Average car insurance costs have fallen for the first time in three years – very slightly. Experts warn, however, that prices are still at near-record levels and many motorists are spending hundreds of pounds more than they need to.
Here are a few simple steps that could help drive down the cost of your premiums.
1. Shop around
It might sound obvious but don’t just take the first quote you get. Prices for the same cover can vary wildly between insurers so use a price comparison site to find the cheapest deal. And don’t assume that because your insurer was cheapest last time around that they still are. Britons are wasting a collective £652.5 million a year by simply auto-renewing their policy. The average auto-renewed policy rose by £50 last year. As of last April, renewal quotes have to include last year’s premium so you can see just how much your bill is changing.
2. Think about how you use your car
How much you use your car and the way you use it can both affect how much you pay for insurance. If you only do a few thousand miles a year you could save money by setting a lower mileage cap on your policy. If you don’t use your car to get to work then deselect the commuting option. It’ll all help bring down your costs.
3. Cut out the extras
Many insurers will try to add all sorts of extras onto your policy but these are rarely free and none is compulsory. Additional features such a windscreen cover, courtesy car provision, breakdown cover and legal services sound handy but all add to the cost of your policy. Think about whether you really need them.
4. Increase your excess
Increasing your voluntary excess is a quick and simple way to bring down your premium. Provided you don’t have to claim you’re quids in but remember, if you do make a claim you’ve got to be able to cover the cost of that higher excess.
5. Think about your named drivers
Adding more drivers to your policy can work for or against you in keeping costs down. Younger, less experienced drivers will most probably push your premium up, as will those with high-risk jobs or motoring convictions. If they don’t drive your car regularly then consider adding them temporarily when needed rather than paying to keep them on your policy all the time. On the other hand, adding a more experienced, lower-risk person can actually reduce your premium.
6. Pay up front
Most insurers will allow you to pay for your cover on a monthly basis but will charge you more than if you pay in a lump sum. If you can, get the painful part out of the way in a oner and you could save 10 per cent or more.
7. Think about your job
Some professions are considered higher risk than others by insurers. You can’t lie about what you do for a living but being smart about your job description can make a big difference to your premium.
8. Go fully comp
It might sound counter-intuitive but selecting fully comprehensive cover rather than just third party can work out cheaper. Some insurers view drivers who opt for third-party-only cover as higher-risk motorists looking for the cheapest policies so it’s worth checking the difference between every level of cover
9. Consider a black box
Telematics systems are becoming more common in the insurance market. They are particularly helpful for young drivers looking to bring down their premiums. By tracking how and when you drive, the insurer can better assess your risk and tailor your costs. Drive safely and sensibly and you’ll be rewarded. Some insurers will offer a discount simply for signing up to a telematics policy.