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The cost of car insurance can have a big chunk out of your driving budget, but it doesn't have to be that way. Here are 15 tips to help you get your annual premium down.
1. Look around
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reckons you are able to save as much as a next on your own annual premium, simply by shopping around. So don't just automatically accept your renewal quote each year.
2. Limit the amount of people allowed to operate a vehicle the car
The more folks who are included in a policy, the more it's prone to cost. Young drivers are particularly expensive to insure, so make sure you remember to take the kids off your policy when they manage to get thier own.
3. Request a higher excess
Most insurance policies include an excess charge (the amount you have to pay for towards any repairs which can be claimed for). If you're prepared to improve this, you may get a diminished premium.
4. Don't use your car for work
Insurance policies that cover only "social, domestic and pleasure" are generally cheapest.
5. Accept a mileage cap
This may earn you a discount mainly because cars which can be on your way less often are less apt to be involved in 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 very ideal for households with several car.
6. Avoid brokers'commission
Direct Line claims that buying through intermediaries can increase the cost of insurance by up to 30 per cent.
7. Buy through the net
Many insurance providers offer a computerized 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, this 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 your way may take between 5 and 10 per cent off your premium.
10. Require an introductory discount
You may well be eligible for this, even if you don't have a number claims bonus but have driven a company car - or someone else's car - with a number claims bonus on its policy. Some insurers just provide you with 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 permit you to make a claim in set circumstances without it affecting your no claims bonus. You'll pay a tiny premium at the start, but it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
12. Have a dark box fitted to your car
This is where in fact the insurer installs a device that monitors how the car will be driven to ensure that careful driving can be rewarded. You can even consent to curfews that limit what times of day you are able to drive. It works especially well for young drivers.
13. Boost your driving skills
A Pass Plus driving test, or similar qualification, can cut the cost of your premium.
14. Don't assume third party cover is cheaper
3rd 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 own vehicle as well, as the insurer can assume you care less about your car and are therefore prone to have an accident.
15. Don't pay by direct debit
Paying for your insurance in monthly instalments - as opposed to within an annual lump sum - helps it be seem more manageable. But it's prone to cost you between 10 and 25 per cent more in the long run.