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The cost of car insurance can take a big chunk from your driving budget, however it doesn't need to be that way. Here are 15 tips to assist 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 own annual premium, simply by shopping around. So don't just automatically accept your renewal quote each year.
2. Limit the number of people allowed to drive the vehicle
The more individuals who are included in a policy, the more it's prone to cost. Young drivers are particularly expensive to insure, so make sure you make sure to take the kids off your policy if they manage to get thier own.
3. Request a higher excess
Most insurance policies include an excess charge (the amount you've to pay for towards any repairs that are claimed for). If you're prepared to boost this, you will get a reduced premium.
4. Don't use your vehicle for work
Insurance policies that cover only "social, domestic and pleasure" are usually cheapest.
5. Agree to a mileage cap
This can earn you a discount simply because cars that are on your way less often are less likely to be associated 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 around 30 per cent.
7. Buy through the internet
Many insurance providers offer a computerized 5 per cent discount for online transactions.
8. Consider downsizing
Cars that are worth less and have smaller engines qualify for lower insurance bands, this means they attract lower premiums.
9. Keep your vehicle garaged
Keeping your vehicle in a garage or on a push as opposed to out on your way may take between 5 and 10 per cent off your premium.
10. Request an introductory discount
You may well be eligible with this, even if you don't have a number claims bonus but have driven a business car - or someone else's car - with a number claims bonus on its policy. Some insurers just offer you a discount because they desire your custom. And if you have accumulated a number claims bonus, say so.
11. Search for ways of protecting your no claims bonus
Some policies allow you to make a claim in set circumstances without it affecting your no claims bonus. You'll pay a small premium up front, but it might help you save a king's ransom in the long run.
12. Have a dark box fitted to your vehicle
This really is where the insurer installs a device that monitors how the vehicle is being driven so that careful driving may be rewarded. You may also accept 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 your premium.
14. Don't assume alternative party cover is cheaper
Third party insurance may 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 own personal vehicle as well, since the insurer can assume you care less about your vehicle and are therefore more prone to have an accident.
15. Don't pay by direct debit
Paying for your insurance in monthly instalments - as opposed to in an annual lump sum - makes it seem more manageable. But it's prone to cost you between 10 and 25 per cent more in the long run.