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Let’s face it – having a car is great and all but boy can their running costs rack up over time.
Whether it be the constantly fluctuating costs of petrol, the fee required to get it through its MOT, the cost of driving lessons to learn to drive in the first place, or the extortionate price of service station snacks, there are a number of costs to consider when it comes to driving. That’s not to mention the car insurance premium you have to pay on top as well – on an annual basis.
While there isn’t a lot we can do to combat the growing rates of petrol, service station treats and MOTs, we can provide you with some useful pointers on how to save money on your car insurance – from lowering your mileage cap to increasing your excess. Let’s get started.
Source: Compare The Market
1. Shop around.
One of the best ways to save money on your car insurance comes through simply shopping around online, trying to find the best price. Websites like Confused.com, Compare The Market and Money Supermarket have all been designed for this exact purpose, taking your details and scouring all sorts of insurance providers to find the best prices.
One thing to remember when using these price comparison websites though is that certain providers, like Admiral and Direct Line, aren’t on them, so you’ll have to apply directly if you’d like to receive a quote from them.
Source: Basingstoke MOT & Tyre Centre
2. Request a higher excess.
When looking for car insurance, most providers include an excess charge in their policies but many people are left confused by what this actually is.
Well, your policy’s excess refers to the amount you need to pay towards any repairs claimed for on your insurance. Say you have a policy excess set at £200, for example. If you were then involved in a car accident where the repair work was going to cost more than £1000, in these circumstances, it would make sense to claim on your insurance, paying only the £200 excess charge instead of the £1000 repair cost.
The amount you’re willing to pay as part of this excess can make a big difference to your car insurance premium. The more you are willing to increase this value by, the lower your insurance price will be – the only caveat being that you’ll then have to shell out more should you ever need to make a claim.
3. Avoid using your car for work.
How you use your car and what you use it for can make a big difference to your premium. For example, if you only ever use your car to get in and out of work, mention this to your potential provider as it could reduce your calculated quote.
In general, ‘social, domestic, pleasure and commuting’ policies tend to be priced the highest, whereas ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ are generally the cheapest.
Source: Select Car Leasing
4. Think about who actually uses your car.
If you have more than one driver on your policy, this could also increase your premium. Young drivers in particular cost a lot more to insure, so you need to think carefully about who actually uses your car.
If, for example, you’re a new driver searching for their first car insurance premium, adding an experienced driver from your family to your policy could drive down the price of your quotes. Conversely, if you’ve been driving for many years and have a healthy no claims bonus to your name, adding a young, inexperienced driver to your policy could increase your premium.
5. Set a cap on mileage.
When you think about it from an insurance provider’s point of view, the less you use your car, the lower the likelihood is that you’re going to need to make a claim in the future. Therefore, by choosing to set a cap on your annual mileage, you are effectively reassuring a potential provider as to how much you are likely use the car.
That’s not saying you should lie about it – if you know you’re going to need to use the car for more than 20,000 miles a year, then you need to be up front and honest. But, if you’re not sure about how many miles you’re likely to do over the course of a year, research suggests that accepting a 12,000-mile annual cap can actually earn a 5 – 10% discount on an insurance premium. Going one step further and accepting an even lower mileage cap could earn a bigger discount as well.
In effect, the fewer number of miles you can commit to, the lower your insurance will be.