As all young drivers know, car insurance is pricey. This is because new drivers are, by definition, inexperienced and therefore more likely to get into a scrape. But as a basic level of car insurance is compulsory, going without is not an option. However, there are ways you can drive down the cost of cover.
1. Pass Plus
If you’ve recently passed your driving test, the last thing you want to do is take another driving test. But by qualifying on the advanced driving Pass Plus course, you could reduce car insurance premiums by up to a third.
2. Keep your car safe and secure
Better in-car security and parking in a safe place could reduce your insurance premiums. Having an alarm, immobiliser or tracker professionally fitted, using steering or handbrake locks, or parking your car in the driveway or garage overnight, are all ways to cut insurance costs. Check out our 8 Great Car Security Tips for more information.
3. Less power = cheaper cover
A powerful car in the hands of an inexperienced driver is a potentially dangerous mix – hence the expensive car insurance. That’s why it makes sense for your first car to be a modest set of wheels with a small engine. It will be cheaper to insure, easier to handle, and could be less thirsty on the fuel.
4. Avoid Mods
We’re not talking scooter boys in green parkers here, but cars that have been ‘modified’ by after-market performance or style enhancements. You know the sort we mean – once-normal cars that are now tricked out with fat exhaust pipes, flashy wheels, huge fairings and spoilers etc. Basically, if you want cheaper insurance, avoid modified cars.
5. Up the voluntary excess
Voluntary excess is what you agree to pay in the event of a car insurance claim, on top of the compulsory excess. Raising the excess will reduce your premiums, but it does mean you will have to pay more of the costs if you have to make a claim.
6. Use Confused.com to find cheap car insurance
Confused.com will quickly search and compare a huge range of car insurance quotes to suit your needs. The service is simple to use, takes just minutes to complete, and is a great way to find the right car insurance at the right price.
7. Start building up your NCB
A No Claims Bonus (NCB) is the best way to reduce your car insurance costs. Unfortunately, you can’t get it until you’ve had car insurance for at least a year. This is because the NCB is a discount off your next year’s insurance bill for being a safe, claims-free driver in the previous year. Better still, the more consecutive years you go without a claim, the bigger the discount could be.
8. Keep a clean driving licence
A clean licence is one without any penalty points. If you break traffic laws, you could incur points, a fine, a driving ban, or all three. This is why it’s absolutely vital to drive safely if you want to keep insurance costs down. You can receive points for things like driving without due care and attention, driving whilst over the alcohol limit, or speeding. Read more about driving convictions.
9. Pay for car cover in one go
Paying for car insurance in monthly instalments may feel easier on your bank balance, but you’ll likely pay more over the course of a year. This is because many insurance providers will give you a discount if you can stump the entire year’s premium in one advanced payment.
10. Consider a lower level of car insurance
In the UK, the only compulsory car insurance is Third Party Only (TPO). As such, you are not obliged to opt for more expensive levels of cover such as Third Party Fire and Theft (TPF&T;) and Comprehensive (Fully Comp or Comp). However, it’s vital that you understand the difference between the three levels of cover before choosing, as TPO could leave you with a very expensive bill should your car be involved in an accident. You can find more information here.
Finally, always give honest information when applying for car insurance.
When you buy car insurance, you are entering a contract based on trust between you and the insurance provider. Therefore, always give honest answers and disclose all relevant information when completing the car insurance application form. It may be tempting to bend the truth a little just to get cheaper car insurance, but doing so could have serious consequences.
Fronting is one of the most common ways of giving false information in order to get cheaper premiums. An example of fronting is if you insure your car in your parents name and then list yourself as an additional driver. However, doing this is considered insurance fraud.
If fronting (or indeed any other kind of insurance fraud) is discovered following a claim, not only could the payout be denied, but you may have trouble getting car insurance in the future. And if you do eventually find a company willing to insure you, it will be at a hefty price. You could also receive a fine, conviction, a minimum of six penalty points and you may even lose your licence. In short, fronting simply isn’t worth it.