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The cost of car insurance can take a big chunk out of your driving budget, but it doesn't need to be that way. 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 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 car
The more people that are included in a policy, the more it's likely to cost. Young drivers are particularly expensive to insure, so be sure you make sure to take your kids off your policy once they obtain own.
3. Request a greater excess
Most insurance policies include an excess charge (the amount you have to cover towards any repairs which are claimed for). If you're prepared to improve this, you may get a lowered premium.
4. Don't use your car for work
Insurance policies that cover only "social, domestic and pleasure" are usually cheapest.
5. Consent to a mileage cap
This will earn you a discount mainly because cars which are traveling 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 very useful for households with several car.
6. Avoid brokers'commission
Direct Line claims that buying through intermediaries can raise 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 are 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 push rather than out traveling will take between 5 and 10 per cent off your premium.
10. Look for an introductory discount
You may be eligible for this, even if you do not have a no claims bonus but have driven an organization car - or someone else's car - with a no claims bonus on its policy. Some insurers just give you a discount because they desire your custom. And when you have built up a no claims bonus, say so.
11. Look for means of protecting your no claims bonus
Some policies enable you to make a claim in set circumstances without it affecting your no claims bonus. You'll pay a tiny premium in advance, but it could help you save a lot of money in the long run.
12. Have a dark box fitted to your car
This really is where in actuality the insurer installs a tool that monitors how the car is being driven so that careful driving can be rewarded. You may also consent 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 your premium.
14. Don't assume alternative party cover is cheaper
3rd party insurance is 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, since 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 - rather than in an annual lump sum - causes it to be seem more manageable. But it's likely to cost you between 10 and 25 per cent more in the long run.