It’s something that most of us can’t live without, and it’s something that could one day save you thousands of pounds, but car insurance, or more specifically, car insurance prices, have the ability to absolutely terrify otherwise rational adults. It’s easy to see why people dread their annual renewal quote as year on year the media report huge rises in car insurance prices. This phenomena is largely blamed on the so-called ‘compensation culture’ that has grown in the last decade, but even if personal injury claims were to decrease, you can bet that car insurance prices wouldn’t follow.
It seems that, like petrol prices, the cost of car insurance will continue to rise and rise, but the good news is that there are ways to cut the costs, and if you are a savvy shopper, you could slash hundreds off your renewal cost and find the best cheap car insurance out there.
You have no doubt heard of price comparison sites but often, simply filling in a couple of forms and hitting ‘Search’ won’t be enough to find you the best deal. Take young drivers, for example. The average insurance cost for under-21s is around £3,000; you may find a little leeway on the comparison sites but you need to have a few more tricks up your sleeve to bring that figure down.
UkMoneyMarket top tip #1 – avoid accessories
The first thing you should do it to avoid all temptation to add accessories to your car. Fancy exhausts, chrome additions, sports kits and fog lights are all warning signs to insurers that you may be a ‘boy racer’, which will instantly add a significant amount to your premium.
UkMoneyMarket top tip #2 – add another driver
Secondly, think about adding an older person, such as a parent, as a named driver. It may seem counter-intuitive that adding more people could reduce costs but insurers like to think that the car will sometimes be driven by a more responsible adult. A word of warning is needed here – do not, under any circumstances, insurer the car with somebody other than yourself as the main driver. It will bring the cost down but this is illegal practice and will render your insurance invalid. It’s also worth avoiding a third-party policy as you will not build a ‘No Claims’ discount.
UkMoneyMarket top tip #3 – spend two hours
For the rest of the driving population, it is a little more straightforward to cut the costs. Firstly, you need to commit some time to finding the best deal, two hours should do it, and make sure you visit three of four price comparison sites.
Think about it; some of you earn £5-£10 an hour at work but you can do better if you spend two hours researching best car insurance deals online or on the phone.
UkMoneyMarket top tip #4 – Non comparison site direct insurers
Once you have done this, you should also visit the likes of Direct Line and Aviva who aren’t involved with the price comparison sites. Once you have found the cheapest quote, you should get on the phone to your current insurer and ask them if they can beat it. Quite often, they will pull something out of the bag as they really don’t want to lose you. If they do provide you with a cheaper quote, call the next cheapest and see if they can beat it. Repeat this game of ‘low quote tennis’ until one of the insurers refuses to go any lower. This technique can save you a small fortune.
UKMoneyMarket top tip #5 – Pay up front and save 25%
Finally, you should look to buy online and, if possible, pay the whole premium up front. Direct Line, Saga and Admiral all offer between 10 – 15% online discount, with Swinton offering a whopping 25%. If you decide to pay by Direct Debit, however, the price can rocket with Nationwide charging 22.8% APR and the RAC, Shelia’s Wheels and Santander all charging over 25%.
Cheap car insurance is out there, you just need to take it slow and steady, and keep your eyes open. A bit like your driving I suppose.