Cars that aren’t as popular and aren’t worth as much cost less to insure.
When I was 17, I wanted to buy a Ferrari and live in the fast lane. Even if I could have bought the car, I wouldn’t have been able to pay for the insurance. At 17, you’re just starting out as a driver, so you’re more likely to make an insurance claim. Car insurance companies don’t like it when new drivers get behind the wheel of powerful cars. The risk of a claim goes through the roof, and so does the price of the premium. If you are young and haven’t driven much before, buy a low-powered, low-value car to keep your car insurance costs as low as possible. If it’s worth less, it will cost less to fix or replace if you wreck it when you’re young and careless. In reality, the same logic applies to everyone: the lower the value of the car, the lower the car insurance policy will usually be. In an accident, fixing a sports or luxury car will always cost more, so the insurance will reflect this. When looking at a new car, keep an eye on the spec sheet because many new cars have anti-theft and driver aids that can help lower the cost of insurance. A good rule of thumb is that cars that aren’t as popular and aren’t worth as much cost less to insure.
Age is an issue.
I already said it, but it’s worth saying again. Most of the time, the younger you are, the more expensive your car insurance will be. This is because they are young and don’t have much life experience. They also think that bad things will never happen to them. The statistics say otherwise, which often comes as a surprise to a young driver who gets into an accident and doesn’t know why. Most of the time, driving experience and age go hand in hand, which leads to a way to lower your insurance premium: take an advanced driving course. It will help you no matter what age you are, and many car insurance companies will give you a discount for it. The course may only save you 5–10%, but if your premium is £1000, it’s worth it to save that much. The savings will last for years, so it should be a good investment and make you a better driver, too.
Continue to add to the no-claims bonus.
Most insurance companies will give you a discount on your car insurance if you don’t make a claim for a long time. You’re showing that you’re a good customer, and since you haven’t made any claims, you’re a good risk for them to take on. You have no choice but to keep your nose clean and not make a claim. If you own a low-value car and scratch it while parking, you shouldn’t make a claim on your comprehensive insurance because it will lower your no-claims bonus. Also, the claim is likely to be for a small amount of money, and depending on your excess, you may have to pay for most of it. If you haven’t damaged any other cars or property, keep quiet, fix it yourself, and your savings on no-claims bonus will be sweet the next year. After three or more years of no-claims bonus, you can even protect your bonus, which means that even if you make a claim in the future, you won’t lose your bonus.
Not cool: having a conviction
If you are a teenager from the city, you might be proud to have an ASBO. But convictions don’t mean as much to insurers, so it’s best to stay away from them if you can. Minor speeding tickets are not the same as being a serial killer, so having a couple of points might not be the end of the world or have a big effect on your insurance premium, depending on the company.
Use your garage if you have one.
Why do we have garages? If you ask the average person, they will probably say to store all the kids’ toys, the home gym, bikes, the freezer, and the dryer. I’ve got some news for you: the garage is meant to hold your car when you’re not using it. The fact that it puts a physical barrier between thieves and your car is a good thing, and if you park your car in a garage overnight, your car insurance company will take this into account and lower your premium. You can’t get any simpler than saving money by using your garage.
Guards against theft
Most new cars come with immobilizers and alarms built in, and if you let your insurance company know, it will check to see if they meet standards and give you a discount if they do. You can also get devices that move around in the passenger footwell until you park, then attach to your steering wheel or gear stick. These are mechanical devices, and some of them are cheaper if you buy them used. Do your research before you buy, though. Thatcham is an organization that rates security devices, and a good mechanical security device will usually have a big sign showing that it has been approved by Thatcham. This sign will also tell you if you can get a discount on your insurance, so choose carefully.
Use a broker you can trust.
There are more than 30 million cars on the roads of the UK, so there are a lot of car insurance companies to choose from. In a funny way, the big names you know are probably because of massive advertising campaigns on TV, online, etc. No matter what the message is, those marketing campaigns have to be paid for, which means they may not have the best rates. However, the size of some of these businesses means that prices will be low because of their buying or underwriting power. The best thing to do is to compare prices from a few different companies. Call the insurance company, then a similar competitor, and maybe even a small insurance broker. Each one will ask if you already have a price, and you should tell them. Most of the time, they know what to beat if they want the business. When a broker tells you they can’t match the price, you are either close to the best price on the market or talking to a broker who isn’t an expert in the area.
A word of warning about sites that compare prices
There are a lot of sites like Money Supermarket, Go Compare, and Confused that promise to help you get a better deal on your insurance. As most of the big insurance companies compete for business on the same platform, they do help keep insurance costs down. Where these sites don’t do so well is in giving you advice about what kind of insurance policy is best for you or your car. Would third party fire and theft be cheaper and better than comprehensive? The point is that you can’t ask a price comparison site for advice. This is where car brokers with a lot of experience come out on top. If you were buying a new house, you wouldn’t buy it without a survey, right? You might, but then when it sinks into the sea, you’ll be praying that your insurance will cover it. The point is that you shouldn’t buy insurance without talking to an expert first.
Grab the phone.
You already know that I think the Internet is a great place to buy and sell things, but if you talk to a real person at a brokerage, you’ll have a much better chance of getting cheaper car insurance. If they really want your business, they can ask you more questions and make sure they understand what you need. If necessary, they can even set the rate (price) themselves. Human contact is the only way to go, but make sure you talk to at least three different brokers to get a fair comparison.
Got a nice postcode?
If you live in a postcode where thefts and claims are rare, your insurance premium will be lower than if you live in a place that is known to be a crime hotspot. If you can afford it, move to a nice area and your insurance rates will go