How to get the best car insurance deal

If you recently had to insure your car, you’ve probably noticed that your premiums have increased compared to the previous year.

The increasing value of used cars and the increase in the cost of spare parts contributed to the increase in premiums. According to CompareTheMarket, the cost of car insurance increased by 14 per cent year-on-year in November 2022, with an average premium of £629 – £76 more than a year earlier.

So if your car insurance needs to be renewed, here we look at ways that can help you get the best deal. Before we begin, the point to note is that you should always be truthful when insuring your car; you can void your policy if you are not.

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Using insurance comparison websites can bring significant savings.  (ANNUALLY)

Using insurance comparison websites can bring significant savings. (ANNUALLY)

While many of us know we should shop around for a better deal when it comes to renewing or buying a car insurance policy, many of us prefer to avoid the hassle and just let it renew automatically.

But it’s well worth the time, as drivers can save an average of £328 by looking elsewhere, according to CompareTheMarket. There are various insurance comparison websites that allow you to easily compare policies and find the best deal.

Organize your policy early

Setting reminders at the beginning of the year will ensure you don't miss any dates, such as MOTs and service checkups.  (ANNUALLY)

Setting reminders at the beginning of the year will ensure you don’t miss any dates, such as MOTs and service checkups. (ANNUALLY)

If you know when your car insurance is due for renewal, the best thing you can do is arrange your insurance for the next year in advance. Doing it at the last minute will always end up paying you more than if you had worked in advance.

Most insurance companies will let you buy the policy about four weeks ahead, which is the best thing to do to lower your premium. If you are changing insurer, be sure to tell your current insurer that you are also ending your current policy as it may be set to auto-renew.

Lower your annual mileage

Nissan leaf

Reducing your annual mileage limit can help you lower your premiums. (ANNUALLY)

Adjusting the annual mileage limit on your car insurance is another thing that can make a big difference because ultimately, the more miles you drive on the road, the more likely you are to experience a collision or damage.

While reducing the mileage by 1000 is unlikely to make much of a difference, if you wildly overestimate the number of miles driven, it will likely add to your costs. If you’re not sure how many miles you drive, it’s a good idea to look at your car’s MOT or service history to calculate your annual mileage. However, make sure it’s representative of what you’re doing; as underestimation could invalidate the policy.

Pay the premium in one go if you can

Paying the premium once will help reduce costs.  (ANNUALLY)

Paying the premium once will help reduce costs. (ANNUALLY)

When you buy your premium, you’ll be asked if you want to pay in one go or split it into monthly payments.

If you have the funds available, you’ll save money in the long run by paying it all in one go as you won’t have to worry about interest charges which can add around £35 to your annual policy depending on the insurer and the amount.

Think about where you park your car

Parking your car in a safer place can help lower your premiums.  (kia)

Parking your car in a safer place can help lower your premiums. (kia)

Where your car is usually parked can have a big impact on your premium as it can affect the likelihood of vandalism, damage or theft. Again, never lie about where your car is stored, day or night.

However, if you have the option of a “safer” place, it’s worth making the switch. For example, if you have a garage or driveway but choose not to use it and park on the road instead, this will add a noticeable cost to your policy.

Only buy the cover you want

Broken vehicle rescued

Consider whether you need extra extras, such as breakdown cover. (RAC/PA)

When purchasing a policy, you will often be asked if you would like to take advantage of additional options. These can include legal protection, disaster protection, and secret keys that can help with the exchange.

These can quickly increase the price to over £100, so it’s worth considering whether you actually need them. It all depends on your own needs, but it’s worth checking if you already have it. For example, many new cars are sold with breakdown cover for several years (often as long as the warranty), so you don’t have to buy it again.

Take a look at the telematics rules

Although black box insurance is often used by new drivers, it is available to people of all ages.  (ANNUALLY)

Although black box insurance is often used by new drivers, it is available to people of all ages. (ANNUALLY)

A telematics policy, often referred to as a black box policy, is basically that your insurance company can monitor your driving and adjust costs based on your driving habits and style.

It is often used by younger drivers to keep costs down, although such policies are available to drivers of all ages and experience. It’s a great way to lower your premiums, but you need to be aware that your driving will be tracked and bad, fast or uneven driving can make you pay more. Some policies often have curfews or penalties.

Consider a cheaper car to insure

Choosing a car from a lower insurance group will help you lower your premiums.  (Volkswagen)

Choosing a car from a lower insurance group will help you lower your premiums. (Volkswagen)

If you’ve researched all your options and still can’t get car insurance on the deal you want, the last point is to look at the car itself. If you have a desirable, valuable or powerful vehicle, all this will increase the cost of the premium.

While you must consider the cost of changing your vehicle, a smaller, weaker vehicle will almost always be cheaper to insure. A simple way is to look at the insurance group number – from 1 to 50. The lower the number, the cheaper the insurance should be. However, you should always look at insurance premiums before buying a car to avoid any nasty surprises.

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