Shopping around to get the best car insurance quote is just one of the ways to save money on cover. But there are a lot of misunderstandings about car cover that could mean you pay more than you need to. Let's debunk some myths once and for all.
Myth 1: You’re automatically insured to drive other cars if you have a comprehensive policy
This might be the case on some policies, but it doesn’t apply every time.
Driving-other-cars (DOC) cover is unlikely to be extended to the under-25s, and might also depend on your occupation.
The usual requirements to get DOC are:
- The other car must already have insurance
- You need to be 25 or over
- You can't be employed in the motor trade
- Your car needs to be in a roadworthy condition
- Your existing car insurance policy needs to be comprehensive
You shouldn't drive if you're not absolutely certain that you have DOC. If you don't have it, you could add yourself as a driver to the other car's policy.
Myth 2: Your renewal price is cheaper than the prices your insurer offers to new customers
Until now, car insurance renewal prices for new customers have often been calculated differently.
And it’s often been the existing, loyal customers who lost out.
But the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), introduced new rules to prevent insurers from penalising existing customers.
That still won’t necessarily mean you get a better deal by staying with your current insurer, though.
That’s why it’s worth comparing prices every time your car insurance is up for renewal – you might be able to grab a lower-priced policy as a new customer.
Compare car insurance quotes
Myth 3: Keeping your car in the garage means lower insurance costs
Oddly enough, this isn’t always the case.
In some cases, a car parked in a garage overnight could be riskier than parking it out in the street.
This is all down to statistics and how overnight parking rules impact car insurance costs.
For example, it could be that a particular area has a higher number of accidents due to people hitting their car while parking in a garage.
When comparing quotes, it's worth looking at the costs for garage and on-street parking, if you have both available.
Myth 4: Driving for business use means higher prices than social or commuting use
You'd be forgiven for thinking that using your car for your business might be more expensive than using it purely as a runaround.
But this isn’t always true. Some of the ways insurance companies evaluate how you use your car might initially appear to be counter-intuitive.
People who use their car for business might have more to lose if they damage their car.
They could be assumed to take better care of it than someone who just uses it for the school run, and so might not be charged more.
Remember that the 'class of use' is only one of several factors at play when working out your car insurance costs.
Myth 5: Once you reach 25 your premiums fall dramatically
It’s the golden age for young drivers everywhere – once you hit 25, you suddenly get cheap car insurance. But does car insurance go down at 25?
No. Although age is a key factor in working out prices, it’s just one of many factors that make up how much you pay.
Being older doesn't necessarily mean being wiser. A 25-year-old with a string of claims and speeding penalties is likely to pay more than a 21-year-old with a clean driving record.
Myth 6: Third-party cover is cheaper than comprehensive
It stands to reason that if you have a downgraded level of cover, you pay less for it, right? Is third party insurance actually cheaper?
Not always. Some insurers might actually raise prices for third-party only or third-party, fire and theft cover.
This could be because of the number of higher-risk drivers who sign up for these kinds of policies.
It's worth comparing them side-by-side to see how much you might pay and what features each policy offers.
Myth 7: Non-fault claims don’t affect your insurance costs
This is a weird one. You’d think that if an accident wasn’t your fault then the other person’s insurance would go up, but not yours.
In fact, statistics show that after having a non-fault claim you’re more likely to have a fault claim not long after.
As a result, you could see prices go up whenever you make a car insurance claim.
Myth 8: You’re always guaranteed a courtesy car if you have an accident
A courtesy car is likely to be subject to availability.
And in most cases it’s offered only if your car is repairable and taken to an insurer's approved mechanic.
If the car is stolen or written off, a courtesy car isn’t always provided.
At this point, you might wish you'd chosen a hire car add-on when taking out the policy.
Myth 9: You don’t have to tell your insurer about convictions that aren’t on your licence anymore
Most motoring convictions stay on your driving licence for 4 years.
But insurers ask if you’ve had any convictions within the last 5 years.
In some cases the conviction might no longer be valid, but you still need to declare that to your insurer.
So, if you had a speeding conviction 4 years ago. It might be no longer be on your licence but you still need to tell your insurer.
If it was 5 years ago, you don't need to tell them.
Myth 10: Your insurance covers you for any accident that you cause
This is usually the case, but not always. If you crashed and were convicted of drink-driving, your insurer could turn down your claim.
The same applies if you were negligent or caused the damage intentionally.