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How To Get The Best Deal on Your Car Insurance
Sometimes car insurance can be a confusing and frustrating thing. Whether you are a new driver looking for ways to bring down as extortionate quote or an older driver looking to get a better deal and reduce the amount that you have to pay for your car insurance, you should be able to bring yours down to the lowest possible figure by bearing in mind the points outlined below:
How to Lower Premiums by Reducing Your ‘Risk’:
- Part of lowering your car insurance is about lowering the statistical risk you pose to the insurers. To that end, here are a number of things that it is a good idea to consider:
If you are thinking about buying a new car then it is well worth considering how much that car will cost to insure. While you will of course have much to think about when it comes to making a purchasing decision, it would be a mistake to overlook this element. Otherwise, you may find yourself making a costly error. New, young drivers should most certainly steer clear of vehicles that will be expensive to insure as their premiums will be higher in the first place.
- So how do you know which cars are expensive to insure and which are far more economical? First off, it is important to mention that this is something you can ask the vendor or salesman and they should know and be able to tell you. Insurance companies will categorise all vehicles into a scale from 1, which is very low risk, to 20, which is very high risk. By doing your own research online you should be able to find out where some cars you are interested in might lie on that scale. It is well worth doing the research because the insurance band can vary a lot even between models in the same range. Obviously, if you are yet to buy a vehicle you can save money on your car insurance by being sure to buy a model in a lower insurance band.
However, even if you are not planning on changing on changing your vehicle, it is still worth bearing in mind that there are certain things you can do (or not do) regarding your car to make sure that your insurance is not sky high. What you can do is fit an insurance approved alarm and immobiliser system if your car does not already have one. This will lower the statistical and actual risk of your car being stolen. What you should not do, if you want to save money on your car insurance is avoid making modifications. If you do modify your car and this is what you are into then, especially if you are a younger driver, you better make sure you are ready for the hefty insurance premiums. The fact of the matter is that modified cars are higher risk – they are stolen and have accidents more often – so of course you will have to pay more to insure them.
Yourself and Other Drivers
Of course, it is a fact of motoring life that younger drivers will have to pay more for their car insurance. This may seem unfair but statistically, at a younger age, you are simply higher risk. Younger drivers are far more likely to get into an accident than those who have been driving longer and those who are older learners. Gender also changes your risk profile for the statisticians. That is all just a part of life and there is of course nothing you can do to increase your reliability for the insurers. You can’t change your age.
However, since age does play such a big part in the cost of insurance it is something that parents should consider carefully before then insure their new-driver children as named drivers on their insurance policies. Avoid paying to insure younger drivers on your policy, especially if they are only rarely going to be driving the vehicle, otherwise you will be paying through the nose for no good reason.
Though of course you will feel like you are doing your kids a big favour, (or that your parents are doing you one) but in fact, new drivers are best advised to get their own insurance for first time drivers as soon as possible so they can start earning no claims bonus and bringing down the cost of their premiums far more quickly. If you want to reduce the costs a little as a new driver then you could consider getting a discount for doing your Pass Plus.
- When it comes right down to it the main thing that you personally can do to reduce the cost of your car insurance is to improve your driving and drive very well and carefully wherever you go. The number one thing that affects the price you pay is your own driving history – and of course that of anyone else you have included as a named driver on your policy – so it is a good idea to think twice before including anyone with blemishes on their history on your policy. If you or other included individuals have any claims, driving offences or motoring convictions on their policy this will really bump up the price you will pay.
The number of miles you drive a year and the ways you use your car will also make a difference to how much you will have to pay on your insurance. If you only drive a small number of miles in a year then you could be entitled to a low-miles discount so it is always worth while checking if you genuinely do only do a small number of miles.
However tempted you may be you should definitely not lie or underestimate the number of miles you are likely to do in a year as if you are not honest then the price of your policy is sure to increase or there could even be trouble with the cover if you do have to claim.
- Though of course you are very unlikely to move in order to save money on your car insurance, unfortunately where you live can have a huge impact on the cost of your policy. If you live in a city centre in an area with a higher crime rate then you will of course be higher risk and have to pay more for your cover, while things will be cheaper in a quaint little village in the countryside.
While unless you want to move there is very little you are likely to be able to do about the price to insure your car in your postcode. However, even in high cost areas there is still quite a lot that you can do to lessen the cost of your premium. Firstly, if you have a garage you should always use it as storing a car indoors is always seen as more secure. This is therefore likely to bring your premiums down. If this is not possible then parking on private land, on your driveway or a secure car park is always seen as less risky than parking your car on the road, so you should try to park off the road if it is at all possible. Sometimes, the cost of hiring a garage near your home can be lower than the savings you can make on your car insurance by keeping your car indoors so this might be something you should check out if you want to save money. As with all the other details of your policy, do not lie about where you park your car, or things could get very bad if you have to make a claim.
How You Pay
- If you can possibly afford to do so you should always try to pay your car insurance as a lump sum annual payment. If you pay in monthly instalments then, in effect, you are taking a loan and so will often have to pay interest on the amount. Some insurers do offer interest free monthly payments so it can be worth while to compare their overall costs to those you incur from their competitors. Still, in most cases it will be cheaper to just pay once a year rather than spreading out the cost and incurring interest.
