Thanks to the stiff competition in the car insurance industry, premiums have on average stayed at the same level in recent years. With over 100 car insurers vying for your custom, competition is hot and motorists can take advantage of some good bargains. If you shop around, you will almost certainly beat the renewal quote offered by your current insurer, but 23% of motorists ignore that fact, and happily renew their motor insurance with the same company year on year.
Until recently, getting a car insurance quote meant ringing up and going through the lengthy process of providing all your personal details, not to mention the many minutes spent trying to get through to them in the first place. Now, getting a quote has been made so much easier with the advent of the internet. Some websites allow you to input your details once, and can then give you quotes from 40 or more car insurers.
However, price is not the only consideration when choosing with whom to insure your car. Make sure that you’re not going to be faced with a large excess in case of an accident, and ensure that if your car needs to be repaired, you will be given a courtesy car. You also need to consider legal insurance cover and automatic windscreen replacement, and if you do have an accident, you may find an accident helpline extremely useful! To be sure of what is and isn’t included in your cover, it’s best to ring the insurer to go through the small print.
Our Top Tips to save you money on car insurance
1. Go through a car insurance broker’s website so you can get access to quotes from 40 or more car insurers, by simply inputting your details once. When you’ve received a quotation, call them to discuss the details of the policy, and maybe even request a further discount.
2. Keep your car in the garage overnight. You will pay more in insurance for keeping your car on the road because there is more chance of your car being broken into or damaged. As a second best option, put your car on a driveway.
3. Keep on top of how many miles you do each year, if you travel less then you will save on premiums.
4. Even your choice of occupation can affect your premiums – crazy as it sounds, if you’re a landlord, journalist or professional footballer (chance would be a fine thing) you will pay more. More run of the mill occupations like accountancy and government pay less.
5. If you’re married, male and under 30, you will probably pay less than your unmarried counterparts.
6. If you’re under 25, you’ll save money on your premiums by adding someone over 25 (and under 60) with a good driving record as a named driver.
7. If you want to save on the initial costs, you could choose to have a higher excess (usually about £100). It means you’ll pay more if you have an accident and need some repairs, but it’s a risk that you could take.
8. If your car isn’t worth much, why not just get third party cover. Compare quotes for third party and fully comprehensive insurance and see the difference.
9. If you’re aged between 18 and 21 then you’ve got the option of pay as you go insurance. Norwich Union has pioneered the idea especially for younger people who find it hard to afford car insurance. You’re charged for the miles you drive, and it gets more expensive per mile between 11pm and 6am. For a one off fee of £199, your car is fitted with a Global Positioning System which communicates details of your mileage direct to Norwich Union, they then send you a monthly bill.
10. If you’ve only just passed your test, you could save money by improving your driving. Take Pass Plus lessons and you could save up to 35% on your premiums. The lessons include driving in rush hour, on the motorway and driving at night, costing £15 – £30 an hour. Visit www.passplus.org.uk for more details. Taking a course with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (www.iam.org.uk) will also reduce your premiums.
11. If you’re buying a new car then find out what insurance group it falls into before you buy. There are twenty insurance groups with 1 being the lowest and 20 the highest, so if you’re caught between two cars and one is in a lower insurance group, you’ll save money by choosing it.
12. High spec and performance cars cost more to insure because statistically speaking, there’s more chance of them being stolen or being involved in an accident. Save money by choosing something a bit less ‘racy’.
13. A speeding offence could affect your premiums. Most insurance companies will turn a blind eye to one fixed penalty fine but above that you can expect higher premiums.
14. If you’ve made it to that all-important four years of no claims, pay a bit extra to protect the discount, then it’s safe.
15. Some insurance companies will give discounts for cars with satellite navigation as it has proved to help prevent accidents by enabling motorists to concentrate on the road.
16. Having an engine immobiliser or alarm fitted could lower your premiums by 5 – 8%.
17. If you’ve got more than one car registered at your address, you can get extra savings by insuring them all in one policy.