Latest Motor News // 02 March 2017
Insurance is still one of the deciding factors when buying a car. Choose the wrong car and the costs can add up to be very expensive. However understanding in more detail how car insurance works can lead to more informed car selection and cheaper overall insurance.
Cars are classified into insurance groups (ranging from 1-50) by a panel of insurers. The cars in the lower groups are cheaper to insure compared to the higher groups. Inclusion of a car in a particular group is decided by a combination of what insurers call “damageability” and “reparability”. Damageability is comprised of factors such as performance (engine size, acceleration, top speed) and safety (e.g. emergency braking system). Whereas reparability combines factors such as repair time (how long mechanics generally have to work on a car) and repair cost (individual price of separate parts. Vehicle price is also used as a measure, as it is often considered to be good guide to the cost of repairs.
Taking these factors into account, it’s possible to ascertain which cars will be cheaper to insure than others. Performing a comparison of a car in group 1 compared to a car in group 50 perfectly illustrates these differences. A Fiat panda (group 1) costs £8,500, has an engine size of 0.9 litres and between 51-70 horsepower (measure of an engine’s power). In comparison, a Porsche 911 turbo (group 50) can cost from upwards of £145,000 has an engine size of 3.8 litres and 427 horsepower. Analysing these specifications based on the insurance factors of damageability and reparability, the ability to go faster in a Porsche naturally leads to a greater risk of damage compared to the lower speeds of the Fiat Panda; and the higher overall cost of the Porsche, suggests a greater repair cost. As a result they are at complete opposite ends of the insurance group spectrum.
When considering insurance costs, there are certain external factors separate from the car that can influence potential damageability and reparability. These include personal driving record and driver age, but also take into account your postcode (examining crime in your area) and security (whether the car is parked on the street or in a garage).
Don’t underestimate the influence of age, a clean record and good security. They can bring down insurance costs massively, so analyse your personal situation and don’t be afraid to look around and investigate cars from higher groups. Many websites offer instant insurance quotes, so do your research and find a car that suits you. If you’re looking to buy a car and want to look at finance options, why not use Moneybarn’s online finance calculator and see how much the finance would cost you per month.