What Insurance Group is my Car?

The amount of money a driver pays to insure their car is partly determined by the estimated amount of money it would take to repair the car following an accident. Because of the variation in cost, all vehicles are grouped according to their perceived risk level and cost of repair. In the old system, cars were ranked 1 – 20, with 1 being the safest and hence cheapest to insure and 20 being the highest risk vehicle and consequently, most expensive to insure.

Changes have been made and a new rating system formed in 2007 is what is currently used to classify vehicles. This new system saw the old groups expanded to 50, with 50 being the new level for the highest risk car and the most costly in terms of insurance. Before buying a car, it is advisable to check its insurance group so as to get an estimate of how much it will cost you to insure it.

If you did not check your car insurance groups when buying the car, you can do so now by visiting the Thatcham website,  . Fill in the form on the right as requested. Thatcham is the UK motor insurance repair research centre, whose findings are used to set car insurance groups. You can also use the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) website, which makes up part of the car insurance group rating panel.

In order to find your car’s group rating, some details are required. The form on Thatcham’s website will request the following information: your car manufacturer, car model, year of make, cubic capacity (cc), fuel type, gear box type and the security code. Each car group is given a letter to signify its security level. The assigned letters are A, D, E, G, P and U. Below are their meanings:

  • A – Meets the group’s security requirement

  • D – Does not meet the group’s security requirement. The letter D on a car indicates that the car has moved to a higher level from the one it was under in the old system (1 – 20).

  • E – Exceeds the group’s security requirement. Cars with this letter have moved to a lower group.

  • G – Is given to imported cars, both those that are made for the UK market and those that are not.

  • P – Means provisional. It is used on cars where there was insufficient information to warrant proper classification.

  • U – Means the car’s security level is unacceptable. If you have such a car, the insurer will expect you to improve its security level before they can cover you.

    Knowing your car group rating is important in determining how much you will spend on insurance. Once you know where your vehicle is classified, you can take measures to move it to a lower group, which will lower your insurance rates. However, it should be noted at this point that insurance companies are under no obligation to set their rates solely based on the rating given by the Group Rating Panel. The groups are merely a guide. A high number of insurance companies check the group rating though and consider the rating when making calculations for premiums. So it is not to be fully ignored.

    If the level of security of your car is unsatisfactory, you should install additional safety features yourself. This will boost its safety level and earn you much lower rates. Some things like the engine power cannot be altered unless by making modifications to the engine, which can affect the car’s overall performance. Instead of going to such drastic measures, you can try other strategies such as reducing mileage, building and protecting a no claims discount and keeping your driving record clean.

Copyright Don Maskell 2011 All Rights Reserved Home