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The cost of car insurance can take a big chunk from your driving budget, however it doesn't have to be that way. Here are 15 tips to assist you get your annual premium down.
1. Look around
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reckons you can save as much as a next on your own annual premium, by just 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 who are covered by 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 children off your policy if they manage to get thier own.
3. Request a greater excess
Most insurance policies include an excess charge (the amount you have to cover towards any repairs that are claimed for). If you're prepared to boost this, you can get a decreased premium.
4. Don't use your vehicle for work
Insurance policies that cover only "social, domestic and pleasure" are generally cheapest.
5. Agree to a mileage cap
This will earn you a discount simply because cars that are 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 particularly ideal for households with several car.
6. Avoid brokers'commission
Direct Line claims that buying through intermediaries can boost the cost of insurance by up to 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, which means they attract lower premiums.
9. Keep your vehicle garaged
Keeping your vehicle in a storage or on a push rather than out on the way usually takes between 5 and 10 per cent off your premium.
10. Request an introductory discount
You might be eligible because of this, even if you do not 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 provide you with a discount because they need your custom. And if you have built up a number claims bonus, say so.
11. Search 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 small premium in advance, but it might help you save a king's ransom in the long run.
12. Have a black box fitted to your vehicle
This really is where in actuality the insurer installs a computer device that monitors how the car will be driven in order that careful driving could be rewarded. You can even agree to curfews that limit what times of day you can 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 third party cover is cheaper
3rd 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 vehicle as well, since the insurer can assume you care less about your vehicle and are therefore prone to have an accident.
15. Don't pay by direct debit
Paying for your insurance in monthly instalments - rather than within an annual lump sum - helps it be seem more manageable. But it's likely to cost you between 10 and 25 per cent more in the long run.