HomeCar InsuranceCar insurance costs are spiralling – here are 13 ways to cut...

Car insurance costs are spiralling – here are 13 ways to cut them

Get a dashcam

Dashboard cameras are becoming increasingly popular, so give some thought to making the investment if you haven’t already as they can reduce your premium. 

Leoni Moninska, car insurance expert at Uswitch, said: “Some insurance providers now offer an automatic discount if your car has an approved dashcam.”

While you can expect to spend around £200 on a standard dashcam, it could save you money in the long run by providing evidence after an accident. 

Ms Moninska added: “If you are unable to prove you were not at fault in an accident, you may lose your no-claims discount, and face a price hike at renewal time.”

Be wary buying a second-hand car

While opting for a second-hand vehicle can mean you get a set of wheels at a lower cost, be warned that insurance premiums can be higher. 

“This may be due to the vehicle’s age and condition, and the possibility it may be missing more modern add-ons,” said Ms Moninska. 

“If you are set on second-hand, take steps to try and bring premiums down, such as getting a dashcam, and looking for a system such as ‘automatic emergency braking’. The industry agrees it’s the most effective accident prevention tool for your car.”

Note that this feature may be listed under different names by different car makers. Volvo, for example, dubs it “City Safety”. 

Pick a vehicle from a lower insurance group

Another simple way to keep a lid on policy costs is by purposely choosing a car that’s cheap to insure.

Ms Moninska said: “Cars are grouped in categories from one to 50, based on how expensive they are to insure, with ‘one’ being the cheapest.”

Vehicles in these low number groups tend to have the smallest engines, and replacement parts that are relatively easy to source and fit.

“It pays to compare insurance prices before buying to get a better idea of how much you will be spending on cover,” she added.

Tinker with your job title

You may already be aware that your job description helps an insurer determine how risky you are, but did you know that different descriptions of the same job can mean paying different premiums?

For example, you might notice a premium price difference if you describe yourself as “kitchen staff” as opposed to a “chef”, or as a “writer” rather than a “journalist”. 

While a chef may be able to legitimately use both of these descriptions, someone who cleans the kitchen would not be able to describe themselves as a chef. So, while there may be different ways to describe your job role, you must never lie about your employment as this is fraud. 

Having the wrong job description could see your policy voided, and any claims you make are likely to be denied. What’s more, your insurer may also add you to a central fraud database, which other insurers can access – and it might be more difficult, and more expensive, to get cover in future.

If you have more than one job, you may be able to choose whichever one comes with the cheapest quote – but some providers will make you choose whichever job you spend the most time doing.

Don’t auto-renew

Whatever you do, don’t let your policy automatically renew when the term is up. 

Recent findings from Go.Compare found that one in five drivers let their car insurance auto renew without checking to see if they could get cheaper quotes elsewhere. 

Despite the “loyalty penalty” being banned since the start of 2022, many drivers find they can beat the quotes given by their existing provider when they come to renew. The loyalty penalty saw existing customers essentially punished with more expensive policies if they didn’t take the time to haggle them down, while new customers enjoyed discounted prices.

Ryan Fulthorpe, car insurance expert at Go.Compare, said: “It’s vital drivers shop around with other insurers to check they are getting a good deal on cost and cover.” 

It’s a good idea to visit a couple of comparison sites so you can compare quotes, as well as visiting certain firms that don’t appear on these sites – such as Direct Line and NFU Mutual. 

Doing this, combined with trying to haggle with your existing provider, should ensure you get a better deal when you come to renew.

Only get the add-ons you need

While it may be possible to add a whole range of extras to your policy, such as breakdown cover, legal expenses cover, personal accident cover, replacement keys cover, courtesy car cover and so on – all of these can add to the cost of your policy. 

Before parting with extra cash, ask yourself which ones you really need. For instance, if you have a packaged bank account you might already have breakdown cover included as part of the deal – and there’s no point paying for it twice.  

Consider adding a named driver

This tip comes with a word of warning, as doing it wrong is illegal. 

You’ll want to add named drivers in cases where more than one person will be driving the vehicle – whether that’s between couples, parents and children, or friends. In some cases, doing this can reduce the insurance costs, particularly if the person you add is an experienced driver with a good record.

It may be tempting for a young person to look into adding a parent with lots of driving experience to their policy, but you need to tread carefully.

If the insurance policy is for the young person’s car, it must not be taken out in the parent’s name, with the young person just a “named driver”. 

This is known as “fronting” and it is illegal. If found out, this practice can result in penalty points and fines, and it may be difficult to get insured in the future. If the car belongs to, and is mainly driven by, the parent, then it is fine to add the young person as a named driver.

As a young motorist, a good way to bring insurance costs down is with a “black box” or “telematics” policy, which uses technology to track how safely the person drives. Safe drivers are usually rewarded with lower premiums. 

You can also look into additional driving courses, such as Pass Plus, which can net a discount from some insurers.

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