How to Choose the Right Insurance for You:
The second part of getting the best deal on your car insurance is getting the right insurance in place for your circumstances and vehicle. To make sure that you choose the right insurance for you, here are some things that you should consider:
Type of Insurance:
When you insure your car you are faces with three different policy types to choose from. There is ‘Third Party’, ‘Third Party, Fire and Theft’ and ‘Fully Comprehensive’. The last is the most expensive option but also, you should bear in mind that this is the only option that means you are covered for most eventualities and which gives you the most complete protection.
Third Party, Fire and Theft can be an economical option for those new drivers who have little driving experience or for drivers who unfortunately have a number of previous claims. (Again, it cannot be stated enough that maintaining a no-claims bonus is the best way to see the prices of your premiums dropping dramatically.) Third party cover is really only a viable option for those with a particularly low value car, but if you have an old banger then this is of course your cheapest option – just be warned that the cover it provides really is minimal.
It is a good idea to think through all the options for various amounts of cover before you actually decide which insurance policy and which insurance provider to go with.
Value Of Car:
No one can tell you what you should decide to go with. You will have to do a careful calculation as to the value of your car and the condition it is in and weigh it all up to make sure that you are not paying more on insurance than your vehicle is actually worth.
Determining an accurate value for your car is important if you are to avoid paying more car insurance than you need to. It is really important to get this right. A good way to discover an accurate market value for your car is to check out second hand car places and checking how much cars like yours are generally going for. You will be able to find an average and determine how much your car should be insured for.
If you have valued your car too high, you will end up paying over the odds for your insurance policy. This is obviously a waste of money. However, if you undervalue your car then you will end up being under insured if you are in an accident and your car is written off. Neither of these situations is a good place to be in which is why it is so important to get it right when determining how much your car is worth.
Check the Add Ons
- When you go about choosing a policy, remember to opt out of any add ons that you are not interested in or you could end up paying for additional items and add ons that you simply do not need. Many insurance providers offer add ons and you sometimes have to be careful not to click on the wrong box. It can also be very easy to forget to un-select an option and to end up with extras that you actually had no idea that you had.
Optional add ons for car insurance include things like family legal protection or a courtesy car. Though there is no denying that these things can be very useful if you happen to get in a bit of a scrape, it is worth while remembering that these things come at an additional cost – they are a money making extra for the insurers and an be a sink hole for your finances if you are not careful to select only the ones that you really do need.
Opting out of all the extras can save you a fair bit while shopping around for your car insurance so be sure to do so if you do not thing you will use them or consider that they are not really worthwhile, all things considered. Also make sure, while you are comparing quotes from all the different providers, that you are comparing the basic policies without add-ons and are not accidentally making comparisons between the basic and the enhanced policies. Getting this right could save you a lot of money.
- When you go online to find some car insurance then you will most likely, as one of the options on the form, to be asked to state the amount of voluntary excess you are prepared to pay. Voluntary excess is the amount that you have agreed to contribute towards repairs or replacement should the something unfortunate happen and should you have to make a claim.
- If you increase the excess voluntarily then this will of course be viewed favourably by the insurance company and once you have increased this figure you will undoubtedly see a subsequent drop in the price that you are paying for your insurance premium. This can save you a bit of money if you calculate the amount you put sensibly and carefully. Thing about the trade off you are making here and whether you think it is a good idea and will pay off or something that you would rather avoid, even if it could save you a little money in the longer run.
- Be careful when playing with this amount though. What seems very safe on paper or on a computer screen suddenly does not seem quite so safe if there is an incident. When coming up with a figure for the voluntary excess you should, of course, be sure no enter an amount that you could actually afford to pay if it came down to it. Do not be tempted to chance it in order to get a lower premium, gambling on the supposition that nothing will happen to you, as such a strategy is almost guaranteed to backfire spectacularly. Do not enter an amount larger than what you are prepared to shell out at any given moment.
- The number one thing to think about when you are choosing your car insurance is that you should never just go online and click on the first policy you see. Most people have of course heard of the many comparison websites that help you out by creating simple forums for you to compare the different elements of different policies. These are of course a good way to make comparisons and can of course save you money but you should also bear in mind that not all insurers are represented on these sites and if you really want to ensure that you get the very best deal going then you will have to do a bit of your own research and compare independently as well as checking out the comparison sites.
When you compare various quotes, you should of course make sure that you are comparing two third party, third party fire and theft or fully comprehensive policies and are not pitting two or more very different products against one another. Make sure all the details of the policies are the same and that you have entered all your details accurately when getting the separate quotes. This might sound like simple stuff but making a mistake at the quote comparison stage could lead to errors and could lead to your kicking yourself later.
When you are getting quotes, before you make up your mind finally about what you are going to do and which insurance and insurer you care going to go with, it is also a good idea to discuss your options with your friends and family, especially with those who are in a similar position to you and might be able to give you some good steers about which insurers might be best for your circumstances or which ones, incidentally, that have not been so helpful and which you might be best advised to give a wide berth.
Remember when you are choosing a policy and insurer that it is not just all about the money and getting the best deal, it is also obviously about making sure that you are getting the cover that you need. Should something unfortunately occur, it would be good to know that your insurer is a trustworthy company that will not quibble unnecessarily or make life incredibly difficult for you if you need to make a claim. A cheap deal with a dodgy company that does not pay out is no deal at all.
Finally, always make sure that you are insured before you drive – don’t risk a sneaky drive round the corner before you are. Chances are that for whatever reason, you could very well live to regret it.
So, if you need car insurance and are about to wade in and begin looking for the best deal, bear all of the above in mind and it might just help you to pay less for your policy when you first apply or next time that you renew.
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