Last year the average car insurance premium was £440, which is a big slice to find if you’re paying it in one go. The rise in rates is largely down to rises in the Insurance Premium Tax, but other factors include personal injury claims and the increased cost of repairs.
So what can you sensibly do to keep your next premium as low as possible? Here we list the major ways to help you to help yourself.
Go for the lowest insurance grouping
Every car goes into one of a range of insurance bands, with factors like repair costs, driver assistance systems, security kit and so on all influencing which band the car goes in. Check what band the car you want is in. Consider getting a less powerful model, or one fitted with more safety equipment. Go low, it’s a major factor in reducing premiums.
Look around for insurance
Don’t consider for one moment that the insurance company cares for you and wants to keep your business. There is no loyalty shown, so don’t show any back. Don’t just stay with the same insurer, look around, change, take advantage of the system they’re playing.
Over 50% of car thefts occur during the hours of darkness, so if you can keep your car locked away in a garage that will reduce premiums. Even so, a driveway is a better risk than on the road parking. Should the car not have an alarm and an immobilizer consider fitting a Thatcham 1 or 2 system will again reduce costs.
You bought a car to drive, but the reality for many younger drivers is that the less they drive, the cheaper it is. If you agree to limit your mileage – and don’t for one second think about not keeping to it – then you can save money.
If you get caught for speeding then you can get a fine and points, and the points will put your premium up. If offered, take the driver awareness course and avoid the points – the cost of it will be less than the alternative rise in premiums.
Keep your no claims bonus safe
A small prang might not be worth claiming on the insurance since, again, the cost would be less than the premium rise. A no claims discount is a very valuable thing, so try to protect it.
Go on an advanced driving course
Going on a course could reduce your premium by up to 35%. If you’re a new driver then go for the Pass Plus run by the Driving Standards Agency. If you’re a more experienced driver, then one of the courses run by the IAM RoadSmart programme will benefit your premium.
Add a black box
Telematics policies sound a bit scary and there is a bit of the Big Brother about them, since basically it’s a black box that constantly monitors how you drive. However, get with this brave new world, drive sensibly and you’ll be rewarded with a lower premium. It can be a lifeline for younger drivers, but you do need to avoid driving late at night.
Load your excess
The excess is what you pay voluntarily towards any claim, a figure usually around £250. But if you raise this figure then the premium goes down – and you cross fingers that you don’t have an accident as you’re in for a bigger sum up front.
As with most things in life, if you pay in instalments, you pay more. So, if possible, pay the annual premium in one go, and you’ll benefit all year.