A simples guide

Is there a maximum number of years I can enter for my no claims?

Everyone loves a bargain, especially when it means a reduction on one of life’s boring necessities. Car insurance is a perfect example – if you drive a car, you have to have it – end of. But if you can save money on it by accruing a no claims discount then so much the better. But just how big can the discount get and could you end up with such a big discount that insurance will be practically free (probably not but you can keep hoping)? Here are the facts for the realists out there.

What is a no claims discount and how do I earn it?

You get a no claims discount if you drive without making a claim on your insurance. For every blemish free year of driving you earn one year’s no claims discount (NCD or sometimes known as a no claims bonus). Every year you have of no claims means a potential reduction in your car insurance premium. So, the more years you have of no claims, the greater the discount on your premium.

Based on this, it takes a year to build your no claims discount. You can only earn any discount in each full year of insurance so if you’ve switched policy without completing a full year of cover you won’t earn any NCD for that year.

You can usually only earn a no claims discount if you’re the main driver or policyholder. Some insurers will consider giving named drivers a discount when they come to take out their own policy, so it’s always worth mentioning if you’ve been on a policy with a good no claims history – it could save you a few bob.

What’s the maximum number of years I can have with no claims and how much could I save?

There’s no industry standard, so you should always check what different insurers offer. Some providers cap the maximum no claims discount at five years’ worth and with that, you could get a good reduction in premium. Other insurers will limit a no claims discount at nine or even 15 years. But there’s no universal rule of ‘x’ number of years equals ‘y’ percentage of reduction.

But just because some providers will consider up to 15 years of NCD doesn’t necessarily mean your insurance will be practically free. In most cases a no claims bonus is down to the discretion of your provider.

At comparethemarket.com we’re optimists so when it comes to telling us about the number of years you’ve got with no claims, we’ll let you put in a maximum of 25+. However, that’s not to say that insurers will match all those impressive years with an equally impressive discount. Once you reach a provider’s limit, premium prices tend to level off and you won’t notice so many big reductions.

Because you’re worth it?

Because your NCD is earned by you as the policyholder or main driver, you can transfer it if you decide to switch insurance provider. If you decide to do that (and half of those that do save up to £257.59**) then your new insurer may want proof of the NCD you’ve accrued.

You’ll need to ask the provider you’re switching from to give you proof of your NCD so you can give it to your new insurer. Different insurers will have different ways of showing what no claims you have – some may provide it in the renewal letter; others might have a separate letter confirming it, and others may only give it to you if you ask for it.

car driving into sunset

How do I get the best deal?

The best deal on your car insurance is the deal that suits your needs – which might not necessarily be the cheapest. Scrimping on your insurance could mean you end up paying more in the long run so it’s not the time to penny pinch. But that’s where we come in, you see, we like options and we love comparing so – ta dah! We made this website, where you can compare the market and be confident about getting choice and value.


**Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during August 2016. 50% of consumers could achieve this saving with comparethemarket.com Motor Insurance.

Looking for a Quote?

Get a new car insurance quote in seconds and start saving

Get a quote