In layman’s terms, car insurance is there to cover you in the event of an accident, theft or general damage to your vehicle. At the same time it will also protect other road users and pedestrians if you cause damage or harm to them.
How much you pay is known as your ‘premium’ and is calculated depending on how much of a risk you pose. If for example you have been involved in multiple accidents, naturally insurers will see you as a high risk and your premium will be more expensive.
On average drivers pay an annual premium of £533. On the other hand if you’re under the age of 25 you’ll pay an average of up to and over £1,000. Regardless of your driving history, there are always ways to help reduce the premium you pay. Our tips below should help get the cheapest cover possible:
Third Party Option
Don’t always assume that third party cover is the cheapest option. Some insurers will still view you as a high risk and price the premium accordingly. In some cases you may be better off opting for comprehensive insurance and coupling it with other services at the same time. For example break down cover etc.
By putting a ‘responsible’ second driver on the policy could help reduce your premium. The safer a driver, for example the better their history, the lower the premium will be. It works by reducing the ‘average’ risk of the whole policy, but don’t worry they don’t have the drive the vehicle often to qualify. Just be warned…NEVER put yourself down as the main driver (for example for your children or friends) if you aren’t the main driver. Although this may help reduce the premiums, it is committing fraud and known as ‘fronting’ within the industry. If caught it can lead to prosecution.
Adjust Your Job Description
Different jobs carry different levels of ‘risk’ in the eyes of an insurer. We are certainly not advising you to lie about what you do, however be sure to research all the categories available. See what your categories your profession falls into, then compare them against each other to see which provides the cheapest premium.
Decide How to Pay
If you choose to pay for your insurance on a monthly basis, essentially you are taking out a high interest loan. If you can afford to do it, pay the insurance annually as this could save you hundreds of pounds, especially if the premium is high to begin with. Alternatively using a credit card could be a viable option. Your credit card may have a lower interest rate than what the insurer is offering on a monthly basis.
Avoid this at all costs. Insurers are constantly pushing up their prices and thousands of people simply renew their existing policies because it’s the easy option. Make a note of your renewal date and be sure to shop around before hand. If you find a cheaper alternative, challenge your existing insurer to match it.
When it comes to reducing your insurance, we strongly recommend no ‘pimping’ of your ride. Alloy Wheels, spoilers and even tinted windows will push any premium up. The only modifications we recommend are security ones that could actually help bring the premium down. For example alarms and immobilisers will have a considerable impact on reducing your quote.
Be careful not to get sucked in by attractive add on packages that some insurers offer. Of course they may be good products, such as breakdown or windscreen cover, but these could be available a lot cheaper elsewhere. In fact some policies will cover you automatically so the ‘upgrades’ aren’t even necessary in the first place.
This is all about your individual capabilities. If you want to reduce your premium, then opt for a higher excess. Of course you must be able to afford the high excess in the event of a claim. Depending on the scale of any ‘incidents’, you may decide not to claim anyway. For example, if the damage is less than the excess it isn’t worth while. Claiming on your insurance will push up future premiums so consider this carefully.
Getting Your Quotes
Once you’ve read our advise above, it’s time to start obtaining quotes. Our first advice is to visit the many comparison sites available online. Be sure to get a quote from at least three, as no company covers the entire insurance market on their own. For example try using the services of Compare the Market, GoCompare and Confused.com. These companies take the information you provide and basically obtain multiple quotes in one easy step. Essentially they do the hard work for you. Once you have a couple of quotes that suit your needs, move into the open market for some more! Some larger insurers, such as Direct Line and Aviva don’t even appear on comparison websites. Make sure you obtain a quote from them direct before settling with a final premium.
Once you eventually have a quote try haggling it down. It never hurts to try, especially if you’re staying with your current insurer. After all if the current insurer can match the new quote, why bother moving?
Finally check for any hidden cash back deals on offer. These are very common as they provide added incentives to the customer. If there is little difference in overall premium price but one company offers cash back, why not take this option? Some are as high as £100 upon completion.