How are car insurance groups calculated?

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Written by Michael Foote , founder of Quote Goat, with over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

For insurance purposes all cars in the UK are categorised by The Group Rating Panel and administered by Thatcham Research. All insurers in the UK will use these car group recommendations in order to calculate their car insurance policies. But how do they work?

All cars in the UK will fall into one of fifty different categories. Category 1 contains the cheapest cars to insure and category 50 contains the most expensive cars to insure based on a number of factors. The categories in between one and fifty slowly rise in cost.

What are the factors that determine the categories?

Repair costs and times

Over half of all money paid out by insurers in the UK is for motor vehicle repairs. With the time the car being at the mechanics being so important, this is reflected highly when considering a car’s category. Longer waits and more expensive repairs will place a car in a much higher bracket by the insurers.

The car’s value

The price of a new car set by the manufacturer gives insurers a good idea of the costs of future repairs and maintenance and is also a very clear indication of the car’s value should it be written off.

The price of parts and damage

A standard list of 23 common car parts are priced and compared in order to determine which category a car should go into. The lower the cost of these 23 replacement parts, the lower the category and cheaper the insurance will be. The cost of fixing damaged parts on each vehicle is also taken into account.


Cars that include specialty technology to make them safer such as Autonomous Emergency Breaking (AEB) will be cheaper to insure than cars without.


Insurers will take into account a cars acceleration and top speed as cars with higher performance specifications are more than likely to be involved in insurance claims when compared against lesser performance cars.


Cars that come with added security measures as standard are better protected from crime, which accounts for a large number of claims every year. Features like high security door locks, immobilisation services and locking devices will all help to lower a car’s rating.

Car insurance categories can differ between different insurers, which is why it is so important to compare car insurance quotes before you make a final decision.


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