Multi-buy discounts are great in supermarkets, but how do they work with car insurance? And could they really save you money?
Jump to: How multi-car insurance works | Drawbacks of multi-car cover | Shop around | Other ways to save
With so many insurance companies offering multi-car policies aimed at households which run a number of vehicles, how do you know if they’re right for you?
Government statistics show that around one in three homes now have more than one car. With the cost of car insurance rising over recent years, it's worth getting whatever discounts you can.
Multi-car insurance is sold on the basis that policyholders get a discount for signing up a number of vehicles. But bear in mind there's no guarantee that your combined premiums with such a deal will be the lowest you could find.
Multi-car policies can be a way for some families to save on the cost of cover. But before committing, you should compare individual quotes from a range of providers, to work out which is the best strategy for you.
How multi-car insurance works
Certain insurers offer groups of people who live at the same address the chance to insure all their vehicles under the same umbrella policy.
This means you only have one set of paperwork to complete, and a single renewal date each year. These policies apply even if the vehicles have different main and named drivers, provided all the vehicles are registered at the same address.
Typically, a multi-car policy will cover between two and five cars. From the insurer’s point of view, encouraging families or groups to get this type of cover brings in more business than if they each went with a different firm.
That's why companies are happy to offer discounts on what the group would pay if they each bought individual policies from the same provider.
Insurers say that some groups or families with several cars can save more than 20% on their insurance. However, discounts for homes with two drivers and two cars are likely to less favourable than this.
Drawbacks of multi-car cover
If you have several cars you'd like to put on a multi-car policy, chances are they all have different renewal dates. So the insurer will normally offer to add each car to the policy whenever it’s existing cover comes up for renewal.
You should be able to get prices for subsequent cars when you insure the first one. This will be honoured provided the details – such as their make of car, and whether they've made any claims – don't change.
Bear in mind that once all the cars' renewal dates are brought into line, the household will face a large one-off insurance bill at the same time every year.
This could cause cashflow problems if the premiums are being paid from the same salary; for example, if a father is paying for his own cover as well as that of his wife and children.
Don't assume that, just because you're getting a discount for a multi-car policy, this is the cheapest way of buying cover. It could still be cheaper if each driver gets their own cover from different providers.
For example, the company offering a multi-car policy may be especially expensive for young male drivers. So including your 18-year-old son on a group policy could turn out to be more costly even with a discount factored in.
Other ways to save on car insurance
Households with several cars are likely to have seen their insurance payments rise over recent years. But there are other ways you can try to keep a lid on car insurance costs:
Add a named driver - if one of your family’s drivers is young or inexperienced, adding a more experienced named driver, such as a parent, to the policy could result in a fall in premiums.
Increase your excess - you can cut your premiums by opting for a larger voluntary excess. If you agree to pay the first £250 of any claim rather than just the first £100, your policy could cost less.
Improve security - if your car is fitted with an alarm or immobiliser, it will be harder to steal. This should in turn lead to lower costing car insurance.
You can find more helpful tips for saving money in our guide, driving down the cost of car insurance.