10 Tips to get the best deal on your car insurance
Nobody likes to pay more than they have to for their car insurance; so, here are 10 tips to lower your car insurance premium:
- Increase your excess - it'll bring down your premium, but make sure you can afford the excess in the event of an accident
- Be accurate with your annual mileage - don't pay for miles that you'll never drive
- Keep the number of named drivers down - don't pay for drivers who barely ever drive your car
- Add an alarm system - if your car doesn't have one, fit a Thatcham approved alarm and immobiliser
- Opt for a blackbox policy - young drivers insurance premiums are much lower with a blackbox
- Are the extras necessary? - read the extras small print; do you need cover when driving abroad?
- Keep your car in a garage - if you have a garage, use it, don't fill it with junk
- If you can afford it pay a lump sum annually - pay the whole premiuum upfront if you can, it can save you a lot of money
- Take a Pass Plus course - most insurers recognise that a Pass Plus course will make you a safer driver
- Don’t be afraid to shop around - don't rely on comparison websites; shop around by phone and you'll get a better deal
How can you reduce your car insurance premiums?
Running a car can be expensive. Everything from the initial purchase, fuel, servicing costs and — perhaps most annoying of all — insurance.
It often feels like insurance companies are out to get every pound from your pocket, offering premiums that seem more ridiculous year-on-year. It doesn’t have to be this way though, and here's 10 steps you can take to cut down your insurance costs.
Increase your excess
It might be tempting to keep your excess low to minimise the upfront cost should the worst happen, but this can actually result in much higher premiums.
Experiment with the different excess costs when you’re shopping around. Your policy price could tumble by simply adding £50 more to your excess. A word of advice though, make sure you can afford to stump up the cash in the event of an accident.
Be accurate with your annual mileage
Are you covering a few thousand miles less annually than your insurance allows? Reducing your quoted mileage will bring the premiums tumbling.
The more miles you tell your insurer you’re doing, the more of a risk you are to them, which means the higher the price you’ll pay for. Sure, it’s hard to predict exactly how many miles you’re going to cover in a year, but if there’s noticeably miles and miles left over, don’t be afraid to cut them out of your policy.
Keep the number of named drivers down
While adding a more experienced driver to a policy may result in lower costs, adding multiple users will see it soar back up again.
If someone on the policy uses the car only once or twice a year, then you need to be ruthless and drop them; use a temporary cover service when they need to drive the vehicle. Your wallet will be much better off for it.
Add an alarm system
Although most new cars are fitted with seriously good security equipment, some older models lack the modern luxury of a decent anti-theft protection system.
If your car is lacking, then investing in an aftermarket alarm system with an immobiliser will result in savings in the long run as your insurance premiums will be cheaper, especially if you fit a Thatcham-approved system.
Opt for a blackbox policy
For younger drivers in particular, a telematics, better known as a blackbox policy can drastically reduce the annual cost of insuring your car.
Insurers offering a blackbox policy will fit a data recorder to your car allowing them to monitor your driving habits, mileage covered and where you’ve been. It may sound rather Big Brother and terrifying, but as they can track exactly how you’re driving, your initial cost is reduced and good habits on the roads can lead to huge discounts at renewal.
Are the extras necessary?
Car insurers like to offer plenty of extras alongside the standard policy to give buyers more cover, but most of these come at extra cost.
While things like breakdown and courtesy car cover sound like a smart addition, these can often be found cheaper elsewhere rather than alongside the policy, while other extras, such as cover while driving abroad, may be totally unnecessary.
Keep your car in a garage
If you’ve got a garage that can fit your car, but instead it’s used as a dumping ground for bicycles, dog toys and your old vinyl collection of Venga Boys records, it might be time to clear it out!
Securely parking your car in a garage makes it a much safer prospect in the eyes of insurers as it’s out of the eyes of potential thieves and clear of any potential damage while parked. This means your premiums could tumble.
Similarly, if you can park in a secure area at work, letting your insurer know can bring the price down too.
If you can afford it pay a lump sum annually
Monthly payments are convenient; they mean you can spread the cost over a year, a great option for those on a budget.
The total price when paying monthly is often noticeably higher than paying the annual insurance in one lump sum, though. If you can afford to pay for a full year’s cover in one, you’ll save a lot in the long run.
Of course, only do this if you know you can afford to. Taking out bank loans or using a credit card will end up costing more than a monthly direct debit.
Take a Pass Plus course
Pass Plus courses are great for any motorist, new or old. If you’re fresh on the roads, it can give you more in-depth experience behind the wheel while still having the safety of a qualified instructor in the passenger seat. Those with more experience can still take a Pass Plus and refresh themselves on the rules of the road and eradicate any bad habits.
Insurers recognise the benefits of Pass Plus courses and offer discounts for those who’ve taken them. You’re a safer and more experienced driver in their eyes, making you less of a risk.
Don’t be afraid to shop around
As convenient as it may be to head onto a price comparison site and pick the cheapest deal from there for your insurance, it’s not going to save you much money.
Use that as a starting point, and then don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Tell one insurer of another’s prices and see if they’ll offer a better deal and if they do, don’t stop there, go back to the first and let them know. You could knock hundreds of pounds off your premium with an hour of calls if you’re persistent and savvy enough.
Hang tough and you'll reap the reward.