The fastest rise in the cost of living for a decade is going to put more pressure on hard-pressed families this year, so saving money on day-to-day expenses is all the more important.
Fortunately, when it comes to motoring insurance there are straightforward ways to keep costs down. Car insurance comparison website Quotezone.co.uk offers some handy tips to save the pounds:
Check your mileage
When taking out insurance, you will be asked to estimate your annual mileage. The costs will rise in incremental bands so the more miles you drive, the more you pay.
Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, says: “If you have changed your driving habits significantly – for example, if you are now working from home instead of driving to the office – tell your insurer as you may be able to reduce your premium. However, do allow for unexpected trips and be aware that deliberately underestimating your mileage could invalidate your insurance.”
Park in a safe place
Car owners that make use of their garages, driveways or carports for overnight parking can make big savings on their car insurance. Quotezone.co.uk’s own figures, based on 850,000 premiums, show that motorists that park on driveways rather than on the road save over £140 on average every year. Carport owners can do even better, with savings coming in at £230 on average.
Avoid penalty points
Penalty points on your licence may not only result in a steep fine but will also bump up your insurance costs too. Drivers can expect premiums to rise by 5% for three points and 25% for six points if they’re starting from a clean licence. “Insurers don’t like risk and see penalty points as a cause for concern, so premiums will increase and drivers will have to wait four years until the points are spent and the additional cost no longer applies.” For those drivers that have six points or more, which might be making motoring hard to pay for, specialist policies are available.
Consider switching to a smaller engine
Choosing a less powerful car could save money on your insurance premiums. “From an insurer’s point of view, the more powerful the engine, the more likely the vehicle is to be driven faster, potentially leading to speeding and accidents. Bigger engines are also more likely to rack up bigger repair bills and be more attractive to thieves,” adds Greg Wilson.
Keep modifications to a minimum
It comes as no surprise that adding a turbocharger or putting in more powerful brakes might cause insurance premiums to rise, but even seemingly innocuous changes such as adding branding to a vehicle can affect the cost. However, if you do make modifications, be sure to tell your insurer or it could make the policy invalid.
Consider a black box
Young drivers or those with many points might be able to get cheaper insurance by opting for a telematics policy, or black box insurance as it’s often known. Greg continues: “The black box measures speed, acceleration and breaking and other criteria which can show insurers that individual motorists are safer drivers than their age, experience or driving records might suggest. However, some of these policies can be restrictive in terms of where and when you are allowed to drive so they might not be the right option for everyone.”
Shop around for insurance
Car insurance is competitive and it’s always worth shopping around to get the best deals. Even a few minutes on an insurance comparison website could reveal significant savings and additional benefits.
Greg concluded, “At a time when many are facing steep hikes in essential spending, there are still ways to substantially reduce motoring insurance costs with little effort, so it’s worth reviewing insurance policies and finding where savings could be made.”
Quotezone.co.uk compares prices for young driver insurance, modified car insurance and electric car insurance, helping around 3 million users every year with over 400 insurance brands across 60 different products.
Drivers have a short window to save on their car insurance by shopping around for the cheapest deal, according to the latest insight from comparethemarket.com, before premiums are likely to rise sharply across all providers later this month.
The cost of car insurance has recently rocketed as many insurers have hiked premiums for new customers following the introduction of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) pricing regulations on 1 January 2022.
Despite the new regulation, some insurers have not yet hiked premiums and are even choosing to decrease their existing prices in the short term potentially to attract new customers. However, these providers are expected to increase prices for new customers very shortly.
Motorists therefore have a brief period of time to save hundreds of pounds before the remaining insurers finalise their prices for new customers.
This means there are still substantial savings available to motorists who switch soon, but any savings are likely to be smaller in the coming months.
The average annual car insurance premium has already risen by £43 year-on-year in the first week of January. The average premium for the first week of January 2022 is £680 – significantly more than the average for January 2021 which stood at £636.
The new FCA rules prevent insurers from offering discounts exclusively to new customers. While the regulations will benefit existing customers by ensuring they are not penalised for loyalty, many insurers have chosen to increase premiums for new customers following the regulations coming into force.