Car insurance: it’s a necessary evil for all drivers. With the average Brit paying over £400 a year on car insurance, it’s no wonder there are so many tools trying to find the best deal for people behind the wheel.
Without proper time invested at the beginning, insurance can seem overwhelming to research. What type of coverage will you need? What if you’re only driving occasionally? These are all questions that will factor into your decision-making. There are also a number of pieces that will impact how much you’ll have to pay for car insurance: everything from your car type and mileage to where you live will be considered when building a quote.
Despite the complexities, there are simple steps you can take to lower your car insurance costs both in the short and longer-term:
Do your homework (and use these tools to help along the way)
Like anything else you’d buy online, a little due diligence goes a long way. One of the most effective ways to get a fair deal on car insurance is to shop around and go with a trusted provider. Depending on the insurance company, they may be offering exclusive deals for the same level of coverage, so it's important to compare quotes from several providers.
It doesn’t need to be hard work, either. There are websites that will do the bulk of the heavy lifting for you, with a little effort on your part by entering in essential car and driver details.
These car insurance comparison websites will be a good starting point in your research:
- Compare the Market - Being one of the most popular car insurance comparison websites in the UK, Compare the Market is a great starting point for anyone looking to get new insurance or switch over from an existing provider. You can compare prices from a range of providers to ensure everything from classic cars to vans and motorised bikes.
- MoneySuperMarket - MoneySuperMarket is well-known for its range of insurance products, pulling in pricing from over 130 insurance providers. Simply enter the basics like your car type, how often you use it and any history of accidents – then you’re all set to start researching quotes.
- Confused.com - Another popular comparison website that offers a range of insurance products for vehicles, Confused.com offers insurance quotes for both permanently owned and rented cars. They also have a handy range of resources from charts for average costs per age of driver and the penalties of driving without insurance in the UK.
- GoCompare - GoCompare takes a no-nonsense approach to insurance comparison and jumps straight into a quote form, delivering results from over 120 insurance providers. Their form is quite comprehensive to start but it will make it easy to review results for your exact needs.
The frequency of payments will affect your rates — and longer-term is cheapest
While paying month-on-month may seem like a more affordable and palatable option, paying for your car insurance annually rather than monthly can actually help you save money. Insurance companies often charge extra fees for monthly payments as they consider these customers to be higher risk, chancing the possibility of a cancelled policy or defaulted payment. Companies will also have a certain element of administration involved in more frequent payments, so the easier you make it for them, the more they’ll reward you. By paying annually, you can avoid these fees and save money in the long run.
Make sure you’ve got parking sorted
Improving the security of your car can help you save money on insurance. Adding an alarm or immobiliser, or parking your car in a secure garage, can reduce the risk of theft or damage therefore lowering your insurance rates.
Services like JustPark allow drivers to book their parking ahead of time and even filter for features like CCTV or secure gates, so you can have a full line of sight into your car even when you’re not there.
Consider how your car choice might affect your budget
If you’ve got a taste for luxury cars, the price tag might not be the only major cost to factor into your budget. The type of car you drive can have a major impact on your rates, with insurers asking a number of questions:
- Does the car have difficult-to-replace parts?
- Are repair costs higher than other vehicles?
- Is there advanced technology that might need updating or cause malfunctions?
- What is the car being used for?
Cars that are expensive to repair or replace, or that have high-performance engines, are generally more expensive to insure and can be seen as more likely to have damage and accidents than the average car on the road.
Pay more out of pocket for lower premiums
Another way to save money on car insurance is to increase your excess. This is the amount you'll have to pay out of pocket if you make a claim, and by increasing it, you'll be able to lower your monthly premiums. It's important to make sure that you can afford to pay the excess if you need to make a claim, but if you can, this can be an effective way to save money on your car insurance.
Get a device to track your driving behaviour
Controversial in the sense some drivers feel a lack of privacy with this option, black box insurance uses a small device to track your driving habits, allowing insurers to offer lower rates to safe and responsible drivers. If you're confident that you’re a safe driver and are less concerned with having your driving monitored, black box insurance can be a great way to lower premiums on your insurance.
Boost your credibility by adding a named driver
Adding a named driver — or someone else who will drive your car but isn’t considered the “main” driver — to your policy can be beneficial to all parties involved. This is because insurance companies consider drivers with a good driving record to be less risky, and therefore offer lower rates. If you're a young or inexperienced driver, adding an older and more experienced driver to your policy can help you save money.
By shopping around and taking a few simple steps of caution, you can reduce your car insurance costs and still be properly covered. Take some time to review your car insurance policy and see if you can implement any of these strategies to save money.