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Experts reveal the small things you can do to keep the cost of car insurance down

These handy tips could help you to keep the cost of your cover under control

Maryam Zakir-Hussain
Friday 19 January 2024 09:41 GMT
Martin Lewis warns motorists one thing 'to never do' with car insurance

As the average cost of car insurance in the UK has hit a record high of nearly £1,000 after premiums skyrocketed by 58 per cent in a year, an expert gives advice on the crucial changes you can make to bring the costs down.

Anthony Forchione, senior insurance analyst at consumer help website MoneySavingExpert, says that planning and gathering various quotes can prove worthwhile.

He says: “The big main rule is to not auto-renew until you have checked if you can get the right policy cheaper, especially as many policies are automatically set up to auto-renew.”

Checking you’re registered at the right address to vote may not be the first thing that springs to mind when taking out car insurance, but Forchione explains why this could be key.

“First off, make sure you are on the electoral roll at the correct address,” he says.

“If not, the insurer’s fraud system may think it is not a legitimate enquiry and quote a higher price, or may not even provide a quote.

“Choosing the right time to look for car insurance is key, too. Analysis has shown that 23 days ahead of when your car insurance needs to start is usually the cheapest time to buy.”

The average cost of car insurance in the UK has hit a record high (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Leave it until the day you need it, and insurers may think you are unorganised and rushing, he says.

But, on the other hand, if you try to buy it 30-plus days in advance, not everyone may have set their prices, so, potentially, fewer insurers will offer quotes.

Forchione continues: “We analysed over 70 million quotes and found the average quote made on the day of renewal was £1,198, or £694 23 days earlier – a huge saving of £504.

“Also, think comprehensive, not third party only – as more insurers are likely to give a comprehensive quote instead of the lesser third-party-only cover, and possibly think you really do care about the car by wanting maximum protection.

“We have also seen a saving can be made by adding a responsible experienced driver – as insurers usually like it, as the risk who will drive the car is likely to be shared.”

Planning and gathering various quotes can prove worthwhile when looking to save money on car insurance (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

But he cautions: “Never add someone as main driver if they’re not – this is known in the industry as ‘fronting’ and is fraud. If you do it and are caught, you can face a criminal conviction and your insurance will likely be invalid.

“It is also worth using at least two comparison sites to source quotes – as they can list different insurers, and even prices with the same insurer. Maybe tweak your job title – by using an insurance job-picker tool – to see if another job title for the same job can cut your cost. Whatever you do, always be honest and truthful.”

Once you have found the right policy at the right price, how you pay for it often makes a difference.

Forchione explains: “If you choose to pay by monthly instalments, it is essentially a high-interest loan, and can vary from under 20%, to over 40% APR (annual percentage rate).”

To keep the cost down, he suggests using a credit card with a lower interest rate to pay the full amount, or better still, a 0% credit card for spending, ensuring repayments on the card are big enough to clear the total within a year.

“Trying these few important steps should help you know if you are currently on a good deal or can save big as a new customer,” he adds.

Read more on car insurance quotes

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