How to get the best car insurance deal

How to shop around for insurance

Car insurance is mandatory, and it can be quite costly, so finding the best deal is a must for all drivers. Follow our tips to save pounds on your premiums.

Look at insurance comparison sites

The car insurance market is highly competitive and there are lots of companies offering insurance, so to get the best deal, shop around.

The quickest and easiest way to do this is to use one of the big insurance comparison websites, which could potentially save you hundreds of pounds – it's worth checking two or three sites to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. 

But bear in mind not all insurance companies allow their policies to be sold via these sites, so you won’t get every option.

It's also important to compare like-for-like cover when shopping around. Some policies might seem cheaper, but may not offer the same level of cover. 

If you do use a comparison website, enter your details and check the prices that come up. You can change elements, such as the excess that you’re prepared to pay and your annual mileage, in order to get different quotes.

The other advantage of shopping around comparison websites is you can use quotes you are given as leverage with your existing insurer. If you’ve been happy with their cover and service, but the renewal quote is a bit of a jump in price, let them know what alternatives you’ve found, then ask them to match it. 

When looking for cheaper car insurance, information is power.

Protect your no-claims bonus

A no-claims bonus (NCB), or no claims discount (NCD) is a valuable way of reducing insurance costs. It builds up over a number of years, so you should protect it as much as possible. 

Protecting the NCD might cost you a few extra quid, but weigh that up against losing a 90% discount on a premium that can cost hundreds of pounds annually. 

It's also worth examining how different insurers define a protected NCD, because it's not always the same.

Reduce your car mileage

The fewer miles you cover every year the lower the risk, so by reducing your annual mileage, you can lower your premiums.

For example, if you agree to limit your mileage by 5,000 miles, you could save £50 on your premium. 

But, as with every interaction with insurers, you have to be honest. If you say that you only cover a certain distance every year and you exceed that without telling them, your policy could be worthless if you have to make a claim.

Using a car for work will also make a difference to how much insurance you pay as any business use – which you have to declare to your insurer – will increase your premiums.

Add a black box

Black box insurance policies are becoming increasingly popular, especially for younger drivers. 

Under these policies the insurer installs a telematics system – known as a black box – that monitors how the car is being driven. The system records the car’s speed and the harshness of any accelerating or braking, among other things. If the data shows you drive carefully, you’ll be rewarded with lower premiums. On the other hand, if it looks like you drive too much like Lewis Hamilton, your premiums will increase.

Some insurers will offer an immediate discount if you take out one of these policies, so they're worth considering.

Increase your car insurance excess

Another way of reducing the cost of your insurance policy is to consider different levels of your excess.

If you agree to pay more towards the cost of any repairs in the event of a claim, your premiums will go down. In the event you claim for a collision that that isn’t your fault, you’ll get the excess back. 

But if your car is older or not worth a great deal, you’ll need to be careful that you don’t increase your excess by too much as you could end up paying for repairs that cost more than the car is worth.

Install a car alarm, car immobiliser or car tracking device 

Having an alarm, immobiliser or tracking device not only helps keep your car safe, but it can also save you money as several companies offer insurance discounts if they’re fitted. A lot of modern cars already have these features, so make sure you tell any potential insurer about them before getting a quote.

Keeping your car in a lockable garage should also result in lower premiums. If you have one, keep your car in it and let your insurer know.

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