Car insurance prices have fallen at the fastest rates since 2012, with the average premium now standing at £436, according to the Association of British Insurers.
Lockdown has helped push premiums to their lowest levels in nearly five years but there are fears that they could creep back up as drivers return to pre-pandemic patterns.
Whether or not they do rise, it’s always nice to get the best deal you can on car insurance so we’ve come up with 10 simple ways you can keep your costs down.
It might sound obvious but don’t just take the first quote you get. Prices for the same cover can vary wildly between insurers so use a price comparison site to find the cheapest deal. And don’t assume that because your insurer was cheapest last time around that they still are. Your loyalty to them might be rewarded with the best deal but it’s unlikely, so always look elsewhere. Since 2019 renewal quotes have to include last year’s premium so you can see just how much your bill is changing.
Buy at the right time
Strange as it sounds, the date you buy your insurance can apparently affect its cost. Analysis of quotes by MoneySuperMarket has shown that there is a 13-day “sweet spot” where you’ll get the cheapest quotes. According to its findings, buying between 28 and 15 days before your policy is due for renewal brings the best prices before quotes then start to creep up.
Think about how you use your car
How much you use your car and the way you use it can both affect how much you pay for insurance. If you only do a few thousand miles a year you could save money by setting a lower mileage cap on your policy. If you don’t use your car to get to work then deselect the commuting option under use. It’ll all help bring down your costs.
Cut out the extras
Many insurers will try to add all sorts of extras onto your policy but these are rarely free and none is compulsory. Additional features such a windscreen cover, courtesy car provision, breakdown cover and legal services sound handy but all add to the cost of your policy. Think about whether you really need any or all of them.
Increase your excess
Increasing your voluntary excess is a quick and simple way to bring down your premium. Provided you don’t have to claim you’re quids in but remember – if you do make a claim you’ve got to be able to cover the cost of that higher excess.
Chose your named drivers carefully
Adding more drivers to your policy can work for or against you in keeping costs down. Younger, less experienced drivers will most probably push your premium up, as will those with high-risk jobs or motoring convictions. If they don’t drive your car regularly then consider adding them temporarily when needed rather than paying to keep them on your policy all the time.
On the other hand, adding a more experienced, lower-risk person can actually reduce your premium.
Pay up front
Most insurers will allow you to pay for your cover on a monthly basis but will charge you more than if you pay in a lump sum. If you can, get the painful part out of the way in one go and you could save 10 per cent or more.
Think about your job
Some professions are considered higher risk than others by insurers. You can’t lie about what you do for a living but being smart about the description that best fits your job can make a big difference to your premium.
Consider a black box
Telematics systems are becoming more common in the insurance market. They are particularly helpful for young drivers looking to bring down their premiums. By tracking how and when you drive, the insurer can better assess your risk and tailor your costs. Drive safely and sensibly and you’ll be rewarded. Some insurers will offer a discount simply for signing up to a telematics policy.
Car modification is hugely popular but any changes you make to your vehicle could push up your premium. Performance upgrades are the most obvious example as insurers will consider a more powerful or faster car a higher risk. However, even cosmetic changes such as a body kit or bigger alloys could make it more attractive to thieves, so are best avoided if you’re trying to keep costs down.