|Car Insurance / Ilustration by Net|
Car insurance prices are calculated using a variety of factors. Take a look at these top tips for finding cheaper car insurance.
Car insurance can be a major expense for many. According to the latest Confused.com car insurance price index the average comprehensive policy now costs £783.
The price you pay depends on your own circumstances eg your driving experience and where you live. Over the years we've learned a few things about cutting car insurance costs, and we're here to share these secrets with you.
If you're a younger driver, costs tend to be higher again due to age and inexperience. Our friends at motors.co.uk have some handy tips for young drivers to save on their insurance.
The price of car insurance depends on a number of factors such as:
- The car you drive?
- What security your car has?
- Who owns and drives your car?
- How you use your car?
- Where you live?
- The type of cover you choose?
Quick tips for finding cheaper car insurance:
Make sure the car is fitted with up-to-date security systems.
Be clear on who owns and drives your vehicle.
Tell your insurance provider how you use your car.
Get your type of cover and the mileage correct when filling in your details.
The higher your voluntary excess, the lower your premium is likely to be.
The car you drive
Your car's value, type and engine size all make a difference to your insurance cost. The general rule is, the smaller the car, the lower the premium. If you haven’t bought a car yet, check quotes for the vehicles you’re considering.
Is the car an import?
Cars that have been imported privately can be more expensive to insure, as parts can often be harder to find and are therefore more expensive. If you buy an imported car, you stand more chance of getting cheap car insurance if it's a UK-specification model.
Fit a security device
A car fitted with a security device like an alarm, immobiliser or tracker means it’s less likely to be broken into or stolen. And, in turn, insurance companies are more likely to offer you a cheap car insurance quote.
Most newer cars (those built after 1997) come fitted with an alarm and immobiliser as standard, but you might want to consider adding additional security devices such as a tracker.
Who owns and drives your vehicle
When shopping for car insurance, quotes can be higher if the owner of a vehicle isn't the same person as the registered keeper. For example, if you drive a company car, or if you own the car but your children drive it.
This is particularly important when looking for prices online, as most quotes require the owner and registered keeper to be the same person (or partners).
How you use your car
It’s important to tell your insurer how you use your car. If you give the wrong use, the insurer may not pay out eg if you say you use your car for commuting but have an accident on the way to a business meeting.
Most insurance companies will let you add ‘business use’ when you need it for a small fee.
Types of use
Insurers rate car classes of use under one of four categories:
- Social, domestic and pleasure - this covers drivers for normal day-to-day living, like visiting family and friends or going shopping
- Commuting - this covers a drive to and from the normal place of work, and includes travelling and parking at a railway station
- Business use - this covers using your car in connection with your job, like driving to different sites away from your place of work
- Commercial travelling - this covers the car being used for things like door-to-door sales
The type of cover you choose
It's important you buy the right type of cover for your needs, otherwise the insurance provider might not pay out if you need to make a claim. Many drivers looking for cheaper car insurance instinctively opt for third-party, fire and theft. But, with many higher risk drivers looking for cheaper cover, the average price of these policies is being pushed up.
Don’t simply assume a third party policy will be cheaper - make sure you check comprehensive cover as well to see the difference in price.
The different types of cover include:
Third-party insurance covers any claim by other parties, but doesn’t cover damage to your car. This is budget car insurance where you’ll have to pay to repair your car yourself.
Third-party, fire and theft
Third-party, fire and theft covers fire and theft of the car and any claim by other parties.
Comprehensive car insurance covers accidental damage to the vehicle, in addition to fire and theft and any claim by third parties.
To help lower the cost of your car insurance, its worth considering the following:
- Keep your driving license clean - having points on your licence will likely increase the cost of your cover
- Black box insurance - instead of paying for insurance based on the average driver, black box insurance is based on when and how you drive
- Compare car insurance online - renewals are often more expensive as new customer discounts are removed. Comparing car insurance quotes gives you the peace of mind that you're getting the best possible deal
- Don't pay monthly (if you can afford to do so) - paying monthly is like taking out a small loan and usually have interest applied, increasing your premium
- Some insurers price high - don't just choose the same insurer as your loved one or friend. Each insurer uses its own statistical data to set prices, so the price you pay will vary from company to company
Extras and add-ons
Think about whether you need extras such as legal expenses cover, windscreen cover or use of a courtesy car. These extras can soon add up and increase how much you end up paying for your policy.
If you feel like you genuinely need the extras, it's still worth shopping around to make sure you're getting the best deal without sacrificing your level of cover.