Car insurance premiums are on the rise for the first time in 12 months. Here are the best ways to cut costs and beat the hikes.
Fed up of paying an extortionate amount for your car cover?
Follow our comprehensive guide to securing a cheaper policy when it comes time to renew.
Time your renewal carefully
The date that you buy insurance can have a big impact on how much it costs. While you might think that purchasing it as early as possible or at the very last minute might be best, the optimum date is actually 21 days before renewal.
Moneysavingexpert compared millions of quotes and found you could save hundreds of pounds by purchasing it on this date.
Shop around for the best quotes
Stop me if you've heard this one before... but you should never automatically renew your policy as competition is fiercest among car insurers for new customers.
Make sure to visit at least one price comparison site (ideally more) to get a good idea of what a competitive quote looks like.
There are loads of sites out there to choose from, such as Moneysupermarket, Confused.com* GoCompare and uSwitch.
*The reason there's a link on Confused.com is because we have an affiliate arrangement in place, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through them. You'll see a few more of them spread about this article - but please don't think that's swayed our editorial judgement at all. Purchase from whoever you like!
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, you could opt for third party cover rather than comprehensive cover.
Adding spoilers, alloy wheels or boosting the engine size is likely to increase your premium (and decrease your reputation in the eyes of your fellow man).
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, tracker or steering wheel lock 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 (& get cashback)
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 0% purchases card and you’ll be able to pay it off gradually without being charged any interest. It'll obviously take a couple of weeks to apply for a credit card, so make sure you plan ahead.
Another option is to look for your insurance through a cashback website like Quidco.
At the time of publishing, we saw offers of up to £95 cashback for certain policies – obviously don't choose a policy purely for that reason, but if you find the best deal comes with a cashback offer, that's great.
Take an advanced driving course
Consider a ‘pay as you drive’ scheme
Some firms fit a 'black box' 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, specifically those with smaller engines, tend cost less to insure. Rare, expensive cars can cost more given the potential repair bills.
Get married or move in together
Probably not the main reason to get hitched... but married drivers do pay less as they are statistically seen as more ‘stable’.
On a related note, be sure to mention that you are living with your partner (if that's the case), as those in a stable relationship are seen as less risky drivers and thus are charged less.
So there you have it: loads of tips to slash your bill. Some are admittedly fairly obvious, others pretty drastic, but hopefully you found enough overall to make a big saving on your next policy. Let us know how you get on!
This article is regularly updated
*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.
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