Insurance premiums have soared 11% over the last year. We reveal the best ways to cut costs and beat the hikes.
Motorists are facing the fastest year-on-year rise in car insurance since records began five years ago.
The average premiums have gone up by 11% in the last year alone, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). It says that the premium for a typical insurance policy is now £484.
Costs have skyrocketed partly due to a spate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) rises in the past couple of years, the most recent being a jump from 10% to 12% in June 2017.
It's also been affected by the Government's decision to reduce the Discount Rate in March this year.
The ABI is calling on the Government to introduce a new system for calculating compensation payments. The Ministry of Justice is consulting on a replacement system, but it hasn't made any announcements on its decision.
"This dramatic increase drives home how important it is the Government press ahead with a new framework for the discount rate and call a stop to further hikes in Insurance Premium Tax," said Huw Evans, director general of the ABI.
According to comparethemarket.com's latest Premium Drivers Index, motorists between 17-24 will pay on average of £1,365 a year for their car insurance, up from £1,342 last quarter.
That said, they have the most to gain from shopping around. They could save a cool £298 just by switching insurance provider. Find out more at Cheap car insurance for younger drivers: how to save money
But whatever age you are, you don't have to settle for these hikes – here are 24 ways to slash your car insurance premiums.
Get a quote 28 days before renewal – and another the day before
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 a higher premium than you need to.
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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