Fact: To drive legally in the UK, you are required to have car insurance to protect yourself and other drivers. It's one of the unavoidable expenses of owning and driving a vehicle on the road.
Whilst car insurance is a fact of life, high premiums are not. There are many ways to control the cost of your motor insurance premiums and even reverse recent increases in some cases. Here are just a few tips that can save you well over 10% on your car insurance this year.
1. Search online for the best quotes.
Often, car dealers work with a specific insurer "for your convenience". Before snatching the first motor insurance policy you find, do some research and shop around. Use a price comparison site to compare multiple policies side by side. Car insurance quotes can vary by hundreds of pounds for the exact same cover.
2. Buy online at the insurer's site.
Many, if not most, insurance companies offer hefty discounts when you buy your cover online. Why? They save money on time and agent commissions that way. It's standard to offer a 10% discount when you buy your car insurance online. While not everyone can buy online, there can be significant savings if you can and do.
3. Review when you renew.
Don't simply renew you policy when the time rolls around. Go over it to make sure that it still meets your needs and circumstances - and then request a new quote. Insurers will nearly always offer a lower quote when you're shopping around for policy than when they think they have you hooked.
4. Secure your car.
Since your premium is based on the risk of damage or loss of your car, every step you take to make your car more secure and safe will reduce your premium. Park it off street or in a garage, add a steering lock or an alarm and see your premiums go down.
5. Drive less.
The less you drive, the less your chance of being involved in an accident. If your mileage is lower than the norm, inform your insurer and find out if they offer a low mileage discount.
6. Be honest on your application.
While this technically will not lower your insurance premium, it can make a huge difference when you make a claim. It may be tempting to claim your auntie's suburban address as your garaging site and knock a few pounds off your premium - but if you need to make a claim, the insurance company could find out. If they prove you misrepresented the facts on your application, your claim will be declined and may end up liable for any damages from the accident to boot.
7. Pay in full at the start of the policy.
Check with your insurer to find out if you're charged more for paying in installments. In essence, when you pay in installments, you're taking a loan from the insurance company for your premium, and paying them back - with interest.
8. Pay by direct debit.
If you do choose to pay in installments, find out if your insurer discounts your premium when you pay by direct debit. Since direct debit greatly decreases the likelihood of late and missed payments, most insurers are happy to knock a few quid off the premium when you pay that way.
9. Add an extra driver to your policy.
In some cases, adding an additional driver to your policy will lower your premium, especially if that driver is older, female and has a good driving record.
10. Take a defensive driving course.
Many insurance companies will discount your premium if you complete a course in safe or defensive driving. In general, anything that reduces your accident or loss risk may lower your car insurance premiums.
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