10 tips and tricks for cutting the costs on your car insurance
Anybody who has owned a car will know just how difficult it can be to find value for money when it comes to looking for car insurance.
Whether you’re a young driver or an experienced pro, we’ve combined a list of ways in which you can slash the price of your car insurance premiums.
1. Shop around!
The best way to get a good deal on your car insurance premium is to shop around.
Price comparison websites are often the quickest way to find a good deal, however it is worth getting quotes from insurance companies who deal with customers through their own website or over the phone to see how they compare.
Importantly, it may not always be cheaper to stick with your current provider year-on-year, so always check for the best deal when your policy is coming to an end. It might also be worth calling your insurers directly at the end of your policy to see if they can offer you a better deal on renewal.
TIP: Remember, a cheaper car insurance premium may turn out more expensive in the long run if you aren’t fully covered. Make sure you are fully satisfied with the policy on offer before you commit to it!
2. Consider a telematics policy
Especially popular with younger drivers, telematics – or ‘black box’ – insurance policies allow companies access to information such as the time of day or night that you drive, the speed at which you drive on different roads, whether you brake or accelerate sharply and your total mileage to assess the price you will pay at renewal. Essentially, the better you drive, the cheaper your insurance will be.
Many telematics policies also provide you with money back on a quarterly basis depending on the data that they receive, while some offer other incentives such as bonus miles.
You can find out more about black box insurance by reading our guide here.
TIP: If you want to save money with a telematics car insurance policy then make sure you tailor it to your needs. For example, if you do not need to drive at night, make sure you specify this with your insurer as it can help to reduce your insurance premium.
3. Alter your voluntary excess
Typically, the higher your voluntary excess, the lower your car insurance premiums will be. If you think you’re unlikely to make a claim on your car insurance, then putting your voluntary excess up could save you money on your renewal.
However, it is important to remember that while this can save money in the short-term, any future claims on your car insurance will be more expensive, so think carefully when adjusting your policy.
TIP: Car insurance providers will usually include a ‘compulsory excess’ figure in your quote, so make sure that you consider this when adjusting the amount of voluntary excess you are willing to pay.
4. Annual payments are always cheaper
Monthly payments may look like an attractive option when taking out car insurance, but the added interest involved means that you will always end up paying more in the long run.
TIP: If you have the means to pay for your car insurance on an annual basis then it should be an absolute no-brainer to do so, however, it might also be worth looking into applying for a credit card with a 0% interest period – just be sure that you can pay the money off before the interest-free period ends!
5. Car share when possible
Car sharing is not only great for the environment and for saving you a fortune on fuel, but it also helps to bring down your car insurance premiums.
Being able to commit to driving fewer miles every year can lead to huge savings on your car insurance, so you’re saving the planet as well as saving yourself money on your premiums. It’s a win-win!
TIP: If you are car sharing with work colleagues, make sure that the driver is covered for commuting by their car insurance policy – this will cover them against any accidents to-and-from work.
6. Look out for policy add-ons
Before committing to your chosen car insurance policy and premium, make sure that you require everything that is included.
Most car insurance providers will offer you the option of having:
- Courtesy car cover
- Windscreen cover
- Breakdown cover
- Personal accident cover
Take the time to read up on what you are being offered and consider whether it is essential for your needs. Removing some of these additional extras can be a great way to reduce your car insurance premium, but only if you don’t deem them necessary.
TIP: Breakdown cover is often cheaper when purchased separately to your car insurance, so shop around for the best deal!
7. Kit out your car with the latest security
Informing your insurer that you have gone the extra mile to secure your vehicle can bring your premium down by up to 5%.
Cars are rated on their levels of security by letters which range between E, A, P, D and U. ‘E’ stands for exceeds – and will often result in a cheaper car insurance premium – while ‘U’ indicates that the car’s security is unacceptable, making it expensive to insure.
Consider whether the added investment will save you money in the long-run or check your vehicle to see what it has included. Many new cars come fitted with devices such as alarms, immobilisers and tracking devices so make sure that you’re insurance provider is aware of any if you have them.
Not sure if your car is fitted with an immobiliser? You can find out here by reading our guide.
TIP: While not technically a security measure, some insurance providers will adjust your car insurance premium with the knowledge of you having a dash cam on-board. Not only can this help to provide them with evidence if you have an accident that wasn’t your fault, but it can also deter potential vandals and car thieves.
8. Consider adding a more experienced driver to your policy
Particularly as a young driver, adding a more experienced named driver to your policy can often save you money on your car insurance premium.
However, adding more drivers to your policy than necessary will almost always lead to an increased cost – especially if your additional drivers are under the age of 25, or have relatively little driving experience.
Tip: Remember, you must be put down as the main driver on your car insurance policy. You could add someone else such as a parent to be a named driver, which will reduce your premiums, but if your parent is noted down as the main driver and you are just a named driver, this is known as fronting and you’d be breaking the law!
9. Clear out your garage!
Your insurance provider will always ask where you plan on parking your car both throughout the day and overnight.
If you can ensure them that you will be parked in a secure location throughout the day and in a locked garage overnight, the risk of your car being stolen or vandalised is significantly decreased and therefore helps to save money when renewing your insurance premiums.
TIP: Some car insurers will check the parked location of your car using geospatial technology - like Google Earth - and can refuse to deal with claims where your vehicle has been maliciously damaged or stolen if they find that you haven’t been entirely truthful - be careful not to twist the truth!
10. Choose your car carefully
No matter how long you have been driving, the make and model of your car will always be a determining factor when it comes to pricing up the cost of your car insurance premiums.
Each car belongs to a different insurance category, which is numbered between 1 and 50, with the cheapest insurable cars grouped within 1 and 5. Vehicles with larger, more powerful engines will usually result in a higher car insurance premium given that the relevant statistics suggest that they are at greater risk of being involved in an accident.
TIP: Think carefully about the type of roads you drive on too, as cars with more powerful engines not only tend to be less efficient when driving around town, but they will also force your insurance premium upwards.