Fortunately, you don’t need to simply wait to get older in order to save on your car insurance, there are a number of things you can do:
If you’re buying a new car, you should check what your insurance will cost before you buy your car. What you drive will have an impact on the insurance cost. As a general rule, be prepared for more powerful or expensive cars to cost more. For example, if you’re aged between 17 and 24, the average cost to insure a Corsa would be £1,297.61** a year. The average cost to insure an Astra by comparison would set you back £1,506.58**, about 16% more. See our young driver’s report and cheapest cars to insure pages for more information.
Your policy excess means the amount of money that you would need to pay in the event of an accident before your insurance policy kicks in.
There are various types of excess. Compulsory excess is set by the insurance provider but voluntary excess is the amount you choose to pay on top of any compulsory excess. If you set the voluntary at zero, you would only have to pay any compulsory excess in the event of a claim but your premium may be higher. There are also other types of excess such as a young driver excess that is charged to drivers under 25 so make sure you read all of the T&Cs so you know what you’re paying for.
It is important to think about this when signing up to a policy. Your instinct might tell you to keep this figure as small as possible. However, there is a trade-off to be had here. Increasing your excess from the minimum amount, to one that you can still afford, could make a difference to your premium – just make sure you can afford the excess should you need to make a claim.
- Increase the security features of your car
Increasing the security features of your vehicle might also help with the premiums. Fitting an industry-approved steering wheel lock or investing in an immobiliser might help reduce your premiums. You need to assess the one-off costs of such products against the premiums saved.
- Keep your car as securely as possible
If the option is available to you, keep the vehicle in a locked garage or on a private driveway. These could both help to reduce the premium you pay.
- Adding an experienced driver
If you’re a new driver and share the vehicle with a more experienced one, adding them as a named driver might save you money. Having an experienced driver with a good driving record could make a difference.
A really important word of caution here though. You must never put forward the other person as the main driver if that is not actually the case. This is known as ‘fronting’. It is a type of fraud and, at the very least, could invalidate your policy.
However much modifying your car might seem like a good idea, from a budget car insurance point of view, it simply isn’t. Insurance providers don’t always see changes to factory specifications as a good thing and many even simply refuse to quote you a price.
- Restrict how much you drive
Limiting the amount of time you’re on the road could reduce your risk and could therefore reduce your premium. All policies ask for a maximum mileage, so set this as low as is realistically achievable.
But make sure you tell the truth – if you significantly underestimate your mileage and then make a claim, your policy could be invalid.
The consequences of driving well will, over time lead to lower premiums as your no claims discount increases. If you start racking up the penalty points you will start pushing up your premiums too. If you do incur some points remember, you do need to tell your insurance provider. They may affect your premium, and failure to tell them might have consequences for your cover.
A pass plus course from the driving standards agency may also help new drivers get a discount on your car insurance if you successfully complete the course. Some providers only offer a discount if you take the course within a year of passing your test, other providers might extend the discount for longer, you would need to check with the insurance provider.
- Consider a black box policy
If you’re confident in your abilities, you may want to investigate getting a telematics or black box insurance policy . The black box refers to a gadget placed in the car that relays details of how you’re driving to your insurance provider or it could be an app that you download to your phone for some insurance providers. They could reward your good driving behaviour with lower insurance premiums.
- Pay for your car insurance upfront
It’s worth buying online, partly because it saves your phone bill, and also because providers sometimes offer discounts to online customers, as it’s cheaper for them to process applications this way. If you can afford it you could also make savings by paying for your car insurance upfront. Agreed, it can be tricky to make sure you have a lump sum at the right time every year - these things always come around quicker than we think. But if you're able to organise yourself to put a bit away every month you could save yourself quite a bit.
- Think carefully about optional extras
Not all policies are the same. Some policies include extras such as courtesy cars or breakdown cover. If it's a fair amount and you don't want them, then remove them, but do think hard about the implications of not having a replacement car or breakdown cover when you need them.