No one wants to pay for their car insurance than necessary. Fortunately, there a few shortcuts you can take to get the car insurance cover you need at the best price.
There are many factors affecting car insurance that you can’t easily control, such as your age, years of driving experience and where you live. But if you’re serious about saving on your car insurance a few simple steps can save you plenty.
The type of car you drive can make a huge difference to the cost of your car insurance. Not only are some cars more expensive to repair or replace than others, but some models are seen as high risk because they are frequently involved in claims.
Insurers group models into categories based on risk — sports models with larger engines are usually in higher, more expensive insurance groups, whereas smaller cars with less powerful engines are in the more affordable insurance categories.
If you're looking for a new car you might want to consider buying one in a low insurance group to help you save.
Insurers will offer you a more affordable premium if you do your best to keep your car out of harm’s way. If possible, keep your car in a secure garage or driveway overnight, rather than on the road where it is in easy reach of thieves and vandals.
You can reduce your premium further by installing additional security features, such as a tracker. If you need to park on the road, do so in a well lit area as thieves and vandals are less likely to target your car if they are in the spotlight.
Car insurance premiums are usually more affordable for those who drive fewer miles — the more you drive, the greater the chance of having an accident.
Most people estimate their mileage when getting a car insurance quote, so make sure you’re providing an accurate prediction. Your MOT certificates will show mileage from previous years, or you could track your weekly usage and use this to estimate your annual mileage.
Make sure you don’t lie about your mileage just to get cheaper car insurance — if you have to make a claim and your mileage doesn’t match up, your insurer may not pay out.
If you use your car to commute to work your premium will be higher, as you are more likely to be driving often and at peak times, and the probability increases of you making make a claim.
Most insurers offer three levels of cover:
third party: the minimum level of cover legally required to drive in the UK. This policy covers you for damage to other cars and property, as well as injuries to other people. But you will not be able to claim for any damage to your own car
third party, fire and theft: as above, plus you can claim for loses arising from theft, attempted theft and fire
comprehensive: provides protection for all reasonable losses, including damage to your car and personal injury
Although third party cover offers the least protection it isn’t necessarily the cheapest option. Always run quotes for this and comprehensive cover. This is because the profile of people selecting third party tends to be younger drivers, who lodge more claims.
Black box policies (also known as telematics, or pay as you drive policies) are another great way to save. As part of a black box policy, your insurer will install a small GPS-enabled device in your car or require you to download a smartphone app that monitors your driving.
The telematics device encourages safer driving and also makes the car easier to trace if it’s stolen. With a black box policy, your insurer sets your premium based on the quality of your driving.
While you must be truthful when describing your job, it’s well known that certain jobs are considered by insurers as riskier than others.
Take the catering industry, you could be a cook or a chef, no difference perhaps, but one description could add pounds to your premium. Never be misleading when getting quotes, but do think about how you can describe your role.
You may consider yourself a safe driver, but insurers will group you into a high-risk category if you have recently passed your test, are under the age of 25, or have previous claims or convictions.
If you are in one of these groups, you may be able to reduce the cost of your quote by adding a responsible and experienced named driver to your policy if they are likely to use the car.
Remember, you must be named as the policyholder (or main driver) if you’re the one driving the car most regularly. Adding another driver to a policy just to get a cheaper quote is known as fronting and is a form of fraud.
For every year you drive without making a claim on your insurance, you will earn a no-claims bonus. A maximum no-claims bonus, typically from around eight years can result in savings of up to 80% on your insurance costs.
There’s no way to speed up this process, but you can improve your chance of getting cheaper car insurance in the future by protecting your no-claims bonus for an additional fee.
Paying upfront for your car insurance can be a big hit to your bank balance, but it can save you a considerable amount over the year. By paying for your car insurance in monthly instalments, you are essentially taking out a loan from the insurer with added interest rates.
If you can afford to pay the annual cost upfront, you could save 20% or even more depending on your provider.
One of the best ways to save on your car insurance is to shop around and compare insurers. Even if you’re happy with your current insurer, it’s likely you’ll save on your renewal cost by comparing quotes from other providers.
Remember there are alternatives to the big-name providers — a specialist insurer may be able to give you a better deal if you’re in a high-risk group or have a powerful or modified car.