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Top tips for cheap car insurance

Car insurance premiums have never been more expensive – our latest research shows that the average premium in 2018 is £734, compared to £580 during 2015** – so it’s not surprising that we’re all looking for tips on how to find cheap car insurance. As well as using to check out great car insurance deals for you, take a look at our top tips that could help you find affordable car insurance. 

**Based on the Premium Drivers Report March 2018


Don’t assume third party is the cheapest insurance

Third party car insurance offers the most basic cover and is the minimum required for you to drive legally in the UK. It covers you for injury or damage that you cause to another person or their property. But it won’t cover you for any damage to your car or injuries to yourself, so there could be serious consequences if you’re hurt in an accident and unable to work.

Third party cover won’t always be the cheapest though, as it’s dependent on individual circumstances, so you should always check different levels of cover. With, you can compare the three main types of car insurance: third party, third party fire and theft, and comprehensive.

Choose your car wisely

If you’re buying a new car, check what your insurance will cost before you buy the car. 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 £1,391.23*** a year. By comparison, the average cost to insure an Astra would set you back £1,642.43***. See our young driver’s report and cheapest cars to insure pages for more information.

***Based on data from January to March 2018. Our average premiums are based on all our customer quotes, from people with different age ranges, addresses and driving histories. You may find a cheaper or more expensive quote based on your personal circumstances.

Increase your voluntary excess

You might want to choose a higher voluntary excess. Although this could cost you more in the event of a claim, as you’ll need to pay the voluntary excess you choose as well as the compulsory excess set by your provider, it could mean a cheaper monthly premium. Just make sure you can afford the full amount in the event that you do need to make a claim. 

Improve your car’s security

Fitting an industry-approved steering wheel lock or investing in an immobiliser might help reduce your premiums – just bear in mind that you may need to speak to your insurance provider directly to get the saving reflected. You should also check whether the one-off costs of these products outweigh any savings. 

Park your car off the road

If possible, keep your car in a locked garage or on a private driveway overnight. Parking your car off the road reduces the risk of it being stolen or vandalised, and might cut the cost of your premium.

Add an experienced driver

If you’re a new driver and share the vehicle with a more experienced one, adding this second driver to your insurance might save you money. Because you’ll be spending less time in the car, your insurance provider could reduce your premium as you’ll have less chance of having an accident. Even an experienced driver with a good record who only drives your car occasionally could make a difference.

A word of warning, though. You must never put forward the other person as the main driver if that isn’t actually case. This is known as ‘fronting’. It’s a type of fraud and, at the very least, could invalidate your policy.

Avoid modifications

Although you might think adding alloy wheels and a new stereo system is a great idea, your insurance provider probably won’t. Modifications and upgrades to your car could make it more attractive to thieves and your insurance premiums may increase as a result.

Restrict your mileage

Limiting the amount of time you’re on the road could reduce your risk and therefore lower your premium. All policies ask for a maximum mileage, so set this as low as you realistically can. But make sure you tell the truth – if you significantly underestimate your mileage then make a claim, your policy could be invalid.

Drive well

Good driving can lead to lower premiums as your no claims discount increases. Speeding or incurring points on your licence can mean your premiums become more expensive. If you get penalty points, you’ll need to tell your insurance provider as they might affect your premium.

If you’re a new driver, an advanced driving course, such as Pass Plus, may also help you get a discount on your car insurance. Some providers only offer a discount if you take the course within a year of passing your test; other providers might extend the discount period for longer.

Build up a good no claims discount

If you don’t make a claim on your insurance, you’ll be rewarded at renewal with a ‘no claims discount’ (NCD). Building up a good no claims discount is such a money-saver that if you have a minor bump, it might be cheaper to pay for the repairs yourself rather than making a claim. But remember, you always need to notify your provider of any accident, even if you’re covering the cost yourself.

Consider a black box policy

Black box insurance, or telematics insurance, is there to reward good driving. It can be a good idea if you’re a young driver and finding it difficult to get an affordable quote. A small gadget is placed in your car, or you download an app to your phone, that tells your insurance provider how you’re driving. If you drive well, you could get a lower premium. Just be sure you look into all the costs associated with such a policy as some insurance providers do charge to remove the black box should you cancel the policy or sell the car.

Pay upfront

It’s a good idea to pay for your insurance in one go – if you can afford to! A monthly payment plan can cost more because interest might be charged on the monthly instalments.

Think carefully about optional extras

Some insurance policies include extras, such as a courtesy car or breakdown cover. They can add up to quite a bit of money, so if you don't want them, take them off. But do think carefully about the implications of not having a replacement car or breakdown cover when you need them.

Compare car insurance quotes

Our price comparison service is an effective way to compare more than 100 insurance providers and get an overview of some great deals on the market. Remember, we’re here to help you get the right cover at a price you can afford.

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