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How to cut your car insurance costs

How to cut your car insurance costs

A motorist has been quoted more than £1 million to insure his ten-year old Corsa.

Newspaper reports revealed that 27-year-old Rhys Barker was told that he would have to stump up £1.2 million to insure the car he had just bought second-hand for £1,400 by Zenith Insurance.

Thankfully, not all insurers want to charge us quite such astronomical amounts to unsure your car.

Falling premiums

Car insurance premiums have fallen by nearly 10% over the last year, a record drop, according to the AA. The average cost of a comprehensive policy decreased from £659.53 in July 2012 to £594.86 in July 2013. However, insurance policies still cost double the amount they did just six years ago.

With that in mind, it's important that you do whatever you can to keep your car insurance costs as low as possible. Here are 25 ways to cut your car insurance costs this year. Be warned: some are more extreme than others!

1) Change your job title

The less risky your job, the lower your premium. As long as you still accurately describe your occupation, you can change your job title with your car insurer and your policy will still be valid.

2) Downgrade your car

Cheaper cars with smaller engines cost less to insure. Rare, expensive cars cost more!

3) Increase your excess

The higher the excess, the less you should pay in premiums.

4) Shop around for the best quotes

Competition is fiercest among car insurers for new customers, so don’t automatically renew. Why not give the Yahoo Finance car insurance engine a spin?

5) Ask your existing insurer to beat the best quote you’ve found

It doesn’t cost you anything to ask, and it’s less hassle than switching.

6) Trim off any extras you don’t need

Why pay for ‘free car hire’ while your car is being fixed, if you don’t need it?

7) Add a second driver

If the additional driver won’t actually use the car, this can bring the premiums down.

8) Get married

Married drivers pay less as they are statistically seen as more ‘stable’.

9) Move in with your partner

Again, those in a stable relationship are seen as less risky drivers, and pay less.

10) Gather your quotes 28 days and one day before renewal

Quotes are often valid for 28 days. That way, if prices go up just before your renewal date, you can revert to your original quote.

11) Broaden your search

Aviva and Direct Line don’t appear on any car insurance price comparison websites so you need to go direct to these insurance providers to compare quotes.

12) Consider a ‘pay as you drive’ scheme

Some schemes, such as AA Drivesafe, fit a special device to your car so the insurer knows how much you drive it. The less you drive, particularly at risky times (eg night-time), the less you pay!

13) Park your car off-road or in a garage

This means your car is less likely to be stolen, so is less risky to insure.

[Ten cars that hold their value]

14) Make the car more secure

Adding an immobiliser, alarm and tracker to your car will also reduce the risk of it being stolen, and bring down your premiums.

15) Spend less on hire car insurance

Get car hire excess insurance and reduce your excess that way, rather than buying an expensive add-on from a car hire firm.

16) Get a multi-car discount

Some insurers such as Admiral, Privilege and Direct Line will give you a discount if the same person insures more than one car.

17) Pay for your insurance upfront

Insurers will charge you as much as 20% extra if you want to pay off your premium in monthly instalments.

18) Get a 0% on purchases card

Pay upfront for your insurance using the market-leading 0% purchases card and you’ll be able to pay it off gradually without being charged any interest.

19) Take an advanced driving course.

Taking the Pass Plus training course could shave as much as 30% off your car insurance premium.

20) Reduce your cover

If you drive an old banger that’s on its last legs, opt for third party cover rather than comprehensive cover.

21) Declare whether you’ve made any claims

If you haven’t claimed on your car insurance for a year, you’ll earn a no-claims bonus which can help to bring your premium down.

22) Avoid modifications.

Adding spoilers, alloy wheels or boosting the engine size is likely to increase your premium.

23) Accurately assess the value of your car

When getting quotes, make sure you don’t overestimate the value of the car or you will end up paying too high a premium.

24) Buy online.

You usually pay less if you buy your car insurance on the internet, rather than over the phone.

25) Impose a mileage limit on yourself

You can lower your premium by sticking to a mileage limit.

[Compare car insurance quotes and see if you can save]

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