The cost of car insurance has risen to its highest level in five years, with motorists forking out £641 a year on average.
While premiums are rising for everyone, it’s older drivers that are hardest hit. Since 2010, prices for those in their 60s have risen by 31pc, and by 49pc for drivers over the age of 70. For drivers aged 23-29, the figure is just 12pc.
A number of factors have been blamed for the dramatic increase in prices.
Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) has doubled since 2015 to 12pc, and a recent formula change has upped payouts for those who suffer long-term injuries. These costs have been passed on to customers.
However there are ways to cut the cost of cover, which could altogether save drivers a whopping £1,046.
1. Pick the right insurer -and save £500
Consumer group Which? compared quotes from 12 insurers in a mystery shopper experiment for a low-risk driver of a Ford Fiesta who lived in Guisborough, north-east England, and a high-risk driver of an expensive Audi in south London.
For the Ford driver, the cheapest quote was from Admiral, for drivers under the age of 30. For those aged between 30 and 60, Aviva came top.
Admiral also gave the cheapest quote for the Audi driver, up to the age of 60. But the Co-op beat this price by £238 when the driver turned 65.
At age 80, there were large price hikes across the 12 providers, which include LV, NFU, Aviva and Saga.
The consumer group found that once a driver turns 65, if they don’t switch to a cheaper provider they are effectively losing out on a potential saving of £500.
2. Haggle – and save £64
Haggling with your car insurer can slash your bills by an average of £64, and it’s easy to do. If the price of cover has gone up, ask them why and tell them that you have found a cheaper quote elsewhere.
Ask the insurer to match this cheaper quote; if it doesn’t, ask for the lowest rate it is prepared to offer to keep you as a customer.
3. Massage your job title – and save £432
A careful choice of the words you use to describe your job could shave as much as £432 off your car insurance premiums.
Bizarrely, many insurers place a heavy emphasis on drivers’ professions when it comes to quotes because certain jobs, such as a window cleaner, may be judged to be more accident-prone than others.
Of course other factors, including age, type of car and driving history are also considered. But none of these factors can be “tweaked” in order to get a better deal. Your job, on the other hand, can quite legitimately be described in a number of ways.
For example, insurers will typically give a cheaper premium to a “care assistant” rather than a “nurse”, or a “factory worker” rather than a “machinist”.
Putting down “newspaper reporter” instead of “journalist” will also chop money off your bill.
4. Ditch unnecessary add-ons – and save £50
Insurers often offer customers add-ons, such as breakdown cover, when they come to renew their cover.
However, customers may not need these extra services, or may already have them as part of a packaged current account, such as Nationwide’s FlexPlus account, so it’s worth double checking.