From January 2008 motorists will have 50 insurance groups to choose from when looking to purchase a car. This is more than double the existing 20 groups and is being changed to allow for more specific quotes and easy comparison. As a result some cars will become more expensive and some will become cheaper. The phase over to the new system will end in summer 2008.
Vehicle qualification for each group will be overhauled as part of this new scheme. The ease and cost of repair will remain strong considerations and the weight of vehicles will also be incorporated. 0-60mph acceleration speeds will be replaced with pulling power in comparison to weight to assess a vehicles performance.
On the surface such changes appear to give consumers a greater deal of choice when looking a purchasing a new vehicle, but on the flip side it is important that new groupings are fully explained to customers. Very few people are aware of the Vehicle Excise Duty Band that their vehicles are in (7 in total), fewer are aware of their insurance class and you can bet by adding additional bands that even more confusion will be added to the system. Cars are strikingly different and therefore 50 insurance categories make sense from this perspective. Lets hope that the categorisation, especially in weight terms, encourages more environmentally friendly and safe vehicles as part of a wider policy drive.