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How to cut car insurance costs

How to cut car insurance costs
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Back in the day the only tool you had at your disposal for cutting the cost of your car insurance was to call your insurer and claim you had a lower quote from elsewhere. And it usually worked too. Now things are far more complicated, and it’s tempting to use a quick online comparison site and be done with it. But wait. There are more £££s to be saved with a teensy bit more effort. Here’s how to cut car insurance costs.

Third Party is Not Always the Cheapest Option

Keep in mind that insurers will price your policy based on how much of a risk they perceive you to be. Many consumers opting for third party only insurance, do so because they simply can’t afford more. But others use this as a low cost option that ticks the legal box and in their mind gives them licence to indulge in risky driving behaviours. Insurers know this and sometimes load their premiums as a result. But not always. Shop around, and you may find third party cover with extras like car hire and breakdown cover thrown for the same price as basic cover elsewhere.

Responsible Second Drivers – Your NBF

Your New Best Friend is any named driver on your policy who has a good insurance record. Even if they don’t drive the car much at all, insurers will assume they do for a portion of the time, so spreading the risk between you and them, resulting in a lower premium. This is especially useful for new drivers, who can save significant amounts by simply adding Mum or Dad to their policy. Just don’t be tempted to ‘Front’ a policy for your kids (be named as main driver) – it’s classed as fraud and is against the law.

Get Word Smart

Believe it or not, there is some correlation between professions and driver risk levels. This being the case, insurers take into account your job description when calculating your premium. An online Car Insurance Job Picker tool will help you to mould your job description into one with minimal risk, always being sure to remain broadly accurate of course.

Pay Upfront

If you can afford to pay your car insurance bill in one hit, then do so. When paying monthly, many insurers levy an interest charge on top, and this can be as much as 25% APR. And if you are planning to pay by credit card, always check whether your insurer adds a fee for the privilege. Sending a cheque in the post may be cheaper.

Never Renew Automatically

Many consumers can’t be bothered shopping around each year. Insurers bank on this inertia, and if you leave your policy unchallenged you will generally find the cost creeping up over time. If you do nothing else, take the time to check a comparison site and call your insurer to get a best price match.

How to cut car insurance costs

Ensure your Details are Accurate

Insurers love a ‘get-out’ clause, so don’t give them the satisfaction. Make sure you notify your insurer throughout the year of ANY changes that may affect your policy, such as modifications to the look of your vehicle, where it is parked at night, or any new security measures you have added. These changes may alter the price of your policy, but will at least keep it valid in the event of an accident. Other tips are to highlight particular benefits you bring, such as your many years of no claims, the fact you are over 50, or are prepared to limit yourself to a mileage cap each year. All these little snippets of info can help.

Consider a Higher Excess

Raising your excess can significantly lower your premium – just make sure you can afford to shell out to cover it should you need to. A lower excess can be attractive but consider whether it is worth the higher premium. Many consumers find that with an excess as high as £500 they rarely make a claim, because of the effect on future premiums via the no-claims bonus and end up paying in full for repairs, and fork out for a higher premium too.

Don’t Rely Solely on Comparison Sites

Big names like Zurich, Direct Line and Aviva have eschewed the comparison site culture, dealing only directly with their customers. Once you have your lowest comparison site quote it can be worth contacting these three to see if they can price match, offer a lower premium or throw in attractive add-ons for the same price.

The bulk of the deals available are there for the taking on the comparison sites, but additional benefits can be found by going direct too, so shop around. And if you are familiar with Cash Back sites, clicking through to your chosen provider via these sites can deliver money direct into your bank account. Getting paid to get insured – now it doesn’t get much better than that!

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, whatsapp plus,travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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