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Which Vehicles Have the Lowest Motor Insurance?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 5 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
Motor Insurance Car Insurance Groups

Are you paying too much for your car insurance? That's what one of the many TV and radio adverts for car insurance asks us on a daily basis - but do you? Have you ever really considered the type of car that you drive and how it could be costing you far more than a similar vehicle, simply because of the manufacturer, the engine size or the type of wheels it has?

How is the Insurance Premium Worked Out?

When insurers are looking at how much they are going to charge you for a years car insurance, they look at a number of different factors including the type of car that you choose to drive.

Every new car model that is released in the UK is awarded an insurance group classification and the insurers will use this to fit into their quotation system, so that they can determine how much the premium should be on a particular type of car. This should be a consideration of anyone wanting to purchase a new car - as a higher classification model can really push the price of the premium up.

To make this easier to work out, the cars are classified by category, and put in groups from 1-20. If your car is the cheapest type to insure then it will be a '1' and the most expensive would be a '20'. These classifications come from the Association of British Insurers and the complete list is detailed in full at www.thatcham.org where they also explain that factors included are:

  • The price of the new car price, differing variations in level of trim and how much an insurer is likely to have to pay out in settlement if the car is written off.
  • Performance - how quickly it accelerates from 0-60mph and how fast it can go at top speed
  • How expensive part replacement is on a sample list consisting of 23 parts
  • The level of security the car enjoys

Even though this is an approved list, some insurers move certain models about a bit, although only by a group or two - so it's definitely worth checking out the classification category with more than one insurance provider to make sure you get the best deal.

Bearing this in mind, brand new, high spec, high performance vehicles that run with expensive bespoke parts are going to be more costly to insure than an older car that will have cheaper parts and therefore cheaper repairs. So buying a used vehicle can be a realistic and economic option. However, it is worth remembering that although the repairs might be cheaper, they may also be more costly if you keep having problems with an older car – so make sure you do your research and choose a model that has good reliability. A full service history is a must if you want to make sure that the used car you are purchasing has been well looked after and ‘future proofed’ as far as possible with good maintenance.

So What Kind of Car am I Looking for if I Want to Keep my Premium Down?

If you want to keep the cost of your insurance down then you want to be looking for cars that fall into the lower part of the classification table. Preferably, they won't be brand new - even if you want a new car, think about one that is maybe a year or two old with one careful owner - this could make a big difference to your premium! In terms of performance, the best bet is a small, lower engine sized car such as:
  • Renault Clio
  • Suzuki Swift
  • Toyota Aygo
  • Seat Ibiza
  • VW Polo
  • Peugeot 106
  • Fiat Panda
  • Ford Ka

All of the above are lower range cars which won't break the bank and will help you keep your motor insurance premiums relatively low. If you're looking for something a bit bigger - maybe a family car like a Citroen Picasso then you're probably looking at the mid-range groups at around 8-12. There are so many different types of car on the market – and some fall into surprisingly high categories compared to other similar cars – so you just need to find one you like the look of and look up a couple of insurance companies online to find out what class it falls into.

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