How to Get The Best Car Insurance Deals
Last Updated 11 July 2022 | Published 28 February 2017
Car insurance is one of those essential costs of driving – something we all need but that can cost rather a lot.
Here are a few tips that you can follow to ensure that you get the best deals.
Do Not Auto Renew
It is very easy to just let your annual policy automatically renew. However if you do it could be a very expensive mistake.
Your insurance premium will likely have gone up, and if you auto renew you will miss out on the cheaper deals that competitors will be offering.
With so many price comparison sites available on the internet, there really is no excuse. It takes just a few minutes to type in your details and then you get a whole list of insurance companies and insurance costs to choose from.
Remember some of the big insurance companies, like Aviva and Direct Line, do not feature on comparison sites so you will need to compare these separately.
Before you purchase, do give your existing insurer a chance to give you their best offer. Tell them you are thinking of leaving and see what deal they can offer you.
Do not leave it to the last minute. Generally, the closer to your renewal date you get, the more expensive quotes could become.
Limit Your Mileage
Many of us overestimate how many miles we drive each year. Be as accurate as possible with the number of miles you drive annually. The fewer miles you drive the lower your risk for insurers, so the cheaper you are to insure. Do be honest with your mileage estimates to be sure you are covered by your insurance.
If you pay monthly for your insurance premium, interest will be added and you will pay more than if you pay in one lump sum.
Improve Vehicle Security
Improving your vehicle’s security could get you cheaper premiums. This is because the harder it is to steal your car, the less of a risk it is.
Having an approved alarm, tracking device of even an immobiliser fitted on your car can often get you a discount on your premiums.
Get quotes on how much your insurance would cost before fitting any security upgrades, so you can see if the extra cost of them is worth it for the insurance savings.
Increase Voluntary Excess
You can reduce your annual premium by choosing a higher voluntary excess when you take out your policy.
However, you must be confident that in the event you had to make a claim you can afford to pay the higher excess.
Build Up Your No Claims Bonus
Building up your no-claims bonus discount will help you to get a cheaper policy because insurers reward motorists who are claim-free with discounts on their premiums.
Protect Your No-Claims Discount
This is one of the best things you can do to cut the cost of your car insurance. Admittedly it will add a few pounds to your premium, however this small amount is really nothing when compared to the savings made by having a healthy no-claims bonus on a policy with a substantial premium. The definition of a protected no-claims bonus can vary considerably from one insurer to the next so make sure you check your policy carefully.
Only Pay For What You Need
When purchasing car insurance there are a number of optional add-ons that you can choose, which will increase the cost of your policy. Make sure to only select the add-ons that you need.
See if it’s cheaper to buy add-ons as separate products
Car insurance add-ons can include:
- legal assistance
- courtesy car cover
- personal accident cover
- windscreen cover
- protected no-claims bonus
Change Your Car
The kind of car you drive could have the biggest impact on your insurance premium. This is due to:
- The value of the car – more expensive cars can be more desirable to thieves and be of higher risk.
- The car insurance group the car belongs to
- Whether the car is a luxury or a performance model.
- The engine size – the more powerful the engine the more expensive damage claims
The general rule is the bigger and more expensive a car is, the higher your insurance might be.
Obey the Law
The DVLA keeps most points on your licence for four years. But insurance companies keep them on their records for five.
Having points on your licence make you look like a bigger risk to insurers. So, to keep your insurance costs low you need to keep your licence clean.
If you have more serious convictions such as drink-driving and driving without insurance, you could see that your options for cover are more restricted.
Remember that you must declare all active motoring convictions to your insurance company when you get your policy. If you don’t you risk invalidating your policy.
Park with Care
Putting your car in your garage overnight can drastically cut your insurance premium, as cars that are not on the road overnight are at less risk of theft.
Alternatively parking on your drive (if you have one) can similarly reduce your insurance, due to less risk of being vandalised or stolen, and insurers will deem you as less of a risk to insure, potentially lowering your premiums.
Adding Additional Drivers
Putting an additional driver on your policy can bring your premiums down, as long as they are experienced drivers.
Always be honest about who the main driver is though, or you will invalidate your cover.
Modifications – whether they’re upgrades to styling, audio or performance – could mean a big hike in the price of your insurance.
Adding alloy wheels, body kits and performance upgrades could make your car a lot more attractive to thieves.
Modified cars also tend to be more expensive to fix than ordinary cars due to the expensive parts.
Telematics – Sign Up For a Black Box
Telematics or Black Box Policies help tailor your insurance costs based on how, when and how much you drive. They will only reduce your premium if you are a careful driver.
These black boxes check your speed, measure how aggressive you are when you brake or accelerate and how cautious a driver you are. They even monitor the times you are on the road, whether you are driving during the times that are considered more dangerous or not. Driving data is recorded by either a black box fitted in the vehicle or a mobile phone app.
Having one of these fitted in your car can make a real difference to your premiums, so they are especially popular with those drivers who attract high premiums, like newly qualified younger drivers.
Some insurers even offer customers a discount up-front for taking out a telematics policy.
As an added bonus the black box acts as a tracker if your car gets stolen.
Take a Driving Course
Although advanced driving courses such as Pass Plus and IAM cost money, they’ll get you a discount on your insurance with some providers, especially for young and inexperienced drivers.
Bear in mind that some insurers won’t take courses like these into account, and you should weigh up whether the savings on insurance will outweigh the course cost.
Your Job Description
The way you describe your job can also affect your premium. Your job affects your lifestyle, which affects how you drive. Even if you don’t drive as part of your job, it could still have an impact.
There are also many ways to describe the same job, and different insurance companies might use slight variations of similar job titles. This means your price could change depending on the specific job title you use so it’s worth looking at the most relevant variations to see how it could impact your price.
While a ‘chef’ might pay a different premium to a ‘cook’, and a ‘hairdresser’ might pay a different price to a ‘barber’.
Remember that it’s important to be as accurate as you can when describing your occupation, to make sure you’re getting the right level of cover. But be honest or you risk invalidating your policy.
Level of Use
With more and more people working from home, you may no longer commute to an office. You may be able to find a cheaper policy by describing your insurance as being ‘for social use’.
Be honest about how you use your vehicle or you will invalidate your cover.
Beware of Admin Charges
Administration charges are one of the great hidden expenses on car insurance.
If, for example, you change your car, your job or your address, some policies will allow you to make the change for free – but others could charge around £50.
Take charges into account when you arrange your insurance – paying £5 or £10 more for a policy with reasonable admin fees could save you much more in the long run.
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