Is your car insurance too expensive? Many are overpaying £100s. Our Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis is here to stop that happening.
Here's Martin's top ten tips for saving money when renewing your car insurance:
1. There’s been a huge pricing shake up
On the 21 December the law changed so that gender could no longer be used as a factor in determining insurance prices.
As younger men used to pay a lot more than younger women (boy racer syndrome) it means many women’s prices have jumped and men’s dropped.
Yet more than that it means the entire system of pricing has changed, your cheapest insurer before may not be anymore. So you simply should not rely on just sticking with where you are.
2. Don’t just auto-renew
Do this, and often it’s effectively a fine for apathy. Many people find that even their current insurer gives a cheaper quote if you apply as a new customer.
So diarise to take the time to get quotes a month before renewal for really big savings. I saw a message from someone who followed my car insurance tricks saying: “Followed steps after a slight mishap put renewal up to £594. Got it down to £193 - can't believe you saved me £401."
3. Don’t assume third party is cheapest
If you’re looking for the cheapest cover, logically, third party insurance should be cheapest as it offers a lesser level of cover than comprehensive.
Yet due to vague risk tables, selecting comprehensive cover can mean you’re seen as a lower risk, sometimes. So always check both just in case.
4. Try adding an extra driver to lower your premium
Younger drivers especially should try adding a low-risk driver, in particular those with an additional record for driving well to their insurance as it can smooth out the average risk and sometimes reduce the premium – even if they won’t use the car often.
But DON’T add their name as the main driver – this is fraud!
5. Try tweaking your job description
Insurers decide prices depending on historic risk assessments, and your occupation plays an important part in this. Small tweaks to your job description could save you cash. Of course never lie and claim to do something you don’t – it needs to be a reasonable description of your job.
Eg, someone who’s a secretary may be a receptionist, or office worker, or PA.
6. Don’t just use one comparison site – combine them
The key to getting cheap car insurance is to get lots and lots of quotes. The easy way is to use a comparison site that does this for you. Yet different sites search different insurers so don’t just use one, combine a few such as Tesco Compare and Confused.com.
7. Plus check insurers that the comparison sites miss
Some major insurers are missed by comparison services, so it’s important to check them too. The two big ones are Aviva and Direct Line and very important if you have more than one car in your household is Admiral Multicar.
I’m not saying these will definitely be cheaper, but that sometimes they can be so it’s important to include them.
8. Unusual circumstances? Consider a broker
Some groups such as those in areas of high crime or with lots of penalty points, can find it difficult to find cheap insurance cover. So try speaking one-on-one to a local insurance broker about your individual circumstances to see if they can find you a decent policy – you can search for one on the British Insurance Brokers Association website.
9. Young drivers should consider telematic “black box” policies
Blackbox technology involves a tracking device being fitted to a vehicle which gathers information on the number of miles covered, when the vehicle is being driven and/or the driving style.
These come in various forms, such as a time of day scheme from Coverbox, which has per-mile charges that vary according to the time of day or night when you drive, a scheme from The Co-op, which monitors how well you drive with the price adjusting accordingly and a scheme from Insure The Box where you can pick either a 6,000 or 8,000 mile per year policy for your premium.
10. Once you know what you’re getting, check for cashback
Once you know who your cheapest provider is, you need to check there aren't any hidden cashback deals, from sites like Topcashback or Quidco as these can be as high as £100.
If your second or third cheapest quotes weren't too much more expensive, see if cashback's available for them too, and find the overall winner. The record cheapest insurance I’ve seen is 69p for fully comp cover – because the price was £120.96 but the insurer had its own £70 cashback promo on and there was an additional £50 cashback available from a cashback site.