How to reduce your car insurance

Car insurance premiums are on the rise but it’s still possible to get a good deal if you follow these tips writes Geraldine Herbert

If you’re concerned about rising car insurance premiums, you’re not alone. According to the CSO premiums have fallen by 6% in the past 12 months however a report by the Central bank published at the end of last year revealed that the average motor insurance premium increased by 42% between 2009 and 2018, despite the cost of claims falling by 2.5% during the same period. An increase in claims has been blamed on the high costs associated with personal injuries and a rise in the cost of repairs and car parts are all pushing the cost of premiums upwards.

But what other factors influence the cost of your premium?

Age

Whether you are 17  or 65 years old, your age has an effect on the cost of car insurance. 

Where you live

Locations that experience a higher number of claims, traffic, theft and accidents are likely to have higher premiums so where you live makes a huge difference to the cost.

Your driving history

If you have made any claim in the past or have points on your license this will have an impact. The longer you have been claim free the lower your premium is likely to be. 

Your Occupation

According to The AA Insurance consultant, “Whether your job involves travel or not will be one of the factors considered by insurance companies.

Your Car

The age of your car, the make, model, fuel type, transmission and engine size will all invariably affect your insurance premiums. 

Annual Mileage

The more you use your car, the more of a risk you are. 

How can I reduce the cost of my car insurance?

We’ve rounded up some tips to help you take the first steps to reduce your premium.

 Shop around and compare – You may feel tempted to accept the renewal quote that pops through the door but don’t fall into that trap! Once you have received your renewal quote always go to the website of your current insurance provider and get a quote as a new customer and not an existing one. Insurance companies do not reward loyalty so you will always get a better one as a new customer. You can then go back to your insurance company and ask them to match the online price. Also, compare other insurance companies online for the best deal. The more quotes you get the better your chance of finding the cheapest one. Remember to compare all insurance quotes on a like-for-like basis though – some may offer breakdown cover as an optional extra for others it may come with the policy so check all these details. 

Don’t over insure – Always put a realistic value on your car – When asked to value our cars most of us have a pretty inflated price in our mind so it is worth checking similar makes and models online to get an idea of the replacement cost. Remember in the case of an accident the insurance company will only pay out the market value of the car at the time of the claim. There are numerous car sites including autotrader.co.uk or whatcar.com that can be used to assess the true market value of your car. 

Look carefully at the excess – Increasing the amount of the excess on your policy will bring down the cost of your premium but remember it will mean paying more when you claim.

Consider Telematics – the use of a Telematics system or Black box provided by an insurance company to track your driving is becoming more popular particularly among new drivers as a way to reduce insurance costs. However, all drivers can benefit as the regular feedback you get on your driving can make you an overall safer and better driver. Here are some practical tips to reduce your driving anxiety. 

Pay in full – Avoid paying for your premium monthly, it is always cheaper to pay in one payment.

Get the right cover for you – Choose between a comprehensive or third party cover carefully. Always check the differences between the price of both, as it might not be financially sound to pay the difference depending on the car’s value but remember third party cover is not always the cheapest option.

Keep your car safe – The safer your car is tucked away at night, the happier your insurance company will be, so any additional security features you add can make a difference to your premium including an alarm, immobiliser or keeping your car in a garage overnight.

19th October 2020

Geraldine Herbert

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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