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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 £668, on average**. Although that’s only £39 higher than the UK average, Northern Ireland is the fourth most expensive region outside of London.

Also, Northern Ireland car insurance prices have increased by 18% over the last 12 months. Drivers in NI are paying £120 more than they were in 2021, on average.

**Confused.com Q4 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 costs 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 your 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 look at several factors when calculating car insurance prices. Here are some tips that 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 shop around - it's the easiest way to save money. And if you compare quote with us, we guarantee to beat your renewal1. 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 you need to. Our data shows you usually see the cheapest prices around 27 days2 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 a driver means you share the time spent driving, which could see your costs come down. But remember, you must always name the person who drives the most as the main driver. Otherwise, you’re fronting, a form of fraud that could invalidate your policy.
  • Black box insurance is an 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, you should be able to cut the cost of your car insurance.
  • Increase your voluntary excess. Agreeing to a higher car insurance excess 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 an alarm or immobiliser. Making your car harder to steal could reduce the cost of your insurance.
  • No-claims bonus (NCB). If you stay claim-free for a year you can build up an no-claims bonus and start to benefit from lower prices. Each year without a claim adds another year and increases the discount insurers might offer you.
1. Must be a like-for-like policy. T&Cs apply.
2. Based on Confused.com car insurance data 1 September - 14 November 2022

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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?

You can compare quotes for Northern Ireland car insurance in a few minutes. Having this information ready should help speed things up even more.

Personal details:

  • Your occupation
  • Any claims or accidents from the last 5 years
  • Details for anyone you want as a named driver
  • Your driving licence type and number
  • How much no-claims-bonus you have
  • Any motoring convictions from the last 5 years

Car details:

  • The registration or make and model of your car
  • Any additional modifications, excluding tow hitches
  • Your estimated annual mileage
  • How you plan to use the car

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. That's so long as you have a valid car insurance policy.

Most NI car insurance companies include annual cover in the Republic of Ireland. This is usually included automatically on your policy, so you might not need European cover if you drive across the border. It's worth checking whether the level of cover offered matches your policy in NI, as some policies might be the legal minimum required for the country only.

The length of cover varies between insurance providers. Some providers might offer you up to 90 days as is standard with other European countries. But some might extend your cover in the Republic of Ireland for the whole length of your policy.

It's best to check with your chosen provider for clarification. You don't need to carry a car insurance 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:

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

What our car insurance expert says

If you're planning on regularly driving in the Republic of Ireland, it's worth checking your policy details to see if there's a limit on the length or number of days you can drive abroad. If you're unsure, speak to the insurer to double-check.

Louise Thomas - Car insurance, personal Finance, mortgage and life insurance expert signature

Louise Thomas

Car insurance expert

After buying car insurance, 96% of Confused.com customers would recommend us (based on 130715 Reviews.co.uk respondents - as of 25/01/23). Read our reviews