Car insurance – How to get the best deal
Looking for the best car insurance deals? This guide will take you through the best way to get cheap car insurance and explain how to use online comparison sites, best buy articles and insurance brokers. Our five-step guide could save you hundreds of pounds on car insurance.
1. Lower your risk2. Lower the price3. Shop around4. Check the policy5. Ask for a discount
1. Lower your risk
Cheap car insurance is not necessarily the best car insurance, but there are a number of things you can do to lower your insurance risk and get cheaper car insurance.
Make your car more secure
Fit an approved alarm or immobiliser.Park in a garage or driveway if possibleMake sure security devices are Thatcham approved.
Find out more about security on the Thatcham website.
Drive a make and model from a low insurance group
Choose a make and model from a low insurance group for a lower premium.Insurers prefer popular models which are not as expensive to repair.
Check rates for most vehicles at the Group Rating Database on the Thatcham website.
Be accurate about your mileage
The lower your annual mileage, the lower your premium.
However, don’t underestimate your mileage as this could invalidate your insurance when making a claim.
Prove that you are a low-risk driver – some insurers will give you a discount if you have taken a Pass Plus or advanced driving course. Find out more about Pass Plus on the GOV.UK website.Insurance claims or points on your licence will increase your premium.Consider getting a policy which includes an assessment of your driving with telematics (‘black box’ technology). If you can prove you’re a careful driver, this could result in a lower premium.
Add a second driver
Smooth out the risk by adding a second, low-risk driver – even if they don’t use the vehicle much. (Adding newly qualified young drivers will increase the premium).Don’t break the law by pretending the second driver is the main driver.
2. Lower the price
There are a few things you can do which might lower the price of your car insurance.
Pay for your car insurance annually, not monthly
Check with your insurance company because sometimes you are charged interest if you pay by instalments.
Don’t pay for what you don’t need
Consider the cover you have under other insurance policies or elsewhere. For example, some bank accounts include car breakdown cover.Sometimes your insurer or broker might try to sell you add-ons, like legal expenses cover. You might be able to get these products more cheaply elsewhere, or you might not need them at all.
Considering buying breakdown cover separately
If breakdown cover is included in your car insurance, check the price and the level of cover – you might find better cover for the same price or less elsewhere.
Protect or increase your no claims bonus
When changing insurers, make sure you can carry over your no-claims bonus.Consider paying an extra premium to protect your no claims bonus, if you haven’t claimed for five years or more.
Read more about protecting your no claims bonus on the MoneySupermarket website.
Think about adding a voluntary excess to your car insurance
Add a voluntary excess to your compulsory excess to lower your premium.Remember you’ll get less back if you make a claim (after both voluntary and compulsory excesses have been deducted) so you need to be able to afford it.
Imagine you reverse into a bollard and do £300 worth of damage to your car.
If your excess is £150, then your payout would be £150. But if you claim, you’ll lose your no claims bonus and push up the price of your premium.
Are you likely to claim?
If not, you might as well increase the excess (providing you can afford to) and pay less for the policy.
Also, remember that unfortunately, even if you don’t claim you do have to tell your insurer that you’ve had an accident and your premium might go up as a result.
3. Shop around
The more time and research you put in to obtaining quotes, the more likely you are to get a better deal.
This is especially important if you’re over 70 or under 25, and at the first year renewal when premiums can go up significantly.
If you have the time, get quotes from at least two comparison sites and use insurers and brokers that don’t feature on comparison sites.
Remember, cheapest is not necessarily best. Get the right cover or your policy will not pay out when you need it.
Compare like for like – if you’re only looking for fully comprehensive deals, you can use the Defaqto comparison system.
Compare car insurance policies on the Defaqto website.
Try a broker to see if they can get the same cover at a lower price – it’s free to ask.
Find a broker from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association.
Don’t have much time?
Use best buy tables to compare policies from a few reputable insurers.
See the Which? best buys for car insuranceopens in new window.
Car insurance for young drivers – top tips.
4. Check the policy
Read the Key Facts and Policy Wording documents.
Otherwise, you won’t know if you’re getting the right cover.
If you’re renewing a policy with the same insurer, it’s up to you to check if the terms and conditions have changed.
5. Ask for a discount
Go back to your current insurer and ask them to beat your best quote.