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Reducing the cost of car insurance

Reducing the cost of car insurance

Insuring your car is one of the biggest on-going costs of being a motorist. It’s a cause of frustration for many drivers and an escalating one as premiums continue to rise on a seemingly annual basis.

However, it’s a necessity and a legal obligation – so what can you do to make sure you get the best deal? The most important thing to remember is that insurers consider and price your individual policy based on the factor of risk. With this in mind, here’s our list of top tips to help you get a better price…

1. Think about insurance before you even need it!

Part of the car buying decision should be about factoring in the costs of actually getting a car on the road. For many of us, a car is a necessity not a luxury so we need to think about the overheads of running it just like we do our household bills.

So, when deciding on a new car it might be worth also considering what make or model will assure a lower insurance premium. Insurance companies prefer cars that would be cheaper to repair if there was a problem.

2. Safety at all times

Proving you’re a diligent driver will always give you the best chance of getting a better insurance quote. If you’re new to driving, weigh up the costs of taking the Pass Plus course and whether or not it would make your insurance costs cheaper.

If you’ve been driving for some time, remember that previous insurance claims and/or any points on your license will increase the cost of your premium. Meanwhile, it’s important to think about safety even when you’re not driving the car.

Consider fitting a recognised car alarm or immobiliser to your vehicle. Also, if you’ll be parking your car on a driveway or a garage when not using it, insurers will also view this favourably.

3. It's all about the numbers

Try and be as accurate as possible with your annual mileage quotes. Filling out any paperwork can be time consuming and boring and so it’s only too tempting to guess your annual mileage rather than work it out.

However, by calculating the length of the typical journeys you make over a week or fortnight and then multiplying this over a year you could save money. The lower your mileage, the lower your premium could be…BUT make sure you don’t purposely underestimate your mileage as this could invalidate your policy.

4. Shop around

DON’T just accept the first quote you get. Get at least four or five quotes and be prepared to barter with your preferred insurer if they’re not offering you the best price.

DON’T just consider price – while this blog post is all about ways to reduce the cost of your insurance you MUST look at the terms and conditions of each policy and compare the aspects of their cover like for like based on what’s important to you.

DON’T get carried away taking a belt and braces package. It’s very tempting to take policies that offer you breakdown assistance for extra reassurance but make sure you weigh up the cost of paying for roadside recovery this as an independent policy on its own. Also, many bank accounts also offer these kind of benefits – check to see you don’t already have this cover with your current account before paying out for it again.

DO see if you can get discount with an insurance provider by applying online.

DO consider the incentives insurers will offer you as part of the insurance package and see if these will save you money in other aspects of your life. For example, some of the supermarket and high street chains will offer you vouchers to spend in their store whilst others might offer you free cinema tickets for the entirety of your policy.

Finally, if it’s not the first time you’re buying car insurance and you’re thinking of switching do make sure you can carry over any no claims bonus.

5. Pay annually

It might not always be possible but if you can afford to pay your insurance premium upfront, in most cases this will come with a considerable cost saving compared to paying on a monthly basis.

6. Think excess

It’s very easy to get bogged down in the detail when buying vehicle insurance and at the time of purchase many people think that should they experience an accident, the lower the voluntary excess you would have to pay will be the better option.

The reality is that should you have a minor bump and the repair works costs up to £300, it may be better to just pay for the repair without claiming as any claim will increase your premium when you next need to renew your policy.

With this in mind, think about an excess figure you really couldn't afford to pay unexpectedly. The greater you make your voluntary excess figure, the cheaper you’ll make the cost of your insurance policy.

7. Add a second driver

By adding a low risk driver to your policy, you could reduce the cost of the insurance policy. They may not drive the vehicle more than a few occasions during the policy but it could make all the different. But remember, it’s important to make sure the main named driver is indeed the person who will be using the vehicle the most.

8. Decide if protecting your no claims works for you

This is a tough decision to make. If you’ve not made any claims on your insurance it’s worth considering paying a little more to protect this as over a period of time it will reduce your insurance premiums. Currently, the no claims benefits will be considered by insurers for up to five years. However, if you don’t claim within five years you’ve paid that additional cover for no reason.

It’s a tough decision to make so our advice to both speak directly to your insurance providers and read up on the subject.