Top 10 Tips
1. Be clever with how you insure
If there's a wide age range of drivers in your family, take time to work out the most cost-effective way to safely insure everyone. Adding your son or daughter as a named driver on your car(s) may be cheaper than them buying their own car and taking the insurance hit. But if they need their own car then you mustn’t say you're the main driver if you're not – that’s called ‘fronting’ and is seen as insurance fraud. But sometimes, adding yourself as a named driver on their policy can reduce their payments - provided you have a clean driving licence and you actually plan on using the car.
2. Compare insurance before you buy the car
Buying the car of your dreams is great, providing you can afford to keep it. If your insurance bill ends up being more than the rest of your combined household spending, it may not be worth it.
One way to add a dose of common sense to your sports car aspirations is to choose a selection of cars you like, then use our comparison tool to see how much each one will cost you to insure. Insurers look at the size of the engine, the value, how desirable it is (whether it's likely to be stolen) and its safety features to help calculate the cost of your policy.
3. Consider the level of cover you have
The price of your insurance changes depending on what level of cover you have. If you have a very expensive car, then you might want to protect it with fully comprehensive cover. If your car budget got you a well-loved but cheap runabout then third party or third party, fire and theft could save you money compared to comprehensive cover. But don’t just assume that’s the case, check, because sometimes fully comprehensive on an older car could be as cheap as third party.
4. Reduce your payments with a little black box
Telematics or 'black box' insurance firms like Ingenie and Aviva provide you with a special gizmo that records how you drive. In theory, it takes away all the factors that increase your premiums such as age and occupation etc. Often the insurance company will may start you on a relatively cheap premium, but can alter it as they begin to see how you drive. They’ll look at your speed, braking and how you take corners. If you drive safely, a black box policy might save you money, and if you’re in the expensive 17-25 year old bracket is something to consider. But be prepared for your premiums to increase should your driving become a little reckless.
5. Use the right job title
Sounds daft, but if you describe your job in a certain way then you could be paying more insurance than you need to. There are many occupations that have two or three possible descriptions when it comes to insurers’ occupation lists. Make sure you choose the job title that most accurately describes your role or you may invalidate your claim.
6. Pay up front
Paying by direct debit is very convenient and easy to budget for. However, if you can afford it you can make considerable 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.
7. Strip it down
Take a good look at your existing policy. Do you need everything that you have on it? Any optional extras could cost money. When it comes to getting a car insurance quote, consider if you need those extras and see what affect they have to the overall cost. 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 for example. Altering your voluntary excess can also reduce your insurance premium. The higher the excess, the cheaper your car insurance quote will be. Just make sure you can afford any excess you choose (including any compulsory excess) should you need to make a claim.
8. Protect your no claims discount
You might be tempted to remove your protected no claims bonus. It does cost a little more to have it, but remember, if you do need to make a claim and have ditched the protection, you'll have to start building your no claims up all over again. In the meantime your premiums could rise. There are some insurance companies that offer accelerated no claims, which can be useful if you find yourself in that situation or you're a new driver.
9. Make the car lower risk
Insurers calculate your premium based on how likely it is that you'll have an accident, that your car will be damaged or that it's it will be stolen. With that in mind, think of ways you can make your car less of a risk. Storing it in a garage overnight could reduce your premium. So if you have a garage, but it's stuffed full of junk, clear it and make way for the car – it'll save you having to scrape off the ice on cold mornings and will help protect it from weather damage too. Adding extra security to your car like an approved tracker, alarm or immobiliser could bring down the price, consider that too.
10. Be prepared and compare
The best way to save on your car insurance is to not leave it to the last minute, panic and just go with last year’s provider. The cheapest time to switch premiums is three weeks before your renewal deadline, when the average saving cost £326. It's a good idea to start searching a few weeks before your renewal is due, or when you begin to look for a new car. This will also give you time to test out all our money saving ideas. We can help you find a cheap insurance quote that still gives you the adequate protection you require. Using our car insurance calculator to run as many quotes as you like, to find the best car insurance prices for you.