How to get cheaper car insurance
Few of us enjoy searching for car cover but most of us agree that it’s well worth the effort if we can save ourselves some cash – so here are our top 21 tips to get cheap car insurance.
1) Compare: The quickest and simplest way to get cheap car insurance, is to compare quotes using sites just like ours at mustard.co.uk When you let us search for you, we’ll bring you a number of quotes so you can see at a glance what’s on offer – meaning you get to pick the right one for your budget. Plus, our Cheapest Price Guarantee means we’ll beat any other online quote.
2) Type of cover: Think carefully about whether you really need comprehensive cover, if your car isn’t worth much then it could be a false economy and third party, fire and theft may be a better option. Just make sure you completely understand the limitations in any third-party policy so there are no surprises if you come to claim.
3) Build up your no claims bonus:Your
no claims bonus (NCB) is your reward for not making a claim on your insurance. If you haven’t made a claim by the end of your 12-month policy, you earn a discount which is taken off your premium. The more years no claims you have, the greater the discount.
4). Protect your no claims: If you’ve built up years’ worth of no claims, it’s sensible to protect them. Most insurers will give you the option of protecting your NCB for a small fee. Always read the terms and conditions if you’ve chosen to protect your NCB because different insurers have different rules about how it’s applied. For example, some providers limit the number of fault claims (where the accident is your fault) you can make so if you exceed this then you risk losing your NCB protection.
5). Increase your voluntary excess: Voluntary excess is what you agree to pay in addition to the compulsory excess set by your insurer, in order to proceed with a claim. If you increase the amount, it could lower your overall premium, but make sure it’s something you can afford – find out more in compulsory and voluntary excess explained
6) Don’t auto-renew: Auto-renewing your insurance might make life convenient, but it will rarely save you money as prices are typically more expensive compared to new quotes. Your existing insurer should let you know when your policy is due to end and when they do, it’s time to start searching for new deals.
7) Add a more experienced named driver: Having a more experienced driver with a good no claims record and clean driving licence can really help lower your premium. A named driver should only drive your car occasionally and telling insurers that someone is the main driver to get cheaper car insurance is called fronting – which is illegal.
8) Limit the number of drivers on your policy: This might seem to contradict the above, but while a more experienced driver can help lower costs, adding inexperienced drivers can increase your premium instead. You should also think twice before choosing a policy that lets any driver, drive your car, because this can also raise costs.
9) Be accurate with mileage: The number of miles you drive influences the cost of cover (the more you do, the greater the chance of an accident). So, always be as accurate as you can because rounding up your mileage could push your premium up too. If you don’t drive much, then take a look at low mileage car insurance as well.
10) Think about use: What you use your car for, can affect the cost of your insurance – for instance, business users are considered higher risk because they’re more likely to be driving long distances. So, if you only use your car to see friends or go to the shops, then make sure you only buy a ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ policy. Find out more about the different groups in our guide to insurance classes of use
11) Pay upfront: If you can afford to, paying for your insurance up front, can help you save money. Monthly instalments could mean you end up paying more in admin and interest charges so it’s best to take the hit to your bank balance in one go – you’ll be grateful later.
12) Only buy what you need: It’s tempting to include extra features ‘just in case’ but doing so could mean you end up buying add-ons you simply don’t need. So, if you’d never contemplate taking your car abroad, then buying European cover (for example) is money wasted.
13) Think about your job description: Most of us know that jobs influence insurance cost. What you might not know, is that variations in job title can also have an impact. For instance, typical occupations for cheap car insurance include ‘nurse’ but opting for ‘midwife’, ’state enrolled nurse’ or ‘matron’ – could alter your premium and result in an even lower cost. Don’t get too carried away though because inaccurate information will invalidate your policy.
14) Choose your car carefully: Cars are divided into 50 insurance groups – the smaller the number, the cheaper the insurance. So, if you’re looking for a new car, then you could save some money by choosing your car by insurance category rather than how quickly it can go from 0 to 60.
15) Telematics insurance: Telematics (or black box insurance) is a great tip for teenagers and young drivers to get cheaper car insurance., A small electronic device is used to monitor your driving with premiums based on how well you drive – also worth considering if you have driving convictions.
16) Extra training: Taking an advanced driving course helps you brush up or learn new skills, but it’s also another way of getting cheaper car insurance – especially for new drivers. A range of courses are available and while you’ll need to pay to do them, the long-term savings are often worth the cost. Courses on offer include those by:
17) Avoid modifications: Cars that are modified in any way are likely to cost more to fix, which in turn can push up the price of your premium so they’re best avoided.
18) Secure your car: The only type of modification that you will benefit from, is a security device approved by safety experts Thatcham – these include immobilisers, alarms or steering locks.
19) Overnight security: Keeping your car in a locked garage can really help shave pounds off your premium, but if you don’t have a garage or off-street parking, then aim to secure your car as best you can (see tip number 17).
20) Fit a dashcam: Dashcams are becoming more and more popular and a few insurers are willing to offer limited discounts if you have one in your car. A word of advice though – check your insurer’s position on dashcams as some providers classify them as a modification which could inadvertently push up your premium.
21) Think about what you claim for: Your claims history is one of the factors that influence your premium, so think carefully about whether it’s worth claiming for every little bump. More often than not it can work out cheaper to resolve minor issues yourself. Just remember – if you’ve been in an accident then you must tell your insurer – even if you don’t want to claim (not declaring an accident could mean you invalidate your policy).