How To Get A Better Car Insurance Deal

You may have been a very well behaved motorist last year.  You didn’t drive through red lights, you didn’t speed along the motorway, and you didn’t cut corners in the lanes.  But hang on, why has your car insurance renewal quote gone up?  Report after report tells us that premiums are rising at record rates.  So should you just take it on the chin and pay up?   The answer is no, here’s some advice that could save you hundreds of pounds….

1)      Shop around
Many insurance companies rely on the inertia of customers to turn over good profits.  So don’t let them do that.  Spend a couple of hours online to compare quotes.  You can use comparison websites to do some of the legwork for you, but don’t completely rely on these websites because sometimes you’ll get better deals by going direct to the provider.  Each quote form can take about ten minutes to fill out, and it is pretty tedious, but think of all that cash you could be saving.  Be careful though.  Make sure you are comparing like-with-like.  You don’t want to make a claim for something and then find you don’t have right cover.
2)      Understand coverage types
There are three levels of car insurance cover.  The most basic is Third Party, the next level is Third Party Fire and Theft, and then there’s Fully Comprehensive.  Don’t assume that Third Party is going to give the best deal.  Get quotes for each, it’s possible that there isn’t much difference in price and Fully Comprehensive is far more useful if you have to make a claim.
3)      Increase the voluntary excess
The voluntary excess is the amount you would have to stump up in the event of a claim.  Bumping up your excess will reduce your premium.  But before doing this it’s worth considering if you could afford to pay the excess in the event of an accident.
4)      Security
When your car has features like a car alarm, an immobiliser, a tracking device and automatic seat belts; it makes a difference in the amount you have to pay on car insurance.  From the insurer’s perspective these features lower the risk that you will get injured or will hurt someone else.  If you can keep your car in a garage it will also reduce the risk of theft.   In insurance, lower risk means a lower price.
5)      Drive carefully
There are several safe driving schemes which if you pass some insurers will recognise with lower premiums.  Increasing numbers of motorists are also using black box recorders.  These boxes are often placed inside a dashboard and can monitor things like speed, acceleration and braking.  The safer the driver, the lower the insurance premium.  The type of car you drive will also affect your insurance costs, an expensive sports car might get you noticed by the opposite sex, but it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg to insure.  Basically a boring car will be much cheaper to insure.
Ben loves to write about personal finance and currently works for, part of the Oracle group which also has a dedicated insurance sector.