Easy ways to save on car insurance

June 2, 2016 by Joe Newman | Guides | Run a used car

Insurance is expensive. Premiums are on a seemingly never-ending rise. Over the last 9 months, the AA has found a near 10% increase in the cost of typical comprehensive cover, with the average premium now £569 a year. If you want to save, you've got to be smart. Here're our 8 surprisingly easy tricks to beat the insurers.

1) Add more drivers to your insurance contract

Sounds strange, right? Although it does seem a bit odd, it can actually be a really good way of saving yourself a fortune. If you add a 2nd or 3rd driver who is deemed to be low risk by the insurance companies, this can bring down the average risk on the vehicle. The insurance companies will assume that this responsible person will be driving the vehicle for at least some of the time, reducing the risk and therefore reducing your premium.

2) Pay for annual premiums upfront

This is all about the interest rate that the insurance companies charge you. Signing up to monthly instalments when paying your premiums is exactly the same as when you pay monthly for a TV or a phone. You’re basically taking out a loan to cover the upfront cost. You can lower the amount you're paying by taking out a loan with a lower interest rate and pay your premium in one. Or, alternatively, use the 0% interest period on a credit card, making the cost of borrowing completely free.

3) Increase your excess, save on your premiums

There’s no doubt about it, this is a risk. However, it’s a risk that could very easily pay off depending on your circumstances. Although sometimes unexpected claims may come out of the blue, evaluating the risk yourself is key to ensuring you’re getting a good deal. If you don’t think that you’re likely to claim, raise your excess. If you don’t claim, the chances are that you’ll save a considerable amount more from lower premiums than you’d have to pay out in an excess.

4) Save by shopping around, then going direct

This is key. In order to get the best deal, you’ve got to see what the market has to offer. Price comparison websites have completely changed the way we shop for insurance. And, while they’re a good tool for finding the best rates, using them before shopping direct is a sure fire way of saving the most amount of money. This is because these sites often take a cut, or promote results that have been paid for by the insurance companies. Take your time. Do your research. Get the best deal.

5) Optimise your answers

When you’re filling in your insurance application you should think carefully about the way you answer every question. Each small variable can make a big difference when it comes to the way the insurance companies calculate risk. Being meticulous at this point will save you money. For example, lowering your mileage cap could be a good idea - especially if you have two cars and use one car more than the other. Another way is picking your job title carefully, as this can also have a big effect on the perceived likelihood of you making a claim. For more information take a look at Money Saving Expert HERE

6) Save with basic cover

Insurance companies are nearly as good as low budget airlines at up-selling. This is where a little bit of consumer diligence can go a long way. A lot of the time you'll be able to find a cheaper price on some of the options they offer you elsewhere by going to specialist suppliers in any given area. Think about what you want your insurance to cover and, again, how often you've claimed in the past, do you really need what they're offering?

7) Opt for 'black box' cover and save

Fitting a black box to your vehicle is a way for insurance companies to gather accurate metrics about your driving habits, meaning they can give you a quote that's accurately based on the way you drive. These boxes cost nothing to fit and use telematics to see how careful you are and what times of day you drive. If you're a good driver, you'll soon see big reductions in your premium. There's no doubt about it, this is the future.

8) Do everything you can to make your car secure

There are a lot of security steps you can take to reduce the amount you pay on your vehicle. Obvious (and free) steps such parking your car in secure parking, such a driveway or garage, should be your first priority. If this isn't an option or you want to add that extra bit of security, further measures such as fitting an immobiliser, an alarm or a tracking device can also reduce your premiums by as a much as 5%.