THIS GUIDE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ADVICE
With premiums on a seemingly unstoppable rise, it's never been more important to know how to save money on car insurance.
However, price may not be the only factor. If it comes to a claim, you'll be far happier if you make sure your cover is adequate from the start. Not all insurers are equal!
First we'll look at the basics, then we'll cover some important money-saving pointers.
Car insurance, for personal use*, comes in three main levels of cover:
1. Third-party only is the minimum cover required by law. It covers you for any damage caused to other people or property.
2. Third party, Fire and Theft(TPFT) cover adds protection in case your car is stolen or set alight.
3. Comprehensive cover is designed to protect you from the full financial consequences of most accidents, and often provides additional benefits such as legal expenses cover.
You'd think that comprehensive would be the most expensive, but that's not necessarily so - see our premium-saving tips below.
* Any business use needs to be covered in its own right, although some insurers offer it as part of comprehensive cover: do check.
If you're insuring for third party only, that's self explanatory.
If you also have fire and theft cover, there will be what insurers call anexcess. This means you have to cover the first few hundred pounds (or so) of each claim. This is to discourage frequent, smaller claims, which keeps costs down for everyone. Excesses are variable: more on this in money-saving tips below.
With comprehensive cover, there's a lot more to think about. Insurers vary, and they might give you some choice.
For example: courtesy cars
Repairs: ideally your insurer will have a network of approved repair centres that guarantee any repair work they do. This extends your peace of mind if your car is damaged.
Comprehensive cover can also include cover for all drivers (usually over 25), third-party cover for driving other cars (with owner's permission), and legal expenses cover (in case you need to pursue a claim against an uninsured driver).
The premium is the annual amount you pay to be covered for a certain level of risk.
Unfortunately for all of us, these amounts are shooting up.
So let's look atwhat you can do to pay less for your car cover…
How to shop around, and some "tricks of the trade" to get a lower quote…
You can't escape the advertisements for insurance price comparison websites. The most important thing that these ads highlight is thatcomparing can reveal big differences in cost. What you're actually paying for is an individual insurer's attitude to risk. One might say you're £400 of risk, another £800, yet the cover is similar. That's why you should compare.
However: price comparison sites aren't the only source for the cheapest deals. Remember, those websites take commission too, so your quote isn't necessarily at rock bottom prices. This is wheregoing directcan help:
1. If you find a good deal through a website, call them directly anyway for a quote: you may get a better offer
2. Some insurers - e.g. Aviva - only sell direct. They don't allow their products onto price comparison sites at all, and need phoning (or clicking) individually to check.
3. If you own more than one car, some insurers such as Admiral offer policies to cover multiple cars that are rarely available on price comparison sites - and these policies often provide strong savings.
It's interesting to see what happens to your car insurance prices when you follow our tips above, but it's most important that you don't tell your insurers anything untrue, or miss out any details. Insurers consider this fraud, they do compare notes from company to company, and if you forget something important (e.g. the accident you were involved in in 2009) you'll be left with no cover at all once they find out!
Our trained expert advisers have access to the UK’s leading lenders and using their knowledge and skills will place you with the most suitable leader and product for your needs.