Motor insurance rarely comes cheap but there are a few simple ways you can reduce your premium.
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 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 36 insurance providers to consult in order to find the cheapest and best cover for you.
2 Buy your car carefully
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 10 cheapest cars to insure for new drivers were: Peugeot 107 Sport, Toyota Aygo Platinum, Volkswagen Lupo E, Citroen C1 Platinum, Fiat 500 Lounge, Volkswagen Fox Urban (54), Vauxhall Corsa Design CDTI, Mitsubishi Mirage 2, Citroen C1 and the Vauxhall Corsa S Ecoflex.
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 broker. 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 10 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
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 club
Sterling offers up to 20 per cent discount on the insurance premium for members of owners clubs and forums. The money you save could actually pay for your 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.
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 broker may declare your policy invalid and refuse to pay a claim, should you need to make one.
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. That is because you will be reducing the time you spend driving and that in turn will reduce the risk of needing to make a claim.