As new data shows car insurance premiums are soaring, we reveal the best ways to cut costs.
Motorists are paying £109 more to insure their vehicles than a year ago, according to the confused.com car insurance price index.
Premiums jumped by 17% in the last 12 months to an average of £737 at the end of the third quarter of 2016.
Comprehensive cover has increased by 3% in the last three months alone, the equivalent of £22.
Why are prices rising?
At the beginning of 2016, drivers were paying an average of £672 to renew their car insurance policies, £65 less than they would have had to at the end of September 2015.
Some of this is down to a rise in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT), which is up to 10% from 6% in September last year.
It's older drivers who have been hit the hardest by the rises, with the average 66-year-old now paying 28% more on their car insurance than they did 12 months ago, taking the average premium for this age to £434.
Figures show that 17-year-olds have experienced the smallest increases year-on-year at 9%, but their average premium sits at £2,083.
As for those who pay the least, look to 69-year-olds who fork out £412 on average.
Comparethemarket.com has also blamed a lack of competition, a spate of insurance scams and higher repair bills for premium rises.
Don't fret though, as there are a few ways that you can cut your car insurance premiums. Be warned: some are more extreme than others!
Get a quote 28 days before renewal – and another one day before renewal
Quotes are often valid for 28 days. This way, if prices go up just before your renewal date, you can revert to your original quote.
Shop around for the best quotes
Competition is fiercest among car insurers for new customers, so don’t automatically renew. Why not give the LoveMONEY car insurance engine a spin?
Broaden your search
Aviva and Direct Line don’t appear on any car insurance price comparison websites so you need to go direct to these insurance providers to compare quotes.
Ask your existing insurer to beat the best quote you’ve found
It doesn’t cost you anything to ask, and it’s less hassle than switching. Read more at How to haggle and make a fortune.
Increase your excess
The higher the excess, the less you should pay in premiums. Obviously you need to ensure the excess is still affordable or this trick is a bit pointless!
Declare whether you’ve made any claims
If you haven’t claimed on your car insurance for a year, you’ll earn a no-claims bonus which can help to bring your premium down.
Accurately assess the value of your car
When getting quotes, make sure you don’t overestimate the value of the car or you will end up paying too high a premium.
Trim off any extras you don’t need
Why pay for ‘free car hire’ while your car is being fixed, if you don’t need it?
Add a second driver
If the additional driver won’t actually use the car, this can bring the premiums down.
Reduce your cover
If you drive an old banger that’s on its last legs, opt for third party cover rather than comprehensive cover.
Adding spoilers, alloy wheels or boosting the engine size is likely to increase your premium.
You usually pay less if you buy your car insurance on the internet, rather than over the phone.
Park your car off-road or in a garage
This means your car is less likely to be stolen, so is less risky to insure. Just be careful not to scuff your car on the garage's inside walls or door.
Make the car more secure
Adding an immobiliser, alarm and tracker to your car will also reduce the risk of it being stolen, and bring down your premiums.
Spend less on hire car insurance
Get car hire excess insurance and reduce your excess that way, rather than buying an expensive add-on from a car hire firm.
Get a multi-car discount
Some insurers such as Admiral, Privilege and Direct Line will give you a discount if the same person insures more than one car.
Pay for your insurance upfront
Insurers will charge you as much as 20% extra if you want to pay off your premium in monthly instalments. Pay upfront for your insurance and you'll save. Use a top 0% purchases card and you’ll be able to pay it off gradually without being charged any interest.
Take an advanced driving course
Consider a ‘pay as you drive’ scheme
Some firms, such as Stoneacre, fit a special device to your car so the insurer knows how much you drive it. The less you drive, particularly at risky times (eg night-time), the less you pay! Read more in Pay As You Drive car insurance.
Buy a dashcam
Dashcams film your journeys while you're out on the road, capturing the action should you or anyone else on the road get into an accident. The footage on these cameras is being to catch out dodgy drivers and insurers love them too. Having one can shave a bit off the cost of your premiums, but some insurers will only cover specific models.
Impose a mileage limit on yourself
You can lower your premium by sticking to a mileage limit.
Downgrade your car
Cheaper cars with smaller engines cost less to insure. Rare, expensive cars cost more!
Married drivers pay less as they are statistically seen as more ‘stable’.
Move in with your partner
Again, those in a stable relationship are seen as less risky drivers, and pay less.
This is a classic loveMONEY article which has been updated
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