Trying to find the best deal for your car insurance drives everyone to despair.
But with premiums soaring, finding small ways to keep costs down has never been more important.
New research found that average car insurance premiums have risen nearly 50 percent in the last year – and millennials and the elderly are hit hardest.
In a chat with The Sun, Ryan Fulthorpe, an insurance expert at , said Go.Comparerevealed why Brits are paying more for their car insurance.
He says: “The recent increase is in response to the increasing costs insurers face when they have to pay for claims. The cost of all claims relating to auto parts, labour, materials, energy and running costs has increased and unfortunately these costs are now being passed on to motorists.
But luckily, with these clever tips, you can avoid the record high prices and lower the premiums.
29 day rule
Ryan believes it’s crucial to get a handle on the search for new business and not put it off until the last minute.
“Go.Compare did some research and found that the cheapest time to get your insurance is 29 days after the renewal date,” he explains.
“The price increases as you get closer to your renewal date. So if you buy on your renewal date or just the day before, you’re likely to pay a significant amount more than you actually would.” Purchase within 29 days.
“For some people, it could just be their memory or what’s going on in their life at that point.
“Having car insurance is not at the top of everyone’s list, but as it is a legal requirement and can be quite expensive, we always want to say that you should try to reduce costs.”
Ryan believes that going for the first offer is never a good idea as you may come across a much cheaper option.
He explains: “What you get from your insurer at the time of your renewal may not be the cheapest premium available to you.”
“Also, your insurance coverage may change, so it’s best to use a comparison site or shop around to find the best premium.”
“If I use Go.Compare as an example, we’re giving away a £250 deductible on the policies we’ve bought ourselves. In the worst case, it could end up in your pocket.”
Many customers depend on expensive car insurance for the little things when filling out their forms.
Paying close attention to the information you give out can help ensure you are not paying more than you should.
Ryan explains, “An example of this is if you want to park your car in a driveway, be sure to say so and don’t say you’ll be parking on the street overnight because it could be more expensive.”
“Look for more flexible options that are available to you that could reduce costs.”
Describe your job carefully
Ryan continues, “Another thing to look out for is the profession. We always recommend doing the right job, but there are different jobs for the same career that could yield a cheaper insurance premium.”
“An example could be a chef and a chef – look around for what could possibly be cheaper. Another example would be that a fashion photographer might have a higher premium than a nature photographer.”
“That’s because of the high level of risk that comes with being a fashion photographer, as you may be visiting expensive sets and working closely with models.”
“Maybe you have them in your car. If you want to film the local wildlife, you are less likely to face a costly compensation claim.”
It is extremely important to provide accurate mileage information as this can make a huge difference in the estimates you receive.
Ryan says, “A lot of people pick a random number of miles, say, 10,000, for what they want to do over the next 12 months, when in reality they could only do 7,000.”
“So it’s just a matter of making sure you can predict your future mileage more accurately. The best way to check this is your recent MOT.”
“There you can see how many kilometers you have covered and based on your activities over the next year you can estimate whether you think you can cover more or less.
“It’s important to limit mileage to a more accurate measure.”
Don’t pimp your vehicle
Perhaps you saw “Pimp My Ride” on MTV and were in awe of all the possible additions and modifications a car can have.
However, Ryan advises avoiding surcharges at all costs if you want to pay less for your car insurance.
He says: “It could make it more attractive for criminals to steal items. It could also mean that you are more likely to be involved in an accident as a result of an act.”
“Things like adding alloy wheels, body kits and performance upgrades can make your car significantly more expensive for insurers.”
types of coverage
Knowing what type of insurance coverage you need before you buy car insurance can save you thousands of pounds.
“If you’re a younger driver, is telematics insurance better for you?” says Ryan.
Telematics – or “black box” insurance – means there is a device installed in your car that can monitor your driving style and habits.
Ryan continues: “If you’re a more experienced driver that might mean you’re doing fewer miles now, especially since Covid. Is a pay-per-mile option better for you?”
“Then you actually only pay for what you drive and when the car is parked on your driveway – and you don’t have comprehensive insurance.”
“Make sure you have adequate coverage without charging more than necessary.
“Do you need breakdown cover or do you already have it through your bank? Rather than potentially paying twice, you end up paying for only what you need.”
While this option may not be feasible for everyone, Ryan says it’s best to pay in an annual lump sum rather than monthly installments.
“Paying annually means you don’t incur any interest charges that you probably would if you paid monthly,” he says.
“If you can’t do that because you don’t have the cash in the bank, you might look at a 0% interest credit card.”
“That could be a good way to pay annually and keep costs down.”
Increase your voluntary deductible
This is the amount you are willing to pay for your car insurance claim. It is a different amount from the amount that is mandatory for your insurance.
“I would only advise that if you have the money in the bank because you never know when an accident could happen,” says Ryan.
“Increasing your voluntary deductible could lower your base premium, meaning you would have to pay less each month.
“Should you not have to make a claim, you would not have to pay out this voluntary deductible.”
Add additional drivers
While this isn’t always a guarantee that your premium will go down, it can help in some cases.
If a younger driver adds a nominated driver who is older and has more experience on the road, the cost could be reduced.
However, if an experienced motorist adds someone to their policy who has just passed their test, insurers may see them as a higher risk.
Ryan says: “It can vary from case to case. Some insurers might see more people driving the car and make it cheaper, but vice versa it could be the opposite.”
“It’s definitely something to pursue.”
Car owners bear the costs of labour, energy and car parts, which drives up premiums