Reducing the Cost of Car Insurance

Car insurance is steadily rising, with the average cost of an annual fully comprehensive policy coming in at around £500. If you’re a young driver who has recently passed their test, drive a very high-powered car or live in an inner-city area, you could be paying a lot more. Insurance is not an optional motoring extra; it’s something by law we all have to have, just like paying road tax or arranging the annual MOT test if the car is more than three years old. There are however some ways of cutting the cost of your insurance, without compromising on cover.

Always Compare

The very best tactic for reducing the price of your car insurance is always to shop around when it is time to renew. Even if you are happy with the service and price from your current insurer, it’s worth taking some time to compare quotes from other providers too. If you get cheaper quotes from other companies, you can then go back to your current insurer and ask them to match the price. Just remember to always compare like with like, in terms of cover and extras such as no-claims discount. Compare quotes for different cars too, especially before buying a new one. A car with a smaller engine may be less of a risk and therefore reduce insurance costs.

Add an Additional Driver

One of the easiest things a new driver can do to reduce the costs of their insurance is to add another, more experienced driver onto their policy as a named driver. This usually has to be someone who lives in the same house as you, such as a spouse, parent or older sibling. However, it’s illegal for younger drivers to list the more experienced driver as the main driver and the younger one as an additional driver. This is a process known as fronting, and can get everyone involved into a lot of trouble.

Black Box

Another good option for a driver who finds their premiums rocketing is to consider a black box. These are also sometimes known as telematics boxes, or the policy as a “pay as your drive” deal. In essence, the black box uses GPS to monitor where you are, and how you’re driving. If you drive safely and smoothly, within the speed limits, this will reduce your premiums. Usually, the box comes with a smartphone app which lets you track how you are doing and gives tips about how to improve your driving score.

Storage and Security

Keeping your car in a garage is safer than on a drive, which is safer than on the street. If you can’t get access to a garage for storing your car, then look at other ways in which you can improve security too. Some companies will give discounts for having a specific brand of car alarm fitted, and although this might be expensive, the reduction on your insurance policy can make it worthwhile. On a more expensive car, a tracker might help make it less attractive to thieves, and more easily recovered if someone does take it. Fitting an approved immobiliser may also reduce insurance costs.

Raising Excess

The excess is the amount which the policyholder agrees to pay out in the event of a claim. You can reduce the price of your insurance policy by agreeing to take on a higher excess in the event of a claim. This can be a risky strategy; it might pay off if you manage a year of trouble-free motoring, but if you do get into an accident or have your car stolen, you could be very out of pocket.