The best and worst cities for cheap car insurance named

Premiums vary by up to £550 depending on drivers’ postcodes

Drivers in some parts of the UK are paying an average of £550 more for their car insurance than those in other regions.

New research claims to have identified the most expensive and cheapest postcodes for motorists and revealed the massive difference that where you live can have on your premiums.

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Motorists in major English cities come off worst while drivers in Scotland, parts of Northern Ireland and smaller English cities fare better.

Londoners pay more than drivers anywhere else in the country, facing average bills of £827 a year for fully comprehensive cover. That is £397 more than the national average and more than £551 higher than the bill in the cheapest city.

The latest data from the Association of British Insurers shows that average premiums have reached a five-year low. They fell to £430 in the second quarter of 2021 as insurers passed on some of the savings from the lower claim rates in 2020.

However, alongside Londoners, drivers in several other cities are paying hundreds of pounds a year more than this.

Manchester was named the second most expensive city for insurance by the Rivervale Leasing research, with an average premium of £783 placing it just above Liverpool, where the average premium is £765.

Graphic: Mark Hall/JPI Media

Coventry and Wolverhampton rounded out the top five most expensive cities, with drivers paying £753 and £728 respectively.

At the opposite end of the scale, Bangor, in Wales, proved to be the cheapest postcode in the analysis, with average premiums at £276, just ahead of Bath (£295) and Carlisle (£296). Four Scottish cities - Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh and Perth - also made it into the top 10 cheapest locations, with drivers there all paying less than £300 a year.

Rivervale Leasing carried out the research using the same driver and vehicle information, changing only the postcode to obtain a snapshot of how location can affect prices.

Graphic: Mark Hall/JPI Media

How to save money on your car insurance

While your postcode might mean you’re paying more than average for your insurance there are still ways to make sure you get the best deal possible.

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.

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.

Think about your named drivers

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. 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.

Avoid modifications

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 but even cosmetic changes such as a body kit or bigger alloys could make it more attractive to thieves, pushing up the risk assessment.