If you drive on public roads in the UK, having valid car insurance is a legal requirement. But how do you go about cutting the cost? Let’s explore the options for cheaper car insurance.
What are the different types of UK car insurance?
Before looking at the best way to get cheaper car insurance, let’s first explore the three different types of cover available.
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Third-party cover is the minimum level of insurance available. If you’re involved in an accident, this type of insurance will only cover damage to the other vehicle and any injuries to the person(s) involved in the crash, excluding yourself.
Third-party, fire and theft insurance includes all of the above, but will also cover you if your car is stolen or is damaged by fire.
Comprehensive cover is the most wide-ranging level of car insurance. In addition to the cover above, this insurance will also cover repairs to your own car if you’re involved in an accident – even if you were at fault. It will also cover you for any personal injuries.
Generally, the higher the level of cover, the bigger the annual premium though this isn’t always the case. For more information, see our article on the different types of car insurance coverage in the UK. Also, see our complete guide to insurance.
How do I find cheaper car insurance in the UK?
The car insurance market is competitive, so it pays to shop around. To do this, you can use the services of price comparison websites to get as many quotes as possible.
Be mindful that a limited number of insurers, such as Direct Line and Admiral, aren’t on price comparison sites, so you may find it worthwhile to visit these providers directly.
Can I cut the cost of my car insurance further?
Car insurance providers offer prices based on their assessment of risk. This means that your car insurance quote will depend on a number of factors.
While there are some factors that you can’t easily affect, such as your age (younger drivers face higher premiums) or where you live, there are a few ways you can cut the cost of your quote.
1. Consider upping the excess amount
How much excess you’re willing to pay can impact your quote. Most comparison services will allow you to easily modify the amount of voluntary excess you’re prepared to pay. You may find that adding an extra £100 or so could bring down your premium by a lot.
2. Check whether a black box policy can lower your premium
If you’re happy to sign up for a ‘black box’ policy, which allows your provider to fit your vehicle with hardware to monitor your driving, you could save some dosh. Black box policies are generally cheaper than normal policies, so consider whether the loss of privacy is worth it.
3. Consider adding an additional driver to your policy
Another possible way of cutting the cost of car insurance is adding another driver to your policy. For example, if you’re living at home, you may find it cheaper to add one of your parents to your policy (with their permission).
If you do this, it’s possible that insurance providers will see you as lower risk and reduce your quote accordingly.
4. See if you can alter your job title
Rightly or wrongly, some job titles may lead to insurance providers perceiving you as a higher risk. Try (legally) modifying your job title to see if you can cut the cost of your quote.
For example, if you’re a lecturer, you may wish to try calling yourself a teacher. If you’re a journalist, see if labelling yourself as a ‘writer’ or ‘reporter’ lowers your quote.
5. Check whether you really need the extras
Providers may wish to bundle your insurance with extras such as breakdown cover, no claims protection, legal cover and key cover. Check whether you really need any of these before opting for a policy. If you don’t, removing them can lower the amount you pay.
Don’t just auto-renew
Aside from the cost-cutting tips above, when dealing with car insurance, remember to avoid auto-renewing your policy.
That’s because it’s almost always cheaper to use the services of a comparison website and switch providers than it is to be loyal to your current insurer.
While car and home insurance providers will be banned from charging renewing customers more than new customers from 2022, there’s no guarantee that getting the same quote as a new customer will save you cash.
See our car insurcance page for more advice on finding a cheaper quote.