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The cost of car insurance can take a big chunk from the driving budget, but it doesn't need to be that way. Listed here are 15 tips to help you get your annual premium down.
1. Check around
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reckons you are able to save around a third on your annual premium, by simply shopping around. So don't just automatically accept your renewal quote each year.
2. Limit the amount of people allowed to drive the car
The more people that are included in a policy, the more it's more likely to cost. Young drivers are particularly expensive to insure, so make sure you remember to take your kids off your policy if they get their own.
3. Request a higher excess
Most insurance policies include an excess charge (the amount you've to cover towards any repairs which can be claimed for). If you're prepared to boost this, you can get a decreased premium.
4. Don't use your car for work
Insurance policies that cover only "social, domestic and pleasure" are usually cheapest.
5. Accept a mileage cap
This could earn you a discount mainly because cars which can be on the way less often are less probably be involved with an accident. AA Insurance reckons that accepting a 12,000-mile annual cap would earn a 5 to 10 per cent discount. A 5,000-mile cap can earn even more. This is specially helpful for households with multiple car.
6. Avoid brokers'commission
Direct Line claims that buying through intermediaries can increase the cost of insurance by as much as 30 per cent.
7. Buy through the web
Many insurance providers offer an automatic 5 per cent discount for online transactions.
8. Consider downsizing
Cars which can be worth less and have smaller engines qualify for lower insurance bands, which means they attract lower premiums.
9. Keep your car garaged
Keeping your car in a garage or on a drive as opposed to out on the way can take between 5 and 10 per cent off your premium.
10. Ask for an introductory discount
You may be eligible because of this, even when you don't have a no claims bonus but have driven a business car - or someone else's car - with a no claims bonus on its policy. Some insurers just provide you with a discount because they want your custom. And when you have accumulated a no claims bonus, say so.
11. Search for means of protecting your no claims bonus
Some policies permit you to make a state in set circumstances without it affecting your no claims bonus. You'll pay a small premium at the start, but it may help you save a fortune in the long run.
12. Have a dark box fitted to your car
This is where in fact the insurer installs a computer device that monitors how the car is being driven to ensure that careful driving may be rewarded. You can even agree to curfews that limit what times of day you are able to drive. It works especially well for young drivers.
13. Improve your driving skills
A Pass Plus driving test, or similar qualification, can slice the cost of one's premium.
14. Don't assume third party cover is cheaper
Alternative party insurance could be the legal minimum, covering you against damage caused to other people's property and the cost of any compensation for injuries. However, this isn't always cheaper than fully comprehensive cover, which covers your personal vehicle as well, as the insurer can assume you care less about your car and are therefore more prone to have an accident.
15. Don't pay by direct debit
Spending money on your insurance in monthly instalments - as opposed to in an annual lump sum - causes it to be seem more manageable. But it's more likely to cost you between 10 and 25 per cent more in the long run.