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How to save money on your car insurance

Posted 07 June 2016 by Christine Walsh

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Learn how to keep your car insurance premium to a minimum.

If you’re a driver, car insurance isn’t an option, it’s a legal requirement you must have before you get behind the wheel. When it comes to these unavoidable expenses, it’s important you know how to minimise the cost and get the best deal you can. 

Let’s have a look at how you can keep the price down on your car insurance. 

Shop around and compare prices

You should shop around even if you’re just renewing your insurance. Insurance companies are more likely to offer their best deals to new customers, so make sure you know what’s on offer – you could save by switching provider. 

You can compare the prices on Money Supermarket, Compare the Market and uSwitch

Make your voluntary excess higher

The excess is the amount you pay if you have an accident. When it comes to car insurance, there are two types of excess: the compulsory excess, which the insurer sets, and the voluntary excess, which is chosen by you. If you have an accident, the two numbers are added together and that is what you pay if you make a claim. 

You may be able to get a cheaper premium if you set your voluntary excess higher. Remember though, if you do have an accident, you will have to pay more. 

Add another named driver on your insurance

When you get car insurance, you can either get the cover just for yourself, or you can add another named driver onto the policy. If you go for the second option, the other person will have the same level of cover as you when driving your vehicle. 

Adding another named driver can lower your premiums because you will be spending less time driving the car and therefore the chances of you having an accident is lower. This can work well if you are a new driver and trying to avoid paying a very high premium for your insurance. Adding an older and more experienced driver to your policy can reassure insurers and save you some money. 

If you’re the main user of a vehicle you must state this on the insurance policy – don’t try and get even more money off by putting it in a more experienced person’s name. Doing this will invalidate your insurance, and if the insurance company finds out they can cancel your policy making it very difficult for you to get covered in the future. 

Watch out for unnecessary features

When it comes to car insurance, there are features that you definitely want, and there are others that you might not need and can avoid paying for.

For example, your insurance really should include windscreen cover, personal belongings, your keys if you lose them or they’re stolen, rescue cover so you’re not stranded anywhere with a broken down car, and repair work. 

However, there are other features you might not need, like cover if you’re driving abroad, or an enhanced courtesy car. 

Make sure you check the list of features carefully so you only end up paying for what you need.

Lower the distance you drive

When you apply for car insurance, you need to put down how far you drive on average in a year. The more you drive, the more likely it is that you’ll have an accident, and this can bump up the price. If possible, see whether you can drive less and choose a lower annual mileage cap. 

Just make sure that the mileage you put down is correct and realistic for your lifestyle. 

Haggle

You might not know this, but it’s perfectly acceptable to haggle a little for a better price when it’s time to renew. 

Get some quotes from other insurance companies and compare them to the renewal quote you’ve been given. And you can find out what your current provider would be offering you if you were a new customer. If you find that you can be getting a better deal, you should mention this to your insurance company and see whether they’re are willing to come down on the price. 

Haggling can feel a little strange if you’re not used to it. Which? has a very helpful script you can follow when you’re on the phone. 

Keep your car safe

Finding a safer place to park, like in a garage or on a driveway could lower the price of your insurance. There are also extra security features that you can fit to your car that could make a difference. 

For example, you might want to get locking wheel bolts if your car doesn’t already have them. Having these fitted means no one will be able to steal your rims or tyres. Or you can install a tracking device, so in the event that your car is stolen, you will be able to find out exactly where it is using GPS technology. 

Good luck in your search for the best car insurance deal, and remember to compare the different deals out there. If you’re also looking for home cover, we can show you how to get the best buildings and insurance deals. We’ve loads more money-saving tips on every area of life, so make sure you check out the rest of the blog. 

by Christine Walsh

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