25 ways to cut your car insurance premiums

As car insurance premiums hit a record high, we reveal the best ways to cut your costs.

Car insurance costs are still staggeringly high – even though the pace of these increases has finally started to ease.

The average car insurance premium hit £635 in the second quarter of 2024, according to the latest figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

That’s a whopping third more than the £478 average for the same period last year. The only slight solace is that the current level is just 1% more than the £627 average for the last quarter of 2023.

So what’s driving that increase?

The fact that cars are becoming more advanced, and so require more specialist technicians to put them right when things go wrong, is pushing up costs too, as are general energy costs.

The ABI pointed out that insurers continue to absorb growing costs, with the average claim paid rising 8% to a record of £4,800.

All of these factors combined are creating something of a perfect storm in making our car insurance more expensive than ever before.

Mervyn Skeet, the ABI's director of general insurance policy, said: "Rising repair costs and other factors outside of insurers' control mean there is no single action that could bring down premiums. However, we are determined to do all we can to put the brake on."

However, there are ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance to more manageable levels.

Follow our comprehensive guide to securing a cheaper policy when it comes time to renew.

Don't simply auto renew your car insurance! Shop around for a cheaper deal with Moneysupermarket (affiliate link)

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.

While new rules have been introduced to stop insurers from profiting off those who don't switch while offering the cheapest deals to those who take the time to change, you'll still find some insurers will offer far cheaper cover than rivals for someone in your specific circumstances, so shopping around is still worth your while. 

Make sure you 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.

*We have an affiliate arrangement in place with Confused, 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 judgment at all. 

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 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.

Search for a cheaper quote with Confused.com

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 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.

Limit its use

You can also limit the vehicle's use to social, domestic and pleasure purposes if you can, although this will depend on your circumstances.

Avoid modifications

Adding spoilers, alloy wheels or boosting the engine size is likely to increase your premium.

Buy online

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.

Cheap cars to insure (Image: loveMONEY - Shutterstock)

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.

Search for your next insurance policy through Confused.com

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.

Move to a different area

Okay, this is probably impractical but where you live has a bearing on the premium you pay. 

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.

If you do have the funds, why not pay for it with a cashback credit card and clear the debt immediately? Another option is to look for your insurance through a cashback website like Quidco.

This shouldn't be the main reason for choosing the policy, but if you find the best deal comes with such an offer, that's great.

Take an advanced driving course

Taking the Pass Plus training course could shave as much as 30% off your car insurance premium.

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 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. 

Search for a new renewal quote with Confused.com

Downgrade your car

Cheaper cars, specifically those with smaller engines, tend to 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 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.

More on motoring:

How to find the cheapest local petrol and diesel prices and offers

Cheap car insurance for young drivers: how to save money

Pothole damage: how to claim compensation from your local council


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