Insurance is one of the biggest expenses associated with running a car, but there are ways to save money on your annual premium.
No specific advice can guarantee cheap insurance for all, but here’s a general guide on how to cut the cost of your cover. And the things you definitely shouldn’t do…
Buy the right car
This seems obvious and, of course, there’s probably a whole other article here. Generally speaking, the more powerful the car’s engine, the costlier its insurance.
Equally, choosing a more expensive car will also bump up the cost, as will any model considered a theft-magnet. Ask anyone who drives a Volkswagen Golf R.
If affordable insurance is your prerogative, a humble hatchback beats a racy sports car. Check out our list of the cheapest cars for young drivers to insure.
For many reading this, though, that won’t matter. You have your car and simply want the lowest quote.
Shop around – and haggle
Many drivers get complacent about car insurance. Put in the legwork, shop around and switch providers if necessary. Never simply accept your renewal quote.
Try the price comparison sites, but also contact insurance companies directly. It’s mostly up to chance which provider gives you the best deal, so it’s worth talking to all of them.
Research by Consumer Intelligence shows haggling with your existing provider at renewal time could save you money, too. One in five drivers who haggle are offered lower premiums by their existing insurer, who will frequently match the best price quoted elsewhere.
Get your story straight
There are a number of things you must tell an insurer about yourself and your driving career. These include: how old you are, how long you’ve been driving, if you’ve had any accidents and when, what you do for work, where you live, how much you drive and so on.
While you must tell the truth, there is some leeway. Your career for instance, can be listed in a number of different ways. A photographer might be a videographer or a multimedia assistant. A bricklayer is a builder is a labourer . Play with the variables, but don’t stray from the truth.
It’s worthwhile working out how far you drive, too. The number of miles you cover in a year will affect your quote. Lower is better, in most cases.
Consider different types of policy
There are generally two types of policy: third-party, fire and theft, and fully comprehensive. If your car is worth anything over £500, we’d recommend fully comprehensive.
Third-party policies do not cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle in the event of an accident – only the car or object you crash into. Third-party is often a last resort taken by new drivers to get their premium down.
Multi-car policies are interesting, however. Whether you’re living with your parents or have flown the nest, they can offer significant savings. Likewise, if you live with a partner and you both drive, it’s definitely worth checking whether you can share a multi-car policy.
Young drivers can also be added to a parent’s policy – fully-comp, with the ability to earn a no-claims bonus – for potentially a lot less than insuring themselves.
Have a black box fitted
It’s not the most pleasing of solutions, but a black box telematics systen watching your every move behind the wheel may lead insurance companies to charge you less.
They have become a mainstay of the newly-passed young driver. Indeed, many companies insist on a black box for the youngest road users.
Move somewhere safer
Location is a big factor in the cost of car insurance, whether you park on the road or keep your car garaged.
Perhaps you should consider moving away from Carjack Alley and closer to Upstanding Avenue.
Obviously, not crashing is a good thing in general. Never mind the immediate stresses of a prang, for the next three years (at least), your insurance will be more expensive.
That’s all thanks to the no-claims bonus you shattered – along with someone else’s headlight…
With age and experience come a great many things, including cheaper car insurance. Both 21 and 25 are big milestones when it comes to lower quotes.
If you can afford to go without a car, sit on your licence until you’re a bit older. Pass your test as early as possible, though. Remember, insurance companies will ask how long you’ve had your licence when totting up quotes.
How NOT to save money on car insurance
Be honest about everything – simple as that. Don’t lie about modifications, the miles you’ll be driving, where you live, what you do, or where the car is parked.
Any untruths will invalidate your policy in the event of an accident. It’s not worth the risk.