How to keep your Car insurance costs down
A car can be one of the most expensive items to own. Not only is there the outlay of buying the car itself, you also need to pay for insurance, tax, petrol, and then there’s the regular maintenance costs.
A large part of a driver’s budget is insurance, and making the right choice in selecting your cover is essential to getting the right price. If you’re looking at renewing your car insurance, we’ve put together some top tips to help you keep costs to a minimum.
1. Bending the truth is a no-no...
Getting the correct details is vital when applying for any type of insurance. It is essential not to bend the truth when making your choices, as this can be more trouble than it’s worth. If details are incorrect, your insurance could be void upon a claim and you could potentially face an insurance fraud conviction, which will affect any future attempts of obtaining insurance.
2. Reducing your mileage
Spend some time working out how many miles you are likely to drive over a year. The higher the mileage, the more money you will pay. Ensure that you don’t overestimate your mileage, but do not underestimate, either. Consider ways to reduce your mileage – lift-share or if possible, cycle or walk to work one day of the week, and get some exercise on the way!
3. Consider a broker
It is important to compare various insurance quotes before making a decision, but with so many different options available from providers, comparing like for like cover can be difficult. Consider calling a broker, who will search a panel of insurers to find the best available deals that suit your needs. Many brokers can obtain preferential prices against purchasing insurance direct. It’s worth checking out!
4. Is my car really worth that?
It is important not to overvalue your vehicle. Insurers will only pay current valuation prices, so just because it was worth £6,000 when you bought it, doesn’t mean it is worth that now. If you overvalue your car, you’ll end up paying higher premiums, but still only receive the replacement value at current prices. It’s easy to search for similar vehicles for sale on websites like AutoTrader – just select the highest valued vehicle which has similar criteria to yours (mileage, age, condition).
5. Third party or fully comp...
There’s a misconception that fully comprehensive insurance will always be more expensive than third party cover, due to the increased coverage you are receiving, however this is not always the case. As there are various factors that build up an insurance premium, it can sometimes be cheaper to obtain the extra cover. It’s worth checking out both to give you a bigger picture on the prices available to you.
6. Tuck it in at night...
Where you leave your vehicle at night will depend on price you pay. It goes without saying that thieves strike more often at night and a vehicle that’s easily accessible is more vulnerable to attacks. So, if you have a garage, consider throwing out the junk and placing your car inside for the night. This could save you some money and is an easy fix. However, don’t say you leave it in the garage and then park the car outside...If the vehicle is stolen, your insurer could withhold payment as the car isn’t parked where you say you keep it. This is a little tricky when you sometimes park on the driveway and at others in the garage. If this is the case, state you park on the drive as this will provide you with more coverage and increase the chances of a payout if you need to claim.
7. Choosing the correct employment details
When choosing your type of employment on insurance policies, don’t exaggerate as it will only lead to increased premiums. Some jobs have similar names, so think hard about what you actually do for a living. A good example of this is in the sales environment. If you are a telephone sales person paying £600 for insurance, you could pay up to £30 more for the term Sales Executive, rather than Telesales Person. Make sure you choose the job title that best describes your role. You can find more information on alternative job roles on the Money Saving Expert website.
8. Big brother can be your friend
Black box technology, or telematics as it is correctly known, has been used in vans and lorries for years. It’s recently made the transition to cars and is being used to successfully reduce many insurance premiums. It’s become particularly useful for younger drivers, who can actually save quite a lot of money. The benefit of telematics, is that instead of simply saying you drive appropriately, you can now prove it. With some good driving and clever thinking around when you take to the road, you can slash hundreds of pounds off your annual premium, and that can’t be a bad thing.
9. Safety features are always a plus
Introducing safety or security features to your vehicle can have positive impact on your insurance premium. Start with simple, low cost items like steering wheel locks, handbrake locks and an alarm. If you want to go a bit further or are considering purchasing a new car, think about immobilisers, trackers, ABS brakes or even Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). AEB systems are currently being introduced by manufacturers, and automatically apply the brakes when they sense a collision is about to happen. It is considered that this technology will help to reduce the number of accidents significantly, which will in turn could have a positive effect on the cost of insurance in the future.
10. Increasing excess
Most insurance policies will carry some sort of compulsory excess, which is unavoidable, however voluntary excess is a great way to save some money. Increasing voluntary excess shows the insurer that you are prepared to contribute more in the event of a claim and will tend to lower your premium. It is important to ensure that you can afford the excess though, should you need to claim.