The average car insurance premium last year rose to £440, and repair costs rose too, so it makes sense to take some practical steps to see if you can get your renewal premium down. We’ve put together our top ten tips to keep your insurance low.
1. Go for the lowest insurance group
Which band your next car falls in can make a big difference. What will help keep that band rating down are things like the latest driver safety aids so, if they’re an option they may well be worth going for as they will increase your safety and decrease your insurance costs.
2. Look at car security
If you have a lockable garage, then do use it since more than 50% of car thefts occur at night. A driveway is next best, with the street the last option. Obviously you may not have a choice, but if you do, taking the extra effort will save you money. And if your car doesn’t have an alarm or an immobiliser, then fitting an approved Thatcham 1 or 2 system will reduce premiums further.
3. Don’t drive so far
Could you put a cap on the number of miles you do a year? If you can, it will save you money. But make sure it’s realistic – if you bust it you face either a big fee or the prospect of your insurance being invalid.
4. Drive carefully
In this case, points do not mean prizes, they mean premiums. Try to ensure your licence stays clean. If you get caught for speeding, take the speed awareness course as that avoids any points going on your licence at that point.
5. Look after your NCB
Your no-claims bonus is very valuable so look after it. If you just have a minor dent, it might be worth paying for it yourself rather than losing the NCB.
6. Think about an advanced driving course
A driving course could knock a third off your insurance costs. The Driving Standards Agency’s Pass Plus is aimed at new drivers, while the IAM’s RoadSmart courses are aimed at the more experienced driver.
7. Get a telematic black box
If you’re a young, newly qualified driver a ‘black box’ from your insurance company could help get you on the road. It monitors your driving and rewards good driving. Really best suited for those who don’t drive late at night or do too many miles.
8. Look around
Insurance companies don’t love you, they don’t really value your loyalty. So when the insurance comes up for renewal don’t just stick with the current provider. Shop around, as you may well find a better deal elsewhere.
9. Go for excess
If you need to make a claim, you will have to pay the first amount, that’s the excess. How much it is depends on the limit you set. Set it higher and your premium will be lower.
10. Pay upfront
It can be a struggle to find the whole insurance premium in one go, but if you can it will definitely save you money compared to spreading the instalments out over several payments.