1-minute guide to Car Insurance

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Car Insurance

The UK car insurance market is worth an estimated £11bn(1) and many motorists are still paying over the odds for their premiums

Drivers could save an average of £227(2) a year by shopping smarter

Bad practice: Many insurers will automatically sign you up to undisclosed “add-on” products or will offer you a poor deal at renewal

Motor through these top tips and drive down your insurance bill!

Need to know

  • Research shows that 8.5 million(3) drivers auto-renew their car insurance. Don’t! Loyalty bonuses pale in comparison to new customer deals
  • In September 2014 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) banned exclusive car insurance deals made between comparison sites and insurers to help consumers
  • It pays to drive a hard bargain. Get quotes from insurers and ring around to see if others will match or beat it
  • Check your policy and make sure it has the right level of cover for your needs
  • Myth busted: Third party insurance isn’t always cheaper than fully comprehensive. Make sure you check!
  • If you can, pay your premium up front to avoid interest and admin fees
  • Watch out for add-on products. Companies will try to sell you additional packages which can inflate your premium cost. These include protected no claims, legal protection, named drivers and increased personal accident cover. Always make sure you know exactly what you are purchasing and if it represents good value, it can often be much cheaper to buy them as separate policies

How to reduce your next car insurance quote

When you fill out a quote online, there are a few simple tricks you can employ to reduce the cost. Spend a little time working these out and you could make massive savings

  • No claims bonus – This is traditionally the most effective way to reduce your premium. The longer you go without making a claim, the cheaper your insurance is likely to get
  • Excess – While declaring an excess can reduce your quote, remember that in the event of an accident you will be required to cough up on short notice
  • Mileage – Keep your mileage low and your insurance cost will follow suit. Anything sub 15,000 annually should keep your insurer happy
  • Modified cars – If you have a spoiler, modified engine or any other non-standard augmentation to your vehicle you will have to declare it and may have to pay more
  • An immobiliser – if your car does not yet have an immobiliser compare quotes with and without it, it may be cost effective to get one, you can buy one on Amazon

Compare Insurance

Compare Breakdown Cover

Why we like it:

  • Short term European breakdown cover
  • Cover starts from £5.10 a day
  • Cover for vehicles up to 15 years old
  • PLUS £40 wine discount voucher!

Watch out:

  • 1-way trips not covered
  • Commercial use not permitted

Go Direct

Remember, there are some insurance providers who don’t use or appear on comparison sites so make sure you check direct with a few to make sure that you are getting the very best rate outside of comparison providers

The inside track

  • You may be able to cut your premium by up to 50%(4)by having a black box device fitted
  • Make sure you declare your penalty points to your insurer. If you don’t they probably won’t pay out in the event of an accident
  • Don’t get points in the first place. They could increase your premium by 100%(5)
  • Parking on the street can be cheaper than declaring you have a garage or private drive. It depends where you live and the claims history of the area, so try both options
  • Not all insurers are on comparison sites. Call and ask if they can beat your current best offer
  • Don’t claim if you can avoid it. Calling out the repairman for a small dent or scratch could increase your insurance next year. If you can sort it yourself cheaply then consider it
  • Changing your job title can have a drastic impact on your quote. Remember to be honest, but see if similar titles to your own can reduce the bill further
  • Make sure you are covered if you plan on driving abroad.
  1.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29339753
  2.  http://www.moneywise.co.uk/news/2014-04-30/unemployed-pay-227-more-car-insurance
  3. http://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/guide/
  4. http://www.confused.com/press/releases/counting-the-cost-of-motoring-convictions
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Sarah Willingham
Sarah Willingham is a serial entrepreneur, business investor and leading consumer expert. She has received a number of accolades for her contribution to business including The Sunday Times 500 Most Influential People in Britain 2016, The Times 35 Most Successful Women Under 35, Business Weekly’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Courvoisier Top 500 and an entry into the Who’s Who of British Business Leaders. She holds three business degrees including an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, where she is also an advisory board member.