Car insurance FAQs

Got a query while running your quotes? Our Frequently Asked Question list should help.

Got a query while running your quotes? Our Frequently Asked Question list should help.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
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Posted 12 OCTOBER 2019

Frequently asked questions

If you’re still scratching your head, you could also pay a visit to our glossary or our car insurance hub – this has a short explanation of a lot of the common insurance-related terms.

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Frequently asked questions

I don't know the registration number of the car, can I still get a car insurance quote?

Telling us the reg of the car you'd like to insure is the quickest way to get a quote, as we can look up the make and model of the car and a lot of the details about it. But if you don't know it, don't worry, we can still help. You’ll just need to enter the year, make and model we'll provide a list of car types to choose from.

Rerunning a comparison today returned a different quote from yesterday. What’s that about?

This is normal in car insurance. Providers are constantly adjusting the way they price policies for all sorts of reasons, so you may find that your car insurance quotes vary on a daily basis. You should also check you’ve used exactly the same information when you’ve re-run your quote. Because of these variations, when you find cheap car insurance that meets your needs, it could be worth purchasing straight away.

How long will my quote be valid for?

This is something that’s set by the car insurance companies themselves, rather than us. If you’d like to see when a car insurance quote is set to expire, click through to the providers own website. Be aware though that provider's change their pricing very often, so if you edit your quote you may find the price changes. The only way to guarantee a price is to buy straight away.

Is it OK just to buy the cheapest car insurance?

It’s easy to find the lowest prices because we put the cheapest car insurance quotes at the top of the page. But the cheapest policy might not be the best to suit you. Do check that it offers everything you need – for example, would you need a replacement car or windscreen replacement if your car got damaged?

I’ve got a page of quotes, can I change my level of cover from third party to comprehensive?

On your quotes page there’s a section at the top called ‘Change cover type’. You can choose a different level of cover from the three options available:

  • Comprehensive,
  • Third party fire
  • Theft and third party only.

Just click ‘Update prices’ to get new results.

How do I make sure I get a courtesy car, legal cover, and breakdown cover?

Our quote page helps you compare important policy options. These include things like courtesy car, breakdown and legal cover. These options are listed side by side so it’s easy to compare car insurance policies. Just remember that sometimes these will be optional extras that you may have an addition cost.

Do check the details though. Will your breakdown cover be home-start or roadside? Is the courtesy car available for car repairs or just in case of a write-off?

How do I print out my policy details?

Providers themselves will usually send out your full policy details, or allow you to print them out, and you can do that once you’ve bought the policy. Providers also allow you to see a summary of the policy during the online journey which you can do by clicking through to the provider. But if you want to print out policy summary details here, click on the ‘more details’ to open up the quote in full. Then print using the ‘File > Print>’ menu on your browser.

If you want to print out the details you’ve put into our form, click on the ‘Edit details’ tab at the top of your screen and print using the ‘File > Print>’ menu on your browser.

Can I buy one day car insurance?

Sometimes people only need insurance for a day or two, perhaps if they’re borrowing a friend’s car. It’s not all that common though, so, while there are companies out there offering cover for 1-28 days, we don’t currently compare temp car insurance. Sorry!

Can you explain the difference between total excess, voluntary excess and compulsory excess?

The total excess is the amount your insurer expects you to pay towards the cost of a claim. The excess is split into two parts. The compulsory excess is set by your insurer and depends on things like your age, your car and the type of claim you’re making. The voluntary excess is something you can set yourself when you apply for your cover. A higher voluntary excess may bring down the cost of premiums, but you’ll have to foot more of the bill if you do have to claim.

What should I do when insurers come back with a different voluntary excess?

Sometimes insurers can’t accept your suggested voluntary excess because it’s too low or too high. Use the options on the quotes page to change your voluntary excess; it might give you more quotes.

Is a higher voluntary excess better?

In truth, this is a bit of a dilemma – a higher excess often equals a lower premium but you can’t plan for accidents and you’ll need to be confident you can afford to pay your voluntary excess plus any compulsory or young driver excess. Find out more and weigh up the pros and cons on whether bigger is better.

When is my car insurance due for renewal?

You’ll need to renew or take out a new car insurance policy every year. Read our car insurance renewal guide so you don’t fall into the auto-renewal trap and what to do if you change your mind about your policy

Are black box policies worthwhile?

You could save money with a telematics insurance policy depending on what type of driver you are, find out more and decide whether it’ll work for you with our guide to telematics.  

What is ‘fronting’?

It’s when you say someone’s the main driver when they’re not – it’s a type of fraud and the consequences can be harsh. Find out more about fronting and the impact it can have – especially on young drivers and their parents.

Do modifications to my car affect my car insurance?

In short, yes most will but not all modifications will negatively affect your insurance. Find out more on our page about modifications. 

Why is car insurance mandatory?

Car insurance is there to protect you, other drivers and the general public if an accident does happen. For more detail read our guide for enlightenment.

How do job titles affect car insurance?

Your risk profile is one of the factors used to determine your insurance premium, as a result, your job can affect the cost of your cover; find out more and what you can do about it.

What is car insurance excess?

There are two types of excess, voluntary and compulsory and understanding what this means for your policy is important – we’ve set out everything you need to know in this guide to car insurance excess.

What is comprehensive insurance?

Comprehensive insurance cover will cover the cost of any damage to your car in the event of an accident or malicious damage or vandalism, but find out exactly what this means in more detail.

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