11 smart ways you can save money on your car insurance

Car insurance can be an important part of your monthly expenditure. As you probably know, there are many ways to lower your car insurance premiums? We have listed 11 below which we hope you find useful.

Car insurance tips save money

11 ways that can help you lower your car insurance:

  • A black box can help you save cash
  • Temporary car insurance solutions could work better for your wallet
  • Don't leave it until the last minute
  • Negotiate with your existing car insurer
  • Park clever
  • Check your credit score
  • Be mindful of your job
  • Research your next car safety rating before buying
  • Investigate multi policy buy discount (whether adding another car or cross sell)
  • Advanced driving courses
  • Stay clear of convictions

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How a black box can help you save cash

An in-car black box (or Telematics) records how safely you drive in your car. It monitors your speed against speed limits, how you take corners, how hard you break.... Based on these readings it measures the quality of your driving, offering you discounts on your car insurance policy at renewal if you are judged a safe driver and get a high score. There are plenty of black box solutions on the market for young drivers, from insurers including Churchill (DriveSure) and Ingenie

Is a BlackBox insurance really worth it to save you money on your car insurance? 

  • According to Ingenie insurance, drivers between 17 and 25 can save up to 21% of their premium and up to £500 at renewal*
  • Be mindful that some providers might impose a curfew on when you can drive at night. 
  • Also check whether there's a cost for removing your Telematics device from your car once your policy lapsed. Some insurers have a flat charge of around £75.

Short term car insurance solutions

If you only drive a car occasionally, temporary insurance might be a great option to consider to save yourself money. You can typically insure a car between 1 and 28 days with a short term policy. Also be aware that there are some restrictions around short term insurance for a car: You will need to be 19 or older, have held a full UK or EU driving licence for a year. You can't use a short term car insurance policy to tax your car - the DVLA will not accept it. And you might also find that there is a limit to how many times a year you can renew a short term insurance contract. So yes, it can sound a little restricting as a alternative solution to an annual car insurance. Saying that, if you are a young driver and occasionally borrow the family car, or drive a classic or collection car every now and then at the weekend, or even if you are planning to share a long car journey with a friend, it might be a good option for you.

Don't leave it until the last minute

Motorists face sharp hikes in their car insurance premiums if they wait until the day of renewal to update their policy. 

Research from MoneySupermarket shows that drivers pay on average £33 more if they buy their car insurance on the renewal date than if they shop around with more than two weeks left on their policy. Those who renew their insurance at the last minute could be rushed in other ways as well. They could run late regularly and that could affect their driving. That is one reason they are seen as riskier by insurers and why they could find themselves paying more.

Whether you are shopping for your renewal at the last minute or not, make sure you do shop around. You are likely to get a better price this way. More on that point just below. 

Negotiate with your existing car insurer at renewal

When it comes to renewal with your car insurer, you should never accept your renewal price as it is. Why? Insurers know that many people just auto-renew with their current provider (life is busy and most of us have no time or inclination to compare deals). So they increase the price closer to your renewal date – effectively a fine for loyalty. Do your research using a comparison site. Make a note of the insurance cost offered by competitors, including excess levels, included ad-ons (like courtesy car....) and cash back offer. You'll need all the information in front of you so you can quote it to your insurer when you haggle your renewal with them. It might be a little time consuming but it could save a lot of money. Now, as renewal requirements have changed for insurers, your renewal quote should feature the price of your current policy and as well as the cost of your new one, so you can compare them easily. 

If you are surprised or puzzled by your car insurance renewal price, you can find out more about why car insurance goes up here.

Park clever

Why do insurers ask where you park? The location can reduce or increase the risk of your vehicle being broken into or stolen, which in turn has an impact on your premium. so if possible, try to park your car off the street, either on a private driveway or in a locked garage. 

No garage? Not a problem. Try apps like JustPark to find a garage to rent locally. 

Check your credit score

If you can afford to pay for your car insurance up front, the quote you see is the price you pay. Your credit score isn’t taken into account. 

Unfortunately, it’s not the same story if you have to pay for your car insurance monthly. This is because your car insurance provider is saying they’ll cover you for a whole year, without you having paid for it yet. And like with any other credit agreement, they’ll check your financial history to see if you’re responsible with money and reliable at paying back what you owe.

If you have a low credit score, you could see the car insurance quote jump up if you decide to pay for it monthly.

Be mindful of your job

Your car insurance premium might vary depending not only on the amount and type of travel that's associated with your job,  but also how much risk is associated with your job by your insurer. For example, footballers might not be driving as many miles a year as a sales rep, but they are perceived as a higher risk group due to a historically high volume of crashes linked with this profession and their lifestyle. On the other hand, nurses are considered the safest group even if they are community nurses driving a lot during their shifts. It's worth looking at whether there are several options in the job title drop down menu that match your actual job, and see whether one option might give you a cheaper quote (as long as it still describes your job accurately).

Research your next car's safety rating before buying

Every car has a safety rating that is based upon the likelihood of an accident, the safety of passengers and driver in an accident and the overall safety features of the car. This means that you will pay a much lower rate of car insurance for cars that are perceived to be safe by your insurance provider.

Investigate multi items policy discount 

Whether you're adding a second car to your policy or adding a car insurance policy on top of a home insurance one for example, a lot of insurers will offer you a discount for multi policies.

Advanced driving courses

There are several advanced driving course options in the UK, from the AA to The Advanced Institute of Motorists. The qualification and certification costs vary but are generally around £150. Doing their own research and comparison, GoCompare found that being able to provide an Advanced Driving Certificate could save drivers up to 5% on their policy. On top of this, it's likely to slightly reduce your fuel consumption by having a smoother driving style. And because these advanced driving courses should make you more aware of surroundings and potential hazards, and give you the ability to read the road further ahead, they might help you avoid collisions and a higher renewal premium. It could be a worthwhile investment to make.

Advanced driving courses are sometimes also referred to as defensive driving courses. The idea is to develop your sense of awareness as well as better driving principles to lower your chances of having an accident. Importantly, as much as advance driving principles tell you how to use your gears better, when best to break and not to break, how to read the road markings and signage to get more information from them, it's a lot about anticipating what other drivers and pedestrians might do that you cannot control but can better avoid if you are prepared. 

You Tuber Petrol Ped has got a great video explaining the principles of Advanced driving:

Stay clear of convictions

Only unspent convictions affect your insurance premium. Do remember that if you are insuring another driver, you might also need to give details of any unspent convictions they have.

We hope these tips will help you save on your next car insurance policy. Remember that savings might also be indirect ones like the cost of your voluntary and compulsory excess, whether or not a hire car is included in your policy if your car needs to go to a garage for repairs after you have a car accident, down to how quick and efficient your insurer might be dealing with your claims. If it takes you days hanging on the phone trying to get an update for example, which can easily be over 30 minutes each time, that's not only money being billed to your phone bill but also time you could spend doing something else or working and earning money. Make sure you check your insurer claim reputation before making your final decision. 

And if you've made an insurance claim in the past 2 years, why not take 2 minutes to rate your insurer on how they dealt with it on Claimscore. You might be helping others to choose their next policy more wisely, and one day, someone else might add a rating that helps you. We call it: Better Together. 

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11 tips to save on your car insurance

* facts correct at date of publication [05.07.2018]


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