Car insurance groups

Explained: Car Insurance Groups

When looking to see how much your car insurance might cost, the first question you should be asking is: what insurance group is my car in?

Reworked in 2009 and fully launched the following year, car insurance groups now range from 1-50. When picking out a new car - especially as a young driver - you want to be well aware of which group your car falls under.

What are car insurance groups?

The groups enable insurers to accurately work out a premium and are set by the Group Rating Panel, with Group 1 representing cars that are the cheapest to insure and Group 50 the most expensive. As you can imagine, the cars at the expensive side of the spectrum are usually high performance cars from high-end manufacturers - basically the supercars of the world.

Administered by Thatcham Research, the Group Rating System works on the basis of several factors that give insurers the required information regarding the cost of an insurance claim; however, some insurers may use their own scale. The system itself works upon the internationally recognised insurance standard 15km/h (around 9.3mph) impact.

Thatcham’s factors are largely based on repair costs, due to the cost of vehicle repairs accounting for over half of all money paid out in motor insurance claims (Association of British Insurers).

Car insurance groups

Calculating car insurance groups

Damage and parts costs - covers likely extent of damage to each car and how much it would cost to replace any parts.

Parts prices - a list of 23 panels and components that are most commonly damaged in an accident is used to specify cost.

Repair costs and time taken - takes into account the cost of repairs such as bodywork - including paintwork - as well as the time required to complete the repairs.

New car values - the price of the car is considered, along with reflecting variations in trim level and the cost of settlement in the case of a ‘total loss’.

Vehicle performance - naturally, the more powerful the car is and how fast it can accelerate are important factors, with more powerful models carrying a higher insurance group.

Safety features - safety technology will help put a car in a lower group, such as Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB).

Bumper compatibility - a lower insurance group will be given to a cars that have bumpers compatible with the insurer’s criteria.

Car security - the more secure your car is thanks to the likes of alarms and immobilisers, the cheaper it will be to insure.


As you might imagine, the lower the costs of repairs, the safer, more secure and less powerful it is, the lower your vehicle will sit in the groups.

Car insurance groups - suffixes

You might well have noticed that many cars’ insurance groups have a letter following the number. These stand for various levels of security fitted as standard to that particular vehicle; security requirements increase as the insurance group increases, so the higher the insurance group the better the security needs to be.

These suffixes are as follows:

A - meets all security requirements for its group

D - the car doesn’t meet the requirements for its insurance group and has therefore had its group increased. For example, a Group 5 car that falls short might be put to Group 6D.

E - a car with this suffix exceeds its security requirements and has therefore been reduced in regards to its insurance group. For example, a Group 5 car that has better security than required might get put down to Group 4E.

P - this stands for provisional and is used in cases where the data for group rating was incomplete when the car was launched.

U - this is where the level of security is regarded as unacceptable. While the car is still insurable, some insurers may ask for security features to be upgraded/added.

G - this represents a car that has been imported. Two groups are used for imported cars: Parallel Imports and Grey Imports.

The former are for vehicles that are built for and sold in Europe and conform to the European Whole Vehicle Type Approval requirements. Meanwhile, the latter is a term used for car built for other non-EU markets and are unlikely to conform to the requirements.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive our latest news and offers

By giving an email address, you're agreeing to receive our marketing emails and you can opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy for details on how your data will be used.

By giving an email address, you're agreeing to receive our marketing emails and you can opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy for details on how your data will be used.

Please note we record all our calls to ensure that we give you the service you deserve.

Loading