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Nobody enjoys paying for car insurance, but it’s not going away any time soon. It seems that we’re forced to jump through lots of hoops to get a quote, so the thought of getting quotes from different companies can be off putting.
Luckily, if you follow these proven tips, you should get a great quote the first time around:
1. Be creative with your job title
One of the factors that impacts your car insurance is your job title.
According to Money Supermarket (source), professional footballers, sportsmen and fast-food delivery drivers have the highest level of risk and therefore the highest premiums. Meanwhile, an invigilator, a newspaper delivery driver or being retired will result in the lowest premiums.
There is a set list of job titles you can choose between which allows for some degree of interpretation as you’re only able to find the closest match to your actual job.
We recommend using the car insurance job picker over on Money Saving Expert to find the best job title to use. They have analysed insurance quotes to find the best titles to pick.
Using this tool, we found the following example to demonstrate how it works.
Where a ‘driver’ pays £500 for their car insurance:
- A truck driver would pay £463.30
- a lorry driver would pay £409.64
- or a HGV driver would pay £309.83
You could argue that all of these would cover someone who drives a truck for a living, but by choosing HGV driver they could save almost £200 compared to simply saying ‘driver’.
2. Ask your existing insurer to price match a new quote
If you’re renewing your car insurance with the same provider, often they will price match a new quote if you call them up about it.
For example, if you’re with Tesco car insurance and receive a renewal quote from them. You can find a ‘new customer’ price on a price comparison website and they will match it, even as an existing customer.
3. Fit a Thatcham Research Group approved tracker
If you have an expensive car, it could be the target of theft with more than 14,000 premium models stolen last year (source). One way of reducing this risk is by installing a vehicle tracker.
Trackers will use either GPS or VHF signals to alert the owners of their whereabouts should they be stolen, this can also have a knock on effect to your insurance premium.
If you are planning to install a tracker, Direct Line recommend that it is approcved by the Thatcham research Group who set the standards for these devices if you want to receive any insurance benefit. (source)
These devices are expensive to buy and fit, but should pay for themselves over time and will prove invaluable if the worst happens and your vehicle is taken.
4. Use cashback websites (e.g. Top Cashback)
One of the best tips to reduce the total amount you have to pay for car insurance is using cashback websites.
You’ll earn the most cashback when you go direct to the insurer through your cashback link. This is because you’ll earn the referral commission that would usually go to comparison sites.
However, some comparison sites have special deals with the insurers which you could miss out on if you go direct. So you can use a cashback link to go to the comparison site and then on to the insurers website. You’ll get less cashback but a better deal.
I recommend Top Cashback as I’ve personally earnt £100’s in cashback from insurance companies and other purchases.
5. Get black box insurance – best for young drivers
Blackbox insurance (also called a telematics box) is common with younger drivers and involves having a box fitted to your car that monitors your driving.
With some insurers, the black box works in companion with an app that gives you a score after each journey, whereas others will just report back to your insurer.
If you’re driving is bad, your insurer may charge you extra fees or cancel your insurance entirely. Whereas, if your driving is good then you may be rewarded with lower premiums in future too.
6. Fit a dash cam
One piece of aftermarket car tech that’s growing in popularity is the trusty Dashcam. These devices are no longer the grainy, shaky footage they once were. The addition of 4K dashcams to the market, along with GPS tracking, slow motion replays and other high end features provide invaluable proof in the event of any collision which could save an insurer paying out when unnecessary.
For this reason, some insurers are offering a discounted premium to dashcam owners and GoCompare have even added the option of a dashcam when comparing quotes. Here are the UK insurers offering discuntf at the tioem of writing:
- Axa – 10%
- Swift Cover – 12.5%
- Adrian Flux – up to 15%
- Admiral, Diamond and Elephant
7. Add an experienced named driver
If you’re considered a high-risk driver, adding a named driver with more experience to your policy can often bring the entire premium down. This could be a parent, partner or older sibling.
You’ll need to ensure that you are truthful about who the main driver of the vehicle is, being dishonest about this can be considered fraudulent.
8. Get your quote at least 8 days before the start date
Did you know that the closer to your policy start date that you are, the more expensive your car insurance premium would be?!
According to Money Supermarket (source) the sweet spot to get a quote is 8 days before your renewal date. By getting a quote at least 8 days in advance, motorists can save around 14% compared to a quote the day before you want it to start.
9. Calculate your mileage accurately
Your mileage will be a major factor in the price of your insurance quote. Think of it like this, someone driving 10,000 miles will be on the road twice as much as someone driving 5,000 miles per year. So they have twice the risk.
In the above example, you won’t necessarily pay half the price when you reduce your annual mileage because insurance also covers your car when it’s not being driven, but you can expect a significant decrease.
Remember that your mileage is recorded on your MOT certificate each year so if you are dishonest, it could be found out and your insurance could become invalid. Make sure you are honest and accurate.
10. Pay by the mile
If your mileage varies or you can’t accurately predict it, some newer and more innovative insurance companies are offering pay by the mile insurance.
One such company is By Miles, they claim to be the cheaper option for anyone who drives less than 7,000 miles per year.
Using a tracker that is fitted to your car via the OBD2 port, they monitor your mileage and adjust your direct debit each month according to how many miles you drove.
There are fixed fees to keep in mind, this covers the car whilst it’s stationery, after that you only need to cover a mileage fee which could be around 3p.
11. Take the Pass Plus qualification
Taking an additional driving qualification after passing your test can impact your premium. A popular example of this is Pass Plus which is a government scheme.
There is no additional test for pass plus, but you must complete various modules where you’ll drive in different situations such as in built up areas, rural areas, at night and on the motorway.
Unfortunately the course itself is quite expensive at £100-150 however the Scottish and Welsh government, as well as many local councils have schemes to get it cheaper, often you’ll pay as little as £20. Check here to see if your council has a scheme.
12. Increase your voluntary excess
Once you’ve put in all of your car insurance details, one of the final levels you can pull to get a better quote is to adjust your voluntary excess.
Your excess is what you’ll have to pay your insurance company in the event that you make a claim against your insurance. The voluntary excess is on top of the compulsory excess, the higher your excess the cheaper your policy will be.
But, remember that you’ll have to fork out extra if you claim. For example, if your compulsory excess is £250 and your voluntary excess is £300. In the event that you cause £1000 worth of damage, you’ll end up paying £550 before your insurers pay out.
Bonus Tip: Buy breakdown cover separately
It can seem like an easy add on to put a tick in a box and your breakdown cover is sorted for the year. But that convenience comes at a cost and you’ll likely pay over the odds or get a substandard plan.