The cost of car insurance depends on many factors, including the make and model of car you want to insure.
It makes sense that insuring a Porsche or Hummer will cost you more than insuring a Corsa or Punto. Because some cars are riskier to insure than others, insurers slot every car on the market into a car insurance group. The lower the insurance group your car sits in, the cheaper your insurance should be.
So what are insurance groups, and what are the factors that insurers look at when assessing how risky a car is? Our guide talks you through all you need to know, and takes a look at some of the cheapest cars to insure right now, in the lowest insurance groups.
What are car insurance groups?
Every car falls into a different insurance group. Groups are numbered 1 to 50, with 1 being the lowest and cheapest to insure.
Some insurers use their own insurance group system, but must adhere to the ratings decided by the Group Rating Panel, which is made up of members of the Lloyds Market Association and the Association of British Insurers.
How are cars rated?
Many factors can make a car more or less costly to insure. Insurers need to weigh up the following:
Car value - the as-new value of your car gives insurers an idea of how much your car will cost to replace or insure
Parts value - the Group Rating Panel looks at the cost of the 23 most common car parts for each vehicle. The lower the price of parts, the lower the insurance group of the car
Car performance - high-performance vehicles with powerful engines are capable of reaching high speeds, and fast. Statistically these cars are involved in more accidents, so they’re more costly to insure. If you’re looking to keep your insurance costs down, consider the accelerating power and top speed of the car you’re looking to buy
Security - the better security features on board, the lower the insurance group. The Group Rating Panel look at features like immobilisers and alarms, and give each car a security rating by letters ranging from E, A, P, D down to U. E stands for exceeds and U stands for unacceptable. Most cars in the lower insurance groups will have E or A security ratings.
Ease and cost of repairs - the most popular cars on the road market tend to be easy and cheap to maintain, and are seen by mechanics up and down the country on a daily basis. Others require specialist servicing and parts, or repairs that are trickier or longer to carry out - resulting in higher insurance costs.
Which cars are cheap to insure right now?
Your actual insurance cost will depend on factors like your driving history too, but choosing a car in a low insurance group will help to keep costs down - a great tip for young drivers looking for their first car.
Here are five cars in the lowest insurance groups that can help you do just that.
Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback - both the 1.0i 12V Expression 3d and 1.0i 12V ecoFLEX Expression 3d models achieve a group 1, the cheapest you can get. The majority of other Corsa models are in groups 2 to 9.
Volkswagen Up - built for the city, the 1.0 Take Up 3d and 1.0 Take Up 5d fall into group 1, as do several 1.0 Move Up models.
Hyundai i10 - voted best city car at the 2014 Car of the Year Awards, the second generation i10 is in insurance group 1, so it’s far cheaper to insure than previous models.
Skoda Citigo - a host of Citigo 1.0 models, from 2012 onwards, are in insurance group 1, including models in the S, SE, Sport and Elegance ranges.
Kia Rio - the 5-door 1.0 Air model is spacious enough for families, and makes it into insurance group 1 too.