How to get cheaper car insurance

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If you own a car you’re legally required to have car insurance. It can be a big expense for certain age groups. Car insurance providers base their prices on the likelihood they’ll have to pay out for your vehicle. So, if they perceive you as higher risk and more likely to claim, due to things like inexperience, the higher your premiums are likely to be. The good news is there are lots of ways you can make car insurance cheaper.

Be prepared and do your homework

Avoid auto-renew

Auto-renewing your car insurance is an easy option, but you will pay for that ease. The average motorist’s annual premium will usually go up when they auto-renew. The best deals are often reserved for new customers, so you need to shop around every year to get the cheapest car insurance.

Shop around

Price comparison sites are a great way to shop around for the best car insurance deal, it’s a quick and easy way to compare prices and secure a saving. And now, you can compare car insurance with Experian too.

Consider multi-car insurance

If you live in a household with more than one car get quotes for multi-car policies too as you may save money by insuring all your cars with one firm.

Build a bonus

Insurers like customers who don’t make claims. Build up your no claims bonus to make your car insurance cheaper. If you’ve claimed during the course of your last policy, this is likely to affect the price of your monthly premiums. However, if you haven’t claimed on a policy this will mean you’ll be perceived as lower risk. And the higher the number of years no claims, the better the deals available to you.

Comprehensive vs third party

If you are ensuring an old banger that isn’t worth a great deal it might be worth opting for a third party, fire and theft policy rather than forking out for comprehensive cover. However, it’s always worth comparing the price of different levels of cover as providers are often able to give the best deals on comprehensive insurance.

Make sure the price is right for you

Pay annually

Paying for your car insurance monthly can help you spread the cost, but you will pay extra. Your insurer is essentially lending you the money to buy your car insurance and you pay them back in 12 instalments over the year which include interest for the ‘loan’.

If you can’t afford to pay your annual premium in one lump sum, consider paying with a 0% credit card instead. That way you can spread the cost without paying extra.

Avoid extras

Car insurance can come with all sorts of extras that you may not need. Common extras include:

  • Breakdown cover
  • Cover for driving abroad
  • Courtesy cars
  • Legal cover
  • Personal accident cover

Check carefully what you are paying for and avoid extras that you won’t use. For example, you might already have breakdown cover through your current account so don’t end up paying for it twice. Equally, if you never take your car out of the UK don’t pay for insurance protection abroad.

Tweak your excess

Increasing your voluntary excess – the amount you’ll pay if you make a claim – can cut your premiums.

It’s all in the job title

Car insurers will want to know your occupation when working out what your premiums will be. Your job affects your lifestyle which affects how much you drive, how far your drive and at what times of day you are driving. All these things affect how much of a risk you present to an insurer so your job title can affect how cheap your car insurance is.

Most of us could use several job titles to describe what we do so try a couple as it may bring down the cost of your car insurance.

Car insurers tend to increase your premiums if you are unemployed. This is because they think you are higher risk because you will be driving more, on unfamiliar roads, while you look for a new job.

Name your drivers

Think carefully about any named drivers you add to your policy. Young inexperienced drivers may drive up your premiums. However, adding an older experienced person as a named driver can significantly reduce the cost of car insurance. But it’s crucial you name yourself as the policyholder (or main driver) if you’ll be driving the vehicle the most regularly. Adding another driver to a policy just to get a cheaper quote is known as ‘fronting’ and is a form of fraud.

If you are a young driver your car insurance will be expensive. Generally, it will drop when you hit 21 as statistics suggest you are less likely to be involved in a road accident.

Think about your car and how you drive it

Drive better

Another way to make your car insurance cheaper is to improve your driving skills. Some insurers offer discounts to people who have taken an advanced driving course.

Secure your car

Making your car harder to steal will reduce your car insurance premiums. These days you’re likely to have an immobiliser and alarm fitted as standard so consider adding a tracker.

Park carefully

If you can get your car off the road at night, it will make your car insurance cheaper. Parking on your drive will cut your premiums but clearing out your garage so the car will fit in will save you even more money.

Get your mileage right

Don’t just type in a wild estimate for your mileage, it will affect your premium. The average UK driver does 7,600 miles a year, according to the RAC. Try to give an accurate amount based on how far you drove in the previous year.

Consider how you use your car

Make sure you get a level of cover that reflects what you need. If you only use your car for leisure don’t pay for a policy that covers commuting. Cars used for commuting tend to be on the road more at busier times, meaning there is a higher risk of accident. That means premiums are more expensive for policies covering commuting.

Install a black box

Telematics insurance policies use black boxes to monitor how, when and how far you drive to tailor precise insurance premiums. This can work out cheaper if you are a young, inexperienced driver or don’t cover many miles.

Downgrade your car

One effective way to make your car insurance cheap is to get a cheaper car. Giving up a luxury model or opting for a smaller engine size will reduce your premiums.

Is your credit score good news?

Check your credit rating

Your credit score can affect car insurance if you opt to pay your premiums monthly. Insurers will check your credit score in order to check your details and, if you opt to pay monthly, to see if you are likely to make your repayments. A low credit score could mean your premiums are increased.

Before you buy car insurance with monthly premiums it is a good idea to check your credit score.

Hopefully these tips will help you save on your car insurance but you can read our guide to find out more about what affects car insurance.