The average driver shells out £466 a year on car insurance. That’s steep enough, but the costs can be far higher for some motorists. There are things, like where you live and how old you are, that you can’t change. But they’re not the only factors that insurance companies use to calculate your premium. With a little insider knowledge, you could save money on your car insurance when you get your next quote.
Our guide below provides practical 14 tips and advice that you can use to save money on car insurance. Take a few minutes to read it now, and you could save £hundreds next time you renew.
1) Tweaking your job title could save ££s.
The first trick to save money on car insurance is to think about how your job can be described. A simple tweak could be a legal way to lower your premium.
Insurers look at claims data to see which professions make the most claims. If your job is associated with a higher than average number of insurance claims, you’ll be charged more. For example, if you’re a surgeon, your car insurance premium will be higher than if you are a teacher because surgeons make more claims.
It is essential to tell the truth when you state your job title. You can’t just pretend you have a less risky job. The trick to save money on car insurance is to think about the different ways your job could be described. Is there an alternative that could save money? For example, a ‘chef’ will pay more in car insurance than a ‘kitchen worker’. And if you’re a full-time parent or retired, make sure you tick that box, rather than tick’ unemployed.’
See if tweaking your job title could save money by getting quotes using all the different job titles that could genuinely apply to you.
2) Add another more experienced driver to the policy to lower premiums
Adding an experienced driver to your policy could save you money, but there are a few essentials to bear in mind.
- Never claim that another more experienced driver is the primary driver if they’re not. This is illegal and could void your insurance.
- You must have the permission of the other driver to add them.
- If they have made recent claims on their insurance or have penalty points on their licence, adding them may increase your premium.
Naming an additional driver, such as a parent, partner, or child, could reduce your premium. Find out how much you could save by adding their details when you get your quotes.
3) Think about what car you drive
If you’re thinking about changing your vehicle, your choice could save you cash when it comes to insurance. If saving money on insurance is important to you, it’s worth considering buying a car with a smaller engine.
Cars with smaller engines are generally in lower insurance groups and will cost you less to insure. Electric vehicles can be more costly to repair and may cost more to insure.
4) Avoid modifications if you want to save cash
If there are any modifications to your vehicle, it can cost more to insure. That’s because the modification might make your vehicle more attractive to thieves, and it could increase potential repair costs. You must always declare any modifications, or you risk voiding your insurance.
It’s not just performance modifications to your engine or exhaust that need to be declared. You’ll need to tell your insurer if your car has a wrap or other cosmetic additions too. Disability access modifications also need to be stated. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need to highlight any changes that are different from the original factory specification.
Know how much your modifications could cost you:
- Adding a turbo or supercharging your engine may see insurance prices increase by 132%
- A body kit can increase premiums by 57%
- A new paint job could increase your car insurance by 36%
5) Increase your excess for cheap car insurance
The excess is the amount you have to pay if you make a claim. Insurance companies will set a compulsory excess, usually between £50-£300. But you can also opt to pay a voluntary excess too. The higher your excess, generally the lower your car insurance will be.
Increasing your excess is a quick way to save money.
- Keep it affordable. Don’t set your car insurance excess at an amount that you can’t afford to pay.
- Consider taking out excess protection insurance for peace of mind. It means a little extra effort as you’ll have to make two insurance claims if you have an accident. But if the cost of your excess protection is lower than the amount you can save by increasing your excess, you’ll be saving money.
6) Double-check what’s included to avoid over-paying
There are two big money-saving reasons to check precisely what is included in your car insurance quote. Firstly, you need to make sure you have the level cover you need, or it could cost you more in the long run. Secondly, check that you actually do require everything that’s included. If not, you could be paying extra unnecessarily.
- Look for a car insurance package that can be tailored to your exact needs. That way you get the cover you want without paying for extras you don’t need.
- Also, don’t automatically tick to buy the add-ons. Ask yourself, do you need the extras? Perhaps you already have cover from another source. For example, breakdown insurance is included with some bank account packages.
7) Drive safely to secure discounts
Driving safely can help to reduce the likelihood that you’ll make a claim. And that helps you to build up a no-claims bonus that will save you money. It can also help you to avoid getting endorsements on your licence that can mean higher premiums.
- If you have more than a few years of no claims bonus, it can mean a significant saving on your renewal quote. Look for insurance that protects your no claims bonus even if you do make a claim for even more peace of mind.
- Speeding or using a mobile phone when you’re driving will mean penalty points that you have to declare when you get a quote. But you don’t have to declare them forever. It’s worth checking if your endorsements are spent. Points generally stay on your licence for between 4-11 years. You can check how long each endorsement stays active here.
