Car insurance can be a major expense for many drivers. Young drivers, owners of high-performance cars, and those living in areas with higher crime rates are more affected by high premiums.
However, there are things we can all do to reduce our annual premium rates. We’ve put together this brief guide to cover some of the main strategies for getting cheaper car insurance.
It goes without saying that by comparing with a wider range of insurers, you are more likely to hit upon a good price, as not all of them offer identical premiums to each other.
Obviously, you will want to weigh the potential savings against the time and effort involved, and that’s why a price comparison site like Quidco Compare can save both time and money. With access to over 100 insurers, you can check their prices in one place.
The less miles you drive, the less potential risk you have of having an accident. Insurers do look at the mileage per year you put on your application, and it does impact on the premium, so don’t overestimate how far you drive.
A lot of people make the mistake of allowing their motor insurance to simply auto-renew, whether it’s out of a sense of loyalty, or because of the hassle of shopping around.
However, we strongly recommend that you do not do this, and shop around each year, as the difference in premiums can be significant.
So when you get that renewal notification letter towards the end of your annual policy, it’s worth making sure you do a quick check to see what the price could be if you swap insurers.
If you don’t need to do a lot of miles, it might be worth considering just being a named driver on the policy of a partner, parent, or friend.
When you take our car insurance on a monthly basis, it is effectively like taking out a loan. Interest is added and charged over the year. By paying in one single lump sum you avoid this interest, and therefore pay less.
If you have a passion for cars, you may be tempted to buy a big SUV or a performance vehicle like a hot hatch. However, the smart thing to do is build up your no claims bonus on a smaller, less exciting car first.
That way, you can move to a bigger motor when you have built up several years of no claims and avoid paying a huge insurance premium in those earlier years.
By driving sensibly and safely, you will be less likely to have an accident, make a claim, or get a motoring conviction. In the long run, you will accrue no claims, and your insurance premium will go down.
Another obvious suggestion from us, but be sure to use a cashback site like Quidco to get money back when you get your policy.
Where you park your vehicle can have a significant impact on the premium that you pay. If you do have access to a garage or your own drive, that’s much better than parking it at the roadside overnight, as it reduces the risk of theft.
In the same vein, additional security can reduce your risk of theft, and is particularly important if you have a higher value vehicle, or live in an area with an elevated crime rate.
Making changes to your car can be a huge temptation, particularly if it is uninspiring as a factory model. However, adding a new stereo system, after-market alloys, etc., are changes that you will have to declare, and they can increase the premium, so think carefully about whether or not you really need them.
It may not be for everyone, but the addition of a black box (which can be an actual box, or an app on your phone), can reduce your premium, in exchange for allowing the insurer to monitor your movements and car usage.
While some people may be uncomfortable with this, it may be an option for younger drivers who are struggling to get an affordable premium as they begin to build up experience.
When you’re at the checkout stage motor insurers will offer you a host of extra cover options. While it can be tempting to take out several of these, you should ensure that you really need them and that you might not be able to get them cheaper elsewhere.
For example, roadside assistance is often offered with car insurance, but breakdown companies like AA and RAC often do special offers and offer cashback. You may be able to get a better deal by going direct.
Getting comprehensive insurance is the best option in a lot of cases, but it’s always worth running quotes for other cover types to compare prices.
Bear in mind that if you have a low-value vehicle, e.g. sub £1000, then you will have to pay the excess, typically several hundred pounds, and therefore won’t benefit much from a successful claim anyway.
In cases like this, there may be little point in taking out comprehensive cover, and TPFT may be a better option.
Think carefully before adding named drivers to your policy. Adding a young son or daughter to your policy may drive your premiums up significantly, and other options like temporary insurance might be worth looking at.
If you are teaching them, they may be better off learning to drive with a driving instructor, who will provide insurance as part of their service.
On the other hand, if you have a higher premium, and want to bring it down, adding an older, experienced driver as a named person on your policy may reduce your premium.
Remember that this must be someone who will actually use your vehicle at some point - all insurance policies must be accurate and fully reflect the real usage of the policyholder and any named individuals.
This may not be the right option for everyone, but in some circumstances, it is worth considering increasing your voluntary excess. This will often reduce your premium.
Be sure to set your total excess at a level that you can realistically afford to pay. In the event of a claim, you will initially have to pay no matter who is at fault (it will later be refunded if it is determined that you are not at fault).
Your occupation is a major factor in determining your premium. It tells your insurer a lot about the type of lifestyle you lead, and the manner in which you drive.
However, you have some discretion over the job title you use to describe what you do, so choose carefully. The same job can often be described in more than one way, with differing outcomes for your premium.
If you live in a household, or a part of a family with multiple cars, then it may be worth getting a multi-car insurance quote. It’s a great option for families, couples, individuals with more than one car, and close friends that live together. This is a single policy that typically covers up to 5 or 7 cars. Such policies offer a discount for each additional motor added.
Beware, however, that there is not always a saving, as the inclusion of high-risk drivers or performance vehicles can raise the overall premium. So be sure to compare it against getting individual policies.
On the hunt for cheaper car insurance, the main thing you need to do is be truthful. The approaches above outline just some of the ways you can change things.
If you want to make savings, the main thing to do is try different approaches and methods to see if you can reduce it.