Car Insurance: How to get the right policy at the best price – The Guardian | CarTailz

Buy in advance

Auto insurance is a necessity, but with household bills soaring, many motorists will be looking for ways to cut costs.

Don’t wait until the renewal date to buy your insurance. Ideally, compare the cost of the policies three to four weeks in advance.

According to comparison site Go.Compare, buying coverage 21 to 26 days in advance could be significantly cheaper than buying it the day before.

Ryan Fulthorpe, motor insurance specialist at Go.Compare, says: “We believe insurers will price those who seek coverage further from their renewal date more favorably as they are seen as more organized and less risky.”

He adds that it’s therefore important to allow enough time to ensure you get the right policy for your needs and budget.

shopping spree

The average annual premium is £571, rising to £1,277 for younger drivers (people aged 17-24), according to Comparethemarket.

As a driver, you must purchase at least liability insurance.
Photo: George Mdivanian/Getty Images/EyeEm

Changes in industry regulations, which came into effect in January this year, mean insurers are prohibited from offering policyholders a higher price for renewal than they would offer to a new customer.

Still, it’s worth comparing costs, says the site, which reckons shopping can save people around £328 a year on average.

There are many comparison sites out there. Besides the two mentioned, there are companies like Confused.com and Moneysupermarket.

As a driver, you must take out at least liability insurance – but keep in mind that this is not necessarily cheaper than comprehensive insurance. This is because many high-risk drivers are more likely to opt for liability insurance to reduce their costs, and the number of related claims is often greater.

Get a black box policy

Black box (or telematics) insurance rewards you for safer driving. It’s particularly beneficial for younger drivers who can be hit with sky-high premiums, but there’s usually no age limit when it comes to getting a policy.

Typically, your insurer will install a small device in your car or ask you to download a smartphone app that will monitor your drive and send data.

The device or app uses information like the speed you’re driving, how gently you brake, and the times of day you typically drive to decide a score. This is then used to calculate your premiums and hopefully reduce them significantly over time.

There are dozens of black box insurance brands such as Admiral LittleBox, Tesco Bank Box Insurance, insurethebox, Autosaint, Bell, RAC Black Box Insurance and Carrot Insurance.

Who you need to add to your policy

If you’re an older driver, adding a younger driver can increase your premium. Younger drivers are typically considered higher risk by insurers, so this is likely to increase your costs. However, adding an older relative’s name as a named driver can reduce costs for younger drivers.

However, beware of “fronting,” which is illegal and occurs when a parent or elder claims to be the primary driver of a policy.

Vehicles on the M4 motorway near Bristol in 2018.
The fewer miles you drive, the lower your premiums should be. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA

Remember that you can have two separate policies for the same vehicle.

Depending on who the drivers are, this may be the best option, as it also doesn’t affect your no-claims bonus if the other person has to make a claim.

Lower your mileage

The less miles you drive, the lower your premiums should be as there is less chance of a claim being settled.

Check your MOT certificates to see your mileage from previous years and make sure you don’t overestimate it when applying for insurance.

Consider reducing your mileage by, for example, cycling or taking the bus for a few trips.

Plus, using other transportation methods with higher fuel costs could also lower your overall travel expenses.

However, you must be honest when applying for insurance coverage as a claim may be denied if your mileage does not match.

Rural bus service bus on a narrow country lane in Suffolk, England, UK.
Have you thought about other modes of transport to save on travel costs? Photo: Graham Turner/The Guardian

Do not modify your car

Changes to your car such as B. the installation of alloy wheels or the installation of tinted windows, can increase your premium significantly.

Sara Newell, motor insurance expert at Moneysupermarket says: “Alloy wheels, suspension and exhaust system modifications are among the most common modifications. Other common customizations include tow hitches and engine management systems.”

She adds that motorists who use high-performance vehicles are more likely to be involved in an accident, and many modifications improve a vehicle’s performance, so insurers calculate their premiums should be higher.

“Moreover, converted vehicles are often more attractive to thieves and at higher risk of theft, which also increases your premium.”

Always check with your insurer before making any changes to see if you will need to pay extra – if you don’t your policy could be void.

Consider your profession

Be honest about what you do for a living when applying for coverage. But you might want to consider how you describe what you do.

Moneysupermarket says footballers and fast-food delivery drivers are among those paying the most.

Typically, you’ll have to select from a drop-down menu of professions, but you’ll find that multiple job titles work.

A mini
Minis, popular with young drivers, can be expensive to insure. Photo: Mark Boland/Getty Images

For example, if you work as a journalist you might be able to call yourself a writer or publisher, while if you’re a chef you might call yourself a caterer (if that option is available) to see if you can call yourself a publisher as this reduces costs .

low-insurance models

You can use the tool on Parkers, a car ratings, reviews and advice website, to check which group a car belongs to.

These range from one to 50, and the lower the group number, the cheaper the insurance.

As you might expect, the most expensive groups are filled with high-performance sports cars, while the cheapest contain many hatchbacks. However, there are a few surprises that suggest you should check which group the vehicle falls into before buying a car.

For example, Minis can be expensive to insure because some models are particularly popular with young drivers, while the tiny Citroën DS3 sits in the same category as the Range Rover, according to Parkers.

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