After some ideas for reducing your car insurance premiums? Our experts have put their heads together
The average cost of a car insurance policy was £470 in the last financial quarter, up 7% (£37) on the previous quarter, according to the Association of British Insurers, making it one of the most significant regular expenses for drivers.
Given this, it’s little surprise that drivers are keen to reduce the cost of their cover, which is precisely why we’ve put together this guide on how to make car insurance cheaper, offering you 15 handy hints on how you can bring the cost of your cover down.
1. Compare quotes
One of the best ways to get cheaper car insurance in the UK is to shop around and compare quotes from different insurers. Use comparison websites to get a range of quotes quickly and easily.
2. Increase your voluntary excess
Consider increasing your voluntary excess. An excess is the amount you pay towards any claim you need to make, and while compulsory excesses are baked into individual policies, you can add and increase an additional, voluntary excess, which will bring down the cost of your premium – though be sure you can afford the excess in the event of an accident.
3. Add a named driver
Adding a more experienced driver as a named driver on your policy could help reduce your premium. However, be sure that they will actually be driving the car, as fronting – where someone pretends to be the main driver when they’re not – is illegal.
4. Consider a telematics policy
Young and new drivers tend to face very expensive insurance premiums, and if you fall into one of these two camps, it can be worth getting a telematics ‘black box’ installed. These devices monitor how you drive, bringing reduced insurance costs for careful drivers, and charging more for people who are extreme in their cornering, braking and acceleration.
5. Improve your car’s security
Adding security features such as an immobiliser or alarm to your car can help reduce your premium, as this may make your car less likely to be stolen, and therefore represent less of a risk to your insurer.
6. Pay annually
Paying for your car insurance annually, rather than monthly, can often work out cheaper as insurers may charge interest on monthly payments.
7. Choose your car carefully
You can’t change your age or sex, and are unlikely to want to change profession to get a cheaper policy, but the make, model and engine/trim level of your car have a significant effect on your insurance premium. Generally, smaller, more affordable and less powerful cars are cheaper to insure than larger, faster, more expensive models.
8. Check your job title
You may not want to change profession, but do see if changing the precise name of your job title with your insurer (while still remaining totally honest) could bring down your insurance premium. There might be a difference in cost, for example, between an education assistant and a classroom assistant, although both titles could describe the same role.
9. Take some driver training classes
When you take out a new insurance policy, the provider will often ask if you have taken extra tuition, such as that offered by IAM Roadsmart (formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists). Doing so can both improve your safety on the road, and reduce your insurance premium, so is well worth considering.
10. Avoid auto-renewal
Car insurance policies typically renew automatically, and prices tend to increase when this happens (a practice known, ironically, as ‘loyalty’ pricing). Keep an eye on when your renewal is due, don’t let it auto renew (unless the price is right) and be sure to shop around two or three weeks in advance of your renewal date to give yourself the best chance of getting competitive offers from other providers.
11. Build up your no claims bonus
Building up a no claims bonus can help reduce your premium over time. This is a discount that insurers offer to drivers who haven’t made any claims on their policy.
12. Check for discounts
Some insurers offer reduced premiums for things like multi-car policies, or if you take out your home insurance with them as well as your car cover, so be sure to investigate this.
13. Don’t overestimate your mileage
Have a look at your previous MoT results or service records to find out how many miles you cover in a typical year, and make sure your insurance policy doesn’t cover you for a distance that’s wildly higher than this. Insurers increase the cost of policies for long-distance drivers as they represent increased risk due to the extra time spent on the road, so be sure to only pay for the mileage you need.
14. Avoid unnecessary add-ons
Make sure you only pay for the coverage you actually need. Consider whether you need add-ons like breakdown cover, lost-key cover or legal protection, as these can increase the cost of your policy.
15. Think about where you park your car
It may seem counterintuitive, but people who park on their driveway can sometimes face higher premiums than those who park on the street. This is due to the fact that thieves are likely to be able to work out which house the car’s keys are in if it is parked on a driveway, increasing the risks of the keys being stolen and the car driven away, or the car falling victim to keyless theft.