20 top tips for getting cheaper car insurance

Full disclosure, finding cheap car insurance isn’t always possible. But there are things you can do to help cut your costs. We’ve put together 20 top tips that could help you save money on your premium.

Full disclosure, finding cheap car insurance isn’t always possible. But there are things you can do to help cut your costs. We’ve put together 20 top tips that could help you save money on your premium.

Written by
Kate Hughes
Insurance expert
Last Updated
12 JANUARY 2023
9 min read
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Saving money on your car insurance

Let’s face it, we could do with a discount or two right now. With the cost of living soaring and bills continuing to rise, we’re all searching for ways to save money where we can. A financial breather, a buffer, the smallest sliver of a break.

They may seem few and far between these days but drivers keen to cut the cost of their car insurance can still find great deals by shopping around with Comparethemarket.

And those savings could still be substantial. In fact our latest figures reveal that 51% of customers could save up to £411[1] on their car insurance when comparing through us.

But why stop there? While you’re checking out our great car insurance deals, here are our 20 top tips to help you keep your premiums down. You’re welcome.

[1] Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during February 2023. 51% of customers could achieve this saving on their car insurance through Comparethemarket.

1. Choose a cheaper car to insure

We get it, everyone loves a noteworthy motor. But always remember that the car you drive can have a big impact on your insurance, with some models offering lower premiums, on average, than others. Always check which insurance group a car is in before you consider buying it.

2. Compare different car insurance quotes

Third party car insurance offers the most basic level of cover, so it’s easy to assume it’s the cheapest option. This isn’t always the case though, as car insurance prices depend on each person’s circumstances.

Compare car insurance with us and you can look at prices for the three main types of car insurance: third party, third party fire and theft and comprehensive.

3. Reduce annual mileage

If you limit the amount of time you’re on the road, your insurance provider may consider you a lower risk and therefore reduce your premium. (Oh, and there’s the small matter of the fuel saving too.)

Your insurance provider will ask how many miles you drive on average, as it’s one of the main factors used to calculate your insurance premium.

Set your mileage as low as you can, but be realistic. Don’t forget the road trip to see your gran for a proper roast every now and then, for example, or your limit will be toast. That’s a big deal because if you  make a claim and your insurance provider discovers your estimate wasn’t accurate, they may decide not to pay out.

4. Pay in one go

When you take out a new policy, you’ll have the choice to pay up-front for the whole year, or in monthly instalments. If you can afford to pay your annual premium in one go, you could save money. While paying monthly can help spread the cost of your car insurance, you’ll likely be charged interest for every instalment, so it ends up more expensive overall.

5. Increase your excess

All car insurance policies have an excess, which is the amount you’ll have to pay if you make a claim. Choosing to pay a higher voluntary excess, could bring down the cost of your premium. The tricky bit is that this could cost you more if you make a claim, as you’ll have to pay this higher voluntary excess as well as the compulsory excess set by the insurance provider.

6. Don’t pay for cover you don’t want

Some policies include extra benefits, such as a courtesy car, windscreen cover, breakdown cover and motor legal protection.

Sure they could come in handy, but extras almost certainly increase your premium. If you’re willing to risk it, removing them from your policy could save you money in the short-term.

7. Think carefully about modifications

It may be tempting to customise your wheels, but weigh up the costs before you go ahead. Many modifications could make your car more attractive in the eyes of thieves, and your car insurance may go up to reflect this increased risk. 

8. Park your car off the road

Where you park your car overnight can make a difference to your premium. Park on a private driveway if you can though. A garage might seem like a nice, dry, secure spot to park your car, but it might not mean a reduction in your insurance premium. That’s because some providers think you might damage your vehicle driving it in and out.

9. Improve your car’s security

Most of us associate car insurance with accidents, but don’t forget about theft - fitting an industry-approved alarm or immobiliser might help to cut the cost of your car insurance. You may need to speak to your insurance provider directly to get any saving reflected in your premium. Just make sure to check that buying and fitting your choice of kit doesn’t override any potential savings first.

10. Think about a black box policy

AKA telematics car insurance, a black box policy rewards good drivers… which includes you… right? A small device about the size of a mobile phone is installed in your car, or you download an app to your phone which monitors aspects of your driving like acceleration, braking, cornering and the time of day you drive. They’re often popular with young drivers, but don’t assume telematics policies can’t help older age groups save cash.

One more thing. You could receive a discount on your premium for good driving but be warned, your premium could also increase due to bad driving.

