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Driving down the cost of car insurance

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How to keep the cost of car insurance to a minimum

At Confused.com we strive to find the some of the best cheap car insurance deals on the internet. We go to UK car insurance providers directly, and several of these providers also have their own insurance partners, so customer details are also entered with them to return even more quotes. We have saved hundreds of thousands of motorists money since 2002, and have devised this guide to help you find high quality, cheap car insurance.

How cheap your car insurance is depends on a number of factors:

  • What car you drive
  • What security you have
  • Who owns and drives your vehicle
  • How you use your car
  • The type of cover you choose

What car you drive

Small cars mean cheap car insurance

Your car's value, type and engine size all make a difference to your premium. Generally, the smaller the car, the lower the cost and therefore the lower the premium. In short, a smaller car means cheaper car insurance quotes.

Ways to qualify for cheaper car insurance:
  • Choose a car you can afford to run - the higher the car insurance group, the higher the premium.
  • Make sure the car is fitted with up-to-date security systems.
  • Be clear on who owns and drives your vehicle.
  • Tell your insurance provider how you use your car.
  • Get the type of cover and the mileage correct when filling in your details.
  • The higher the voluntary excess, the lower the premium is likely to be.
Is the car an import?

Cars that have been imported privately attract higher premiums as parts can often be harder to find and are therefore more expensive. If you do buy an imported car, you stand more chance of getting cheap car insurance if it is a UK-specification model.

What security you have

Enhanced security means cheaper car insurance

Enhanced security on a car such as an alarm, an immobiliser or a tracker means it is less likely to be stolen or broken into - this means UK insurance providers are more likely to offer you a cheaper car insurance quote.

Alarms, immobilisers and trackers can all help you to get cheap car insurance cover:

Alarms

Fitting a car alarm is a good way to qualify for a cheap car insurance premium. Car alarms are a good criminal deterrent to protect your car and valuables like your stereo. Once activated, the alarm will sound if the car is jolted heavily, if the doors are opened or the windows are smashed. The latest alarms also come with a pager to alert you if they are activated.

Immobilisers

An immobiliser is an electronic device which prevents a car from being started until it has been deactivated. Although this won't stop a car from being broken into, it may stop it from being stolen.

Trackers

If your car is stolen, it has a better chance of being recovered if you have fitted a tracker device. Trackers are a great way to get cheap car insurance. If your car is in the UK, the police can recover it by following the tracker signal back to its source.
How to tell what sort of alarm, immobiliser or tracker system is fitted to your car

Most newer cars (those built after 1997) are fitted with an alarm and immobiliser as standard. Manufacturers will have given this information to insurers to help them provide accurate car insurance quotes.

If your car is older, you will need to find out the make and model of your alarm in order to get a quote. You should have the details with the car's paperwork. Trackers are mostly fitted by owners as an extra and don't often come as standard.

Who owns and drives your vehicle

The difference between owners and registered keepers

When shopping for cheap car insurance, quotes can be higher if the owner of a vehicle is not the same person as the registered keeper. For example, if you drive a company car or if you own the car but your children drive it. This is particularly important when looking for a quote online as most internet quotations require the owner and registered keeper to be the same person (or partners).

How you use your car

It is important to tell your insurer how you use your car. If you give the wrong use, for example, say you only use you car for commuting and then have an accident while on the way to a business meeting, the insurer will not pay out. Car insurance firms will let you add business use when you need it for a small fee.

Types of use

When compiling cheap car insurance quotes, brokers rate your car under one of four categories of use. Cars which only have social, domestic or pleasure-related uses tend to qualify for cheap car insurance as the more the car is used, the higher the premium will be.

Social, domestic and pleasure

This covers drivers for normal day-to-day driving, such as a visit to family, friends or to go shopping.

Commuting

This covers a drive to and from the normal place of work and includes travelling and parking at a railway station.

Business use

This covers using your car in connection with your job, such as driving to different sites away from your place of work.

Commercial travelling

This covers the car to be used for such things as door-to-door sales.

The type of cover you choose

It is important you buy the right type of cover for your needs, otherwise the insurance provider might not pay out if you need to make a claim. The different types of cover include:

Third party

Third party insurance covers any claim by third parties but does not cover damage to your car. This is good budget car insurance but you will have to pay to repair your car yourself.

Third party, fire and theft

Third party, fire and theft covers fire and theft of the car and any claim by third parties.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive car insurance covers accidental damage to the vehicle in addition to fire and theft and any claim by third parties. It is more expensive than budget car insurance covering only third parties.

Other tips

Use your voluntary excess to lower your premiums

The excess is the first part of a claim that is paid by you. You can get your money back if the claim is deemed 'non-fault' by your insurer. By increasing the amount you will pay in voluntary excess, you can lower your premiums.

Keep your car safe overnight

Leaving your car parked in a driveway or garage is sometimes deemed to be safer than leaving it on the roadside and this could also help to lower your premiums.


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