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How to get cheaper car insurance

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The average cost of car insurance is £941, according to our car insurance price index*. With the cost of living continuing to rise, that can often be a difficult chunk of money to pay.

Let us share our secrets for getting cheaper car insurance with you.

Model car spilling out of a jar of money

Insurers can no longer charge loyal customers any more than a new customer for a like-for-like policy. This new insurance regulation came into force in January 2022.

This might make you think your insurance price won't go up at your renewal. This is not be the case.

Many factors affect the price of car insurance. According to our car insurance price index, the cost of car insurance rose by £338 compared to last year.

But even if your quote hasn't gone up, it's always worth shopping around to see if you could save on your car insurance.

And lucky for you, that's something we're good at.

Which day of the week is cheapest for car insurance?

Our data shows that insurance costs are at their lowest on a Monday, where the average price is £647*. The most expensive day is Saturday, where insurance costs are £695, on average*.

Of course, this could be because of a wide range of factors, and not necessarily caused by it being a particular day of the week.

If you can afford it, paying for your insurance in one go rather than monthly is one way to get cheaper car insurance.

Paying for your car insurance policy in monthly instalments might help you budget, but you pay more for the convenience.

That's because insurance companies always charge interest for spreading the cost of your cover over the year.

Our data shows that paying for your insurance annually costs £543, on average. This is 38% less than paying monthly, which costs £875, on average*.

Despite this, the difference between those who pay annually vs monthly is minimal. Only 55% of our customers pay annually, while 46% choose to pay monthly*.

Generally, the more miles you drive, the more likely you are to have an accident and make a claim. This means the higher your mileage, the more you pay for your car insurance.

So, driving fewer miles can be a great way to save money on your car insurance policy.

But don't assume that a low mileage always means low prices. If you barely drive at all, your insurance company could see that as a risk as well.

The trick is not under- or over-estimating your mileage. Check your odometer and get the real figure. You could even compare your last 2 MOT reports for a rough idea of how many miles you drive each year.

If you want a rough figure, our data shows that the average annual mileage is 6,619 miles*

How do I check my mileage on my MOT?

Enter your registration at the government's MOT checking service and select 'MOT history'. Take the mileage readings from the last 2 years, deduct one from the other and you have your annual mileage.

The harder it is to steal your car, the less of a risk it is. This usually means cheaper car insurance.

There are several ways to improve your car security including:

  • Installing a Thatcham-approved car alarm or immobiliser. Most cars made after 1997 have an engine immobiliser and alarm fitted as standard.
  • Adding secondary levels of security like a steering lock.
  • Parking overnight in a secure, well-lit car park.
  • Considering a tracker device to recover your car if it’s stolen.

A telematics (black box) policy calculates your insurance costs based on how, when and how much you drive.

There might be some restrictions on how you use your car with a black box, though. For example, driving curfews or mileage caps. But if you drive safely and responsibly and avoid late-night driving, you may get cheaper car insurance prices.

If you're only using your car to drive to the shops, you don't need a policy that covers commuting. Likewise, if you start using your car to make deliveries on the weekend, you might need car insurance that includes business use.

What class of use you go for has an impact on the price you pay. But it's important to be honest about how you use your car, otherwise your may find that any future claims are rejected.

If you only need to drive your car occasionally, you might want to think about temporary car insurance. You can insure your car from anything from an hour to 28 days and it's quick to arrange.

Some people assume that your car insurance will be cheaper if you go for a third-party, fire and theft policy rather than fully comprehensive car insurance.

This isn't always true,. In fact third-party insurance can often be more expensive. This is because higher risk drivers often go for this level of cover, assuming it's the cheapest option, without shopping around.

Your car insurance excess is what you'd have to pay out if you made a claim.

You can't change your compulsory excess, but you can change your voluntary excess. Increasing your voluntary excess can help you get cheaper car insurance, but you need to make sure you can afford to pay it, if you need to claim.

Your job affects your lifestyle, which affects how you drive. Even if you don't drive as part of your job, it could still have an impact.

An office worker, for example, might only drive their car to work and back on the 9-5 commute. But someone who does security at a nightclub might drive in a busy city centre at unsociable hours.

From an insurer's point of view, the office worker is much less likely to claim on their car insurance.

There are also many ways to describe the same job, and different insurance companies might use slight variations of similar job titles.

This means your price could change depending on the specific job title you use. So it’s worth looking at the most relevant variations to see how it could impact your price.

Always make sure the job title you choose is an accurate reflection of the work you do though. Claim to do a different job and you risk invalidating your policy.

Sometimes, adding a named driver to your policy helps you get cheaper car insurance. This is most likely if your named driver is older and has more driving experience.

Adding several younger, inexperienced drivers could have the opposite effect. This is because they're higher risk and more likely to be involved in an accident.

If you've got a friend of family member on your policy and they don't drive your car, consider removing them. If they only need to use your car for a few days or hours at a time, they could get temporary car insurance instead.

Be careful that the person listed as the main driver actually does most of the driving. If not, you could be guilty of fronting.

Having a motoring conviction and points on your licence make you a bigger risk to insurers. So keep your licence clean if you want to get cheaper car insurance.

The DLVA keeps most points on your licence for 4 years. But insurance companies keep them on their records for 5 years.

And if you have more serious convictions such as drink-driving and driving without insurance, you could see that your options for cover are more restricted.

Every year you go without making a claim on your car insurance boosts your no-claims bonus (NCB).

The more bonus you gain, the bigger a discount you get when you buy your car insurance. Building up several years' of NCB could see your costs come down significantly.

Another option is to get a protected no-claims bonus. This is an add-on to your policy that allows you to make a certain number of claims without your no-claims bonus being affected. This comes at an extra cost, though and is usually available for drivers who have over 4 years' experience.

If you park your car on the road it's at a much greater risk of theft. This means that it's usually better to park it off road - in a secure garage or on the driveway. When you're away from home always go for secure and well-lit car park.

What our motor insurance expert says

"However, it's a common misconception that parking in a garage always makes your car insurance cheaper.

“Although it might be more secure from thieves, your car is more at risk of getting bumped when you drive in or out, as well as objects in the garage damaging your car.

"Depending on where you live, this option tends to be more expensive than parking on a driveway."

Generally, the closer you get to your renewal date, the more expensive other quotes could become.

You should get your renewal letter from your current insurance company around 3 weeks before the renewal date.

According to our research, the best time to buy your policy is 18 days before your renewal, where it costs £453, on average. But getting your insurance on your renewal day costs £930, on average*.

Your renewal letter should tell you what you paid for your car insurance last year, as well as what your policy will cost this year.

So act quickly. As soon as you get that renewal letter, shop around and compare quotes with the renewal price from your current insurer.

It only takes 5 minutes, but could save you hundreds of pounds.

Compare car insurance quotes

* Confused.com data. July 2022 - June 2023. Comprehensive policies only

* Confused.com car insurance price index, Q1 2024

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