8) Save money by switching to a telematics policy
With a telematics insurance policy, your driving is monitored continuously. You’ll have a ‘black box’ fitted that records everything from speed and braking to the time of day that you drive. Safe driving, for example, driving during the day and gentle braking, is rewarded with lower insurance costs.
- Younger drivers can see significant savings on car insurance with a telematics policy.
- You’ll only save money if you drive safely. Be aware that you could end up paying more.
9) Improve security
Car crime continues to rise in 2019 with payouts made every eight seconds. Some insurers will offer discounts if you increase the security of your car. For example, if you install a tracker, it could reduce insurance costs, especially if you have a high-value vehicle like a performance sports car.
Check that the cost of increased security will reduce insurance before you invest in it.
10) Pay in one go to prevent paying more
Paying monthly may seem convenient, or it could be the only way you can afford to pay, but it’s better to pay in one go. That’s because monthly payment options almost always cost more over 12 months compared to a single payment.
When you get your car insurance quotes, make sure you tick the box to pay annually. Some insurance companies may make it easier to pay monthly, just because they can make more money that way. Make sure you don’t fall into that trap if you can avoid it.
11) Count up the miles to count up the savings
Do you know how many miles you cover every year? Being able to estimate your annual mileage accurately can mean significant savings if you drive less than the average motorist. That’s because the fewer miles you travel, the less likely you are to be in an accident. Latest figures suggest that the average annual mileage in the UK is 7,134. It’s still worth specifying your mileage even if it is higher than this. Otherwise, your insurance company may assume your mileage is higher than it is.
- An easy way to work out how many miles you drive is to take a look at your old MOT certificates. This states the mileage of your vehicle at each test, so you can work out how many you do a year.
- If the car is new, you can still estimate your mileage. Think about a typical week and write down all the journeys you do. Remember things like commuting to work, shopping, and picking the kids up from school. To calculate your annual mileage, add up the miles you do in a week and multiply it by 52. Remember to add extra miles for things like visiting family and going on holiday.
12) Shop around to save
If you only do one thing to save money on your car insurance, make sure you shop around. Insurance companies rely on us being too busy. And your renewal quote will almost always be higher than you can find by going to other insurance companies. It’s easy to switch, and it doesn’t have to take up too much time. The best part is that you don’t even have to do the hard work yourself. Instead, you could use an insurance broker.
- Don’t just accept your renewal quote – if you do, you’re almost always going to end up paying more than you have to.
- Comparison sites can be a great place to start but beware of some common pitfalls. You’ll find different prices for the same policies on different comparison sites. That’s because some of the biggest comparison sites are owned by car insurance companies and discount their own products. For example, Aviva is a shareholder in MoneySuperMarket and Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group, which owns several prominent insurance companies including Admiral, Elephant.com, and Diamond. Also, remember that not all insurance companies are represented on comparison sites.
- An independent insurance broker, like Park Insurance, can also compare prices for you.
13) Get your timing right to reap lower prices
Don’t leave it until the day of your renewal to get car insurance quotes. In almost every case, it will cost you more.
The optimum time to get your car insurance quote is three weeks before it runs out. Up to that date, the prices will gradually lower. And from that date, they will steadily climb. Quotes are generally valid for a minimum of 31 days.
14) Get a professional to negotiate on your behalf
Don’t assume that getting professional help to find your car insurance will cost you more. It could save you a significant amount in the short and long term.
Insurance brokers can often access deals not available to individuals and may have significant buying power that allows them to negotiate hard on prices. They’ll use their knowledge of the industry to tailor your insurance to your exact needs, so you don’t pay for cover you don’t need. And importantly, they can sift through the small print for you. That means you can be confident that your insurance gives you the financial protection you need to make a claim.
You don’t have to pay the insurance broker for their work. Instead, they’ll receive a commission from the insurance company when you take out the insurance (just like the commission taken by a price comparison website). Getting a quote is free and you’re under no obligation to buy your insurance through them.
If you’re going to use an insurance broker, look for one that is independent, like Park Insurance. This means that the broker is not tied to any single insurance provider. Instead, it is free to shop around on your behalf to find the genuinely best deal out there.
Car insurance is an essential expense for every motorist. With a little effort, all drivers can take steps to save money on car insurance without compromising on the level of cover. Above we’ve shared our top 14 tips that will help you get the cheapest car insurance quote out there. Now it’s over to you to put these tricks into action today.