s going to cost you.
"No matter what your driving history’s like or group a car is in, there are always steps you can take to keep the cost of car insurance down”
Car insurance expert
The Group Rating Panel - a group of representatives from the insurance industry - meet regularly to determine what car insurance group different vehicles should be in.
They use data from Thatcham Research to identify which cars are likely to cost insurers the most via insurance claims.
Car models are then given a number between one and 50. As a rule of thumb, it’s high performance cars that top the scale, while cheaper run-arounds are lower down. That’s because they’re considered less risky.
But it’s not just about the price of a vehicle, there are lots of different considerations. Here’s a quick rundown of what they factor in:
When Thatcham advises the panel, it looks at how much it would cost to return a car to its pre-accident condition following a 15km/h crash impact. The panel looks at how much it’ll cost for parts and labour, and how long it takes to repair the car.
A car model’s performance, including it’s 0-60mph acceleration time and top speed, all contribute to its group. More powerful cars typically end up in higher insurance groups.
If it’s more easily broken into than other vehicles, the car will end up in a higher category.
It’s not just about the potential damage to the vehicle, but also the damage it might cause to others. That means the panel will also factor in a car’s safety features, like autonomous emergency braking.
According to Thatcham, over half of all money paid out in motor insurance claims goes on repairing cars. So, it analyses the price of the 23 most commonly damaged panels and components to help the Group Rating Panel work out the right insurance group.
The Citroen C1, Fiat Panda and Vauxhall Corsa are all available in models that qualify for group one. Although different models may come in higher than that.
Meanwhile, the Nissan Qashqai ranges from 13 to 21, depending on the specific model and trim you opt for.
Up at the very top in Insurance Group 50 are high performance vehicles, like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV and the Audi A7 Sportback.
The exact insurance group your car will sit in will depend on the trim, extras and engine size of the model you choose.