2.7 million motorists downsize their vehicles

Friday 6 March 2009

2.7 million motorists downsize their vehicles

  • Over a quarter of motorists put wheels in motion to save money on their car cover
  • March is the busiest month for buying motor insurance

March is the peak season for buying motor insurance and for many people insuring their car is their most expensive monthly insurance outlay, with the average motorist spending £31 a month to financially protect themselves in the event of an accident. But to help ease increasingly tight monthly budgets, over a quarter of motorists (27%) have taken steps to reduce the cost of their policy whilst ensuring they are still legally covered, reveals research by Saga Motor Insurance*.

Almost one in ten (8%) money-savvy motorists - 2.7 million drivers** - have increased their voluntary excess in order to reduce their monthly premium. A further 8% have downsized to a car with a smaller engine, enabling them to lower their monthly insurance bill as well as reducing their petrol and tax costs. An additional 4% of motorists have removed named drivers from their policy.

The average monthly car insurance spend for over 50s is around 10 per month lower than those aged under 50, however exactly the same proportion of over 50s are taking steps to cut their motoring premiums as the younger generation.

Rather worryingly, one in twenty (5%) drivers has removed optional extras from their insurance, such as breakdown cover or legal expenses, in a bid to streamline their spending. However this can prove to be a false economy, considering the average person breaking down without cover, pays almost 90 to have their vehicle recovered***.

Despite the potential savings three quarters (73%) of drivers haven’t taken any steps, however simple, to try and cut the cost of their premiums.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive, Saga Group, commented: “Many more people could be taking some simple steps to reduce the cost of their car insurance. Remembering to update your car insurance policy as your needs change can help save money on monthly premiums at a time when many people are looking to reign in their spending. However it’s important to ensure the quality of the cover isn’t compromised and the policy still meets all your needs.”

Take a few easy steps to reduce your motor insurance premium:

  • Increasing your excess can reduce your premium, but make sure you agree to an excess that you will be able to pay if you make a claim.
  • Ramp up security - parking the vehicle in a garage or even on the drive rather than the street can reduce the risk of theft and therefore often reduce the premium.
  • Make sure you are insured for the correct number of miles - if you are insured to drive 12,000 miles, when in reality you only drive 3,000 a year then you are probably paying too much.
  • If your spouse/partner also drives your vehicle, make sure they are named on the policy. Most insurers will offer a cheaper premium to insure the driver and spouse rather than just the driver.
  • Only insure the people who will definitely be driving your car. Rather than including cover for any other driver on your policy, which can be expensive, name the actual drivers who will regularly use your vehicle.
  • Make sure you are insured for the right use of your vehicle. If you don't use your vehicle to commute to work some insurers offer a separate category, purely for social domestic and pleasure, which is cheaper.
  • If you are planning on taking a summer holiday, which involves you driving on mainland Europe, make sure you choose a provider who offers this cover as standard.
  • If you are taking out your own insurance for the first time after driving a company car for many years, there are providers out there who will offer you a No Claim Discount for the equivalent amount of years you have driven your company car claim free.
  • Over-50? Get a Saga Car Insurance quote online and you could save up to 20% on your first year's premium.


*Analysis carried out by Opinium Research on an online poll of 2,050 British adults between 17th to 19th February 2009.

8% of motorists have downsize their car to save on reduce their insurance premiums. **8% of 33.7 millions motorists in the UK (Department of Transport) = 2,696,000 motorists

*** Figures provided by the AA

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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