Motor insurance rarely comes cheap, but there are a few simple ways you can reduce your car insurance. Experts at Sterling have offered their guidance for saving money on your annual insurance and three bonus tips on saving money if you are a young or newly qualified driver. 1. Compare car insurance prices Shop around to get a better deal on your motor insurance, or better still let someone else do the work for you by going to a specialist broker such as Sterling. Brokers at Sterling will compare policies and prices quoted by dozens of insurance providers to find you the best deal. Independent advice suggests you should get at least three quotes before taking a motor insurance policy – Sterling has access to a panel of insurance providers to consult in order to find the cheapest and best cover for you. 2. Buy a car in a low insurance group Consider buying a car in a low insurance category, especially if you are a young or newly qualified driver. Despite what you may think, low insurance category band cars are not necessarily old bangers! In a recent survey the top 15 cheapest cars to insure for new drivers were: Volkswagen PoloHyundai i10Volkswagen UpKia PicantoDacia SanderoFord FiestaSeat IbizaRenault ClioSkoda FabiaKia RioToyota Aygo XNissan MicraFiat 500MG3Fiat Panda 3. Increase your excess A voluntary excess is the amount you agree to pay towards a claim, should you need to make one. Increasing the voluntary excess on your policy can reduce your premium. Remember your voluntary excess is usually coupled with a compulsory excess that’s set by your insurance company. So make sure you add the two figures together when calculating the total amount you’d have to pay in the event of making that claim. 4. Pay up-front Insurance companies make money by offering customers deferred payment options, perhaps over three, six or ten months. Deferred payments can be helpful, but if you can afford to, pay your annual premium in a lump sum to avoid the interest charges. 5. Don’t do it online Call centre staff at Sterling Insurance If you request an online insurance quote, it will be computer generated. That’s great and relatively cost free for the insurance company, but not so good for you. If you phone a broker like Sterling, you will talk to someone who can assess the risks of the car you want covered and of you personally. They will come up with a unique quote and can even offer helpful advice on how you could save money on your premium. 6. Plan ahead Don’t leave your insurance until the last minute. If you are running out of time you are more likely to go for the first deal that’s offered, whether it’s the best value for money or not. And avoid taking out a new insurance policy in December. In the past four years, the cost of typical car cover has been 13% higher in December compared to the monthly average for the rest of the year. 7. Check your credit score If you have a poor credit history you present a greater risk of making a claim, meaning you will pay more for your insurance cover. 8. Join a car club Sterling offers up to 20% discount on the insurance premium for members of owners clubs and forums. The money you save could actually pay for your club membership. 9. Invest in security You can save money if you upgrade the security of your car by getting an alarm, immobiliser, tracker or dash cam fitted. And make the most of the security already available by keeping the car garaged when it is not in use. Parking your car off-road will lower the risk of your vehicle being damaged or stolen. If you have access to a driveway, a parking spot or a garage, make sure you inform your insurer. 10. Agree a limited mileage deal The more miles your vehicle covers, the greater the risk and the more expensive your annual insurance premium will be. Calculate your anticipated mileage and if it is less than 7,500 miles, contact your insurer to see if you can get a low mileage discount. But be honest. If you purposely underestimate your mileage to get a cheaper deal and your insurer finds out, the insurer may declare your policy invalid and refuse to pay a claim, should you need to make one. 11. Get the right cover for you There are different levels of insurance cover you can purchase: Third party onlyThird party, fire and theftComprehensive cover (also referred to as fully comp) The former will only cover the damage you cause to others, whilst third party, fire and theft covers fires, theft and damage to other property. The latter also covers accidental damage to your vehicle. Whilst comprehensive covers a lot more, in turn you may assume it’s more expensive. However, that is not the case, it may be cheaper than the other options. A good insurer will check to see if ‘fully comp’ could actually save you a few pounds, but you should also try it out yourself. Adding extra voluntary excess can usually drop it down even more, but that usually only helps for comprehensive insurance quotes. Third party insurance can often be more expensive. This is because higher risk drivers often go for this level of cover, assuming it’s the cheapest option, without shopping around and comparing their options. 12. Consider how you will use your car If you only use your car to drive to the shops, you do not need to take out a policy that covers commuters. The class of use you opt for can have a huge impact on the price you pay for your insurance. However, under no circumstances should you lie to your insurer about how you will use your vehicle. Even if you only drive to work a few times per year, you can’t class it as domestic use. Should the worst happen and your insurer finds out, then you could have your policy revoked. If you do drive to work a few times per year, you might want to think about taking our short-term car insurance, to ease any worries you may have. 13. Get an insurance quote far in advance While it may seem over the top, insurers like drivers who are well prepared. Trying to organise your insurance quote early shows them you are less likely to take risks, rather than those who leave it to the last minute to organise their policy. This may seem trivial, but you’d be surprised how much money this can save you. Bonus tips for cheaper insurance for new and young drivers There are extra things you can do to reduce your insurance premium if you are a young or newly qualified driver. Complete a Pass Plus course Taking a Pass Plus course after passing your driving test can make a difference to the cost of your car insurance – and also improve your confidence and driving at the same time. It’s definitely worthwhile finding out if this can lead to extra savings. Add a named driver If you add an experienced named driver on your motor insurance policy, your premium should be reduced. Get an affordable car insurance quote from Sterling If you want to find out first-hand from the experts how to save money on your motor insurance premium, call the Sterling experts on 0344 381 9990, or request a callback at a time that suits you.