Car insurance is a necessary expense that most of us would rather not have to fork out on. However, if you ever have an accident, or have your car damaged by fire or theft, you’ll be glad of the cover.
Don’t forget that car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK, too, and anyone driving without the required minimum insurance could be liable for a fine of up to £300 and 6 penalty points on their licence (correct as of June 2019). So the search for cheap car insurance is something that most drivers carry out every year when their policy is up for renewal.
The cost of car insurance depends on many factors, such as age and address of the driver, car make and model, and level of cover. With car insurance premiums heading into thousands of pounds for some drivers, we’re always keen to hear how we can minimise the expense, while still being adequately and legally covered.
Here’s some of our top tips for cheaper car insurance…
You can prove your driving skills to your insurance provider by agreeing to install a black box or telematics system in your car. This records speed, distance and the time of day or night that you drive. It also monitors braking and cornering with the idea that safer drivers should pay cheaper car insurance premiums.
Most car insurance providers offer this option and it’s particularly good for anyone in a high risk group, such as young or inexperienced drivers. If you choose to use a black box, your monthly car insurance payments will be adjusted depending on your driving patterns during the preceding month. You’ll also have access to the data which will allow you to see where you can improve on your driving, and therefore lower your future insurance payments.
When requesting a car insurance quote, you’ll be asked to estimate your annual mileage. More miles means more time on the road and therefore more opportunity to get your car into trouble. So, generally speaking, the fewer miles you travel, the cheaper car insurance premiums you’ll be offered.
However, you need to be as accurate as you can because if you underestimate your time on the road, you might find that you aren’t sufficiently covered if you need to make a claim. If you need to, you can reduce your mileage by car sharing, using park and ride schemes or walking/cycling when possible.
In the case of damage or accident, you’ll be liable to pay the first costs towards repairing or replacing your car. This ‘excess’ can vary, and will have a bearing on the amount you pay in premium.
Cheaper car insurance can usually be found by agreeing to take on a higher voluntary excess. This will pay off if you are a confident and safe driver as it will be unlikely that you will have an accident by your own fault and many insurers will waive the excess if damage to your car is caused by someone else.
All cars are classified into insurance groups, rated from 1 to 50. A lower group means cheaper car insurance, with low-powered, low-value and unmodified cars often falling into the smaller group numbers. Your car insurance group is something that you should really bear in mind when buying your car. Your sales advisor should be able to let you have this information, or you can research car insurance group classifications online.
Remember that if your car is stolen or written off, insurers will only pay out for the market value, not the cost to replace it with a new model. So if you overvalue your car in the hope of receiving an inflated amount if your car is damaged, you’ll be paying over the odds for money you won’t receive in the case of a claim.
Most newer cars come with a security device or alarm already fitted but taking extra steps to keep your car safe can result in cheaper car insurance quotes. Using a steering wheel lock or parking your car on the drive, for example, could reduce your premiums.
It’s always worth mentioning these facts when requesting a quote but make sure you follow up on these promises. If your car is stolen from the road outside your house when you say that you park in the garage, or when you’ve forgotten to install the steering wheel lock, you’ll find that it isn’t covered by insurance.
Naming a more experienced driver as an occasional user on your car’s insurance can also lower the amount you need to pay. And if you live at an address with other drivers, such as a partner, parents or siblings, a multi-car insurance will more often than not allow you all to get cheaper car insurance without compromising on the level of cover.
There’s not always the facility to indicate these choices when requesting a car insurance quote online so you might have to speak to an insurance broker to figure out the best options for you and your family.
A bit of a strange one, but certainly worth a try if you’re looking for cheaper car insurance. Try inputting a less exciting job title (without lying) into online forms. Research into how job titles effect an insurance quote suggests that a ‘nurse’ is apparently eligible for lower car insurance quotes than a ‘healthcare assistant’ and a ‘proofreader’ may get access to cheaper car insurance than an ‘editor’.
And if you work in the emergency services or some public sector jobs, such as teaching, you might be eligible for special rates on car insurance, so don’t forget to ask.
Different insurance brokers apply different guidelines when providing a quote for car insurance. So, when it comes time to renew or apply for car insurance for the first time, make sure you get a few quotes from different providers or use a comparison website to ensure you get the best deal.
At Autostore, we have insurance group information on all of our stock. If you’re in the market for a new car, don’t forget to ask our helpful sales advisors about low insurance cars and they’ll happily point you in the right direction.