11. If you’re a low mileage driver, consider pay-as-you-go insurance

Only use the car to pop to the shops at the end of the road? Then you could be quids in with pay-as-you-go insurance. These policies adjust your premiums according to the amount of time or miles you clock up on the road. It’s a flexible car insurance option for motorists who only drive occasionally or at off-peak times.

12. Sign up for an advanced driving course 

If you’re a new driver, an advanced driving course like Pass Plus can help boost your confidence on the road, and might even get you a discount on your car insurance. Check with your provider first to see if an advanced course would make a difference to the cost of your premium.

13. Add a named driver to your policy

If you’re a new driver and you share your car with a more experienced driver, you could cut the cost of your premium by adding them to your insurance policy. Even adding a second driver with a low-risk occupation could reduce your premium. Let’s be crystal clear about this next bit though - it’s illegal to say the other person is the main driver of the car if that isn’t actually the case. That’s known as fronting, a form of insurance fraud, which at the very least can invalidate your insurance policy but could also lead to a criminal conviction. It isn’t worth it.

14. If you’ve more than one car, consider a multi-car policy

Busy household? Many car insurance providers offer a discount if you insure two or more cars under the same policy. Depending on the drivers’ experience, driving histories and vehicle types, multi-car insurance could work out cheaper than insuring each car under a separate policy. Compare the Market doesn’t currently offer a comparison for multi-car insurance, but we still want you to save money so it’s worth considering both options to see which would be more cost-effective.

15. Build up a no-claims discount 

If you don’t make a claim on your insurance, you’ll be rewarded at renewal with a no-claims discount (NCD).

Building up a good NCD can be such a money-saver that if you have a minor bump, it’s often cheaper to pay for the repairs yourself, rather than making a claim. No wonder we all get a little obsessed with protecting them. But remember, you always need to notify your insurance provider of any accident, even if it’s minor and you’re covering the cost yourself.

16. Avoid penalty points (endorsements) on your licence 

We know safer drivers get better deals on their car insurance. Being a safe driver means obeying the rules of the road to the letter. If you have a clean licence with no penalty points, you should avoid hefty hikes to your car insurance premium. Plus you’ll avoid ever having another one of those toe-curling conversations with a traffic officer.

17. Think carefully about how you describe your job 

Certain jobs are considered higher risk than others by insurance providers as they’ll typically assess the risk of you spending more time on the road. You may find that several job titles legitimately describe your occupation fairly, and that some help to give you a cheaper quote than others. For example, a freelance writer might be cheaper than a journalist.

But while you can select a job title that could result in a cheaper premium it must still be a job title that accurately describes what you do. If it doesn’t, you could invalidate your insurance or even be prosecuted for insurance fraud. It pays to tell the truth, especially when it comes to cover.

18. Buy add-ons separately

The full package may be tempting, but you might find that some types of insurance, like breakdown cover and legal protection, are cheaper if you buy them as standalone policies rather than part of your car insurance. If you have an add-on in mind, it might be worth looking at prices for standalone policies before you search for car insurance.

19. Beware of auto-renewal 

New Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules mean that insurance providers can no longer quote existing customers a higher premium for renewing their car insurance than they would pay if they were a new customer. But don’t relax - it doesn’t mean your auto-renewal quote is the best deal out there. Did we mention comparing the best prices to find a cheaper deal already? We did? Then you know what to do.

20. Don’t renew at the last minute

This last top tip is one of our favourites because so many of us don’t realise that the closer you get to your renewal date, the more expensive your cover can be. The best time to find a cheaper deal and ‘lock in’ a quote is around three weeks before your new policy is due to start. Get it in the calendar.

Are you ready to find potential savings on your car insurance?

Comparing with us could be the best way to get a cheaper deal. We’ll show you some great deals from a variety of the UK’s most trusted car insurance providers. You can compare the policies based on price, cover level, add-ons, and annual or monthly payment, helping you to find affordable car insurance that suits your needs.

Frequently asked questions

Which drivers pay the most for their car insurance?

Drivers who are considered high risk will typically pay more for their car insurance. These include:

What are the cheapest car insurance groups?

UK car insurance groups range from 1-50 – the higher the group, the more expensive your insurance is likely to be. 

Cars in groups 1-10 usually have smaller engines, good safety features and lower repair costs, so are typically the cheapest to insure.

Is it cheaper to insure an electric car?

In the past, costly repairs and parts often meant that electric cars were more expensive to insure. This is no longer the case. As electric car use becomes more common, insurance costs are falling. 

Electric cars can also be cheaper to run, are better for the environment, and can save you money on road tax, congestion charges, and even parking.

Looking for a car insurance quote?

Compare car insurance quotes with us today and see if you can start saving. 

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