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Car insurance NI

Compare cheap car insurance for Northern Ireland

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How much does car insurance in NI cost?

Our latest car insurance price index shows the average comprehensive policy price for drivers in Northern Ireland is £594**. Although that’s only £40 higher than the UK average, Northern Ireland is the fourth most expensive region outside of London.

Car insurance prices in Northern Ireland have increased by 12% over the last 12 months.

**Confused.com Q2 2022 price index data

Why is car insurance in NI so expensive?

Car insurance in NI is typically higher than other regions in the UK. This is because there are fewer insurers in the market compared to mainland UK. This brings competition down – resulting in higher car insurance quotes for drivers in Northern Ireland.

There are a few other reasons why drivers in Northern Ireland may pay more for their car insurance. One of these is that there's more driving on rural roads meaning annual mileage is likely to be higher.

Faced with high NI car insurance costs, it makes more sense than ever to shop around and compare quotes from several car insurance providers.

How can I get cheap car insurance in NI?

NI car insurance companies take several factors into consideration when calculating car insurance prices. Here are a few tips which could help you cut the cost of your NI car insurance:

  • Avoid auto renewal
  • Time it right
  • Add an experienced driver
  • Black box insurance
  • Increase your voluntary excess
  • Improve security
  • No-claims bonus (NCB)
  • Avoiding auto renewal and shopping around is the easiest way to save money. If you’ve had your car insurance renewal, we guarantee to beat your renewal1, and if we don’t, we’ll pay the difference plus £20.
  • Time it right. Leaving it too late to get your NI car insurance could mean you pay more than if you get it earlier. Our data shows you’ll usually see the cheapest prices around 3 weeks2 before you need the policy to start. Don’t worry if you’ve missed that window, as there are still savings to be had.
  • Add an experienced driver to help bring costs down. Adding an experienced driver means you’ll share the time spent driving. But remember, you must always name the person who drives the most as the main driver. Otherwise, you’re committing an act of fraud called fronting, which is illegal and could invalidate your policy.
  • Black box insurance is usually a good option for younger or less experienced drivers. Insurers track your driving using an app on your phone or a small device fitted to your car and offer prices based on your driving habits. If you drive safely, without harsh braking or excessive acceleration and within speed limits. you should be able to cut the cost of your car insurance.
  • Increase your voluntary excess. Agreeing to pay a higher car insurance excess when you claim is any easy way to reduce your costs. This is the amount that you contribute to the cost of any claim you make, so it's important to make sure you can afford it.
  • Improve security on your car by fitting a security device such as an alarm or immobiliser. Making your car harder to steal could reduce the cost of your insurance. Considering where you keep your car parked at night can also help.
  • No-claims bonus (NCB). If you stay claim-free for a year you can build up an NCB and start to benefit from lower prices. Each year without a claim adds another year and increases the discount insurers offer you.
1. Must be a like-for-like policy. T&Cs apply.
2. Based on Confused.com car insurance data 1 September - 15 November 2021

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Does UK car insurance cover you in NI?

Your UK car insurance policy should cover you to drive in Northern Ireland, but it's important to check the details of your policy first.

As Northern Ireland is a part of the UK, you should get the same level of cover that you'd get if you were driving in Wales, Scotland or England.

What do I need to get a NI car insurance quote?

Before you apply for car insurance in Northern Ireland, make sure you have the following information to hand:

Personal details:

  • Your occupation
  • Previous claims or accidents from the last 5 years
  • Additional driver details for anyone you want as a named driver
  • Your driving licence type and number
  • The number of years no-claims-bonus you have
  • Any claims and convictions from the last 5 years

Car details:

  • The registration or make and model of your car
  • Any additional modifications, excluding tow hitches
  • Estimated annual mileage

Compare cheap car insurance for Northern Ireland

Can I cross between NI and the Republic of Ireland (ROI)?

You should be able to cross the border into the Republic of Ireland from NI without any problems, so long as you have an up-to-date certificate of insurance.

Most NI car insurance companies include annual cover for up to 90 days in the Republic of Ireland. This is usually automatically included on your policy, so you might not need European coverif you do drive across the border. It's worth checking whether the level of cover offered matches your policy in NI, as some policies might be third-party only.

The length of cover varies between insurance providers - some offer 90 days, some offer 60 days. Check with your chosen provider for clarification. You don't need to carry a green card to drive in the Republic of Ireland as it's part of the EU.

Am I covered for ferry crossings to NI?

Not all car insurance providers offer cover for ferry crossings as standard on their policies. It's best to check the T&Cs of the policy to see whether a policy covers ferry crossings and what you can claim for.

Popular ferry crossings to NI from mainland UK include:

  • Holyhead - Belfast
  • Cairnyan - Belfast and Larne
  • Douglas - Belfast
  • Liverpool Birkenhead - Belfast

What our car insurance expert says

Car insurance in Northern Ireland has generally been more expensive compared with the rest of the UK. And with the cost of NI car insurance going up by 12% since last year, it's more important than ever to compare car insurance quotes. Even if your quotes are cheaper than last year, we guarantee to beat your renewal, or give you the difference, plus £20***. So it’s worth shopping around!
*** Must be a like-for-like policy. T&Cs apply.
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Alex Kindred

Car insurance expert

After buying car insurance, 96% of Confused.com customers would recommend us (based on 109241 Reviews.co.uk respondents - as of 21/07/22). Read our reviews