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Fifteen ways to cut your car insurance costs

Annie Shaw / 13 May 2014 ( 06 March 2017 )

Money expert Annie Shaw has some clever ideas for keeping your car insurance costs low.

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Are you getting the best deal on your car insurance?

1. Make sure your car insurance is appropriate

Shop around to make sure the insurance you are buying is right for you. Insurance is not all about price.

Being under-insured and not having cover for something you might need could cost you dear – for instance, if you need to hire a car while your own is being repaired.

Alternatively, if you are a two-car household you could save money by not getting courtesy car cover and using your second car.

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2. Protect your no-claims bonus

It will increase your premium by a few pounds but could be worthwhile if you need to make a claim. 

Check also which claims will damage your no-claims bonus. 

Will it, for instance, be affected if you are in an accident that is not your fault?

Saga Car Insurance: Join over a million drivers already benefiting from our outstanding cover and personal service for the over 50s. Get a quote and find out more!

3. Increase your voluntary excess

Choosing a higher excess figure – the amount you have to pay towards the cost of a claim – will bring your premiums down. 

You need to weigh up if cutting premiums this way is worth it if you had to shell out more after an accident.

But remember that you will be able to recover the excess from the other party if they are at fault.

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4. Restrict the names on your policy

If – say – only the two partners in a married couple are named on the policy, this should bring the cost right down compared with insuring for any driver. 

Make sure children who have left home are removed from the policy so you are not paying unnecessarily.

5. Don’t let young drivers use your car

For the cheapest premiums make sure no under-25s are on the policy. Naming young drivers will make your costs soar. 

Don’t, however, insure a car driven principally by a young driver in the name of an older driver such as a parent. This is known as “fronting” and is fraud.

If the car is insured in the younger driver’s name it is, however, quite in order to have an older driver named on the policy and could bring premiums down.

Fronting car insurance policies for your children

6. Pay your premium in a lump sum

Most insurers charge you more if you pay your premium in monthly installments. It is usually cheaper to pay your premium all at once

7. Fit an approved alarm, immobiliser or tracking device

Many insurers will give substantial discounts if you take steps to protect your car from thieves.

8. Take more driving lessons

Younger drivers or recent learners can benefit from the Pass Plus scheme, or you can take an advanced drivers’ course. These qualifications can give you discounts with some insurers.

Check before you sign up, however, as the savings may not be significant, depending on your circumstances.

Would you pass your driving test if you took it again? Find out with our quiz...

9. Use your garage

Garaging your car overnight or leaving it in a secure designated off-road parking spot can reduce premiums.

10. Buy one get one at a discount

You might be able to secure a significant discount if you insure more than one car with the same company. Check if your insurer offers a multi-car discount - but bear in mind that this has the potential to cause issues later down the line if one car is declared off-road before the insurance needs renewing. Check with your insurers carefully to avoid getting stung.

Annie Shaw

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11. Consider both comprehensive and third-party cover

If you are thinking about insuring just for third party, fire and theft because your car has a low value, make sure you check the price for comprehensive cover, too.

While you might save money by opting for third-party only, and replacing your car yourself if it gets written off, many insurers actually charge more for third-party cover. 

They believe that if you consider your car a wreck in the first place, you may be a more careless driver.

12. Restrict your mileage

If you use your car very little and have low mileage, get a low mileage discount. You may need to ask for it rather than it being offered, and remember that if you exceed the agreed figure you could invalidate your cover, but it’s worth making inquiries.

Consider telematics – “spy in the cab” technology – that monitors your driving, mileage and where and when you drive. It’s particularly good for younger drivers, but many over-50s are finding it useful, too, as a way of keeping premiums down.

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13. Find a specialist insurer

Insurance is usually cheaper for older drivers – until they get very old, when premiums soar again. 

If you are middle-aged and upwards, check out specialist insurers that cover older drivers – Saga is one.

14. Get a different car

Choose a model in a lower insurance bracket. If you are buying a new car, make sure you factor in the cost of insurance over the life of the car. 

Buying a model in a lower group could save you hundreds of pounds over the time you own the vehicle.

Do you know about the VED car tax changes due in 2017?

15. Move house

Much of the premium is determined by the postcode in which you live and its associated crime and accident rates. According to the AA, for the lowest premiums move to Scotland, where car insurance costs half that of the most expensive area of the UK, the North West of England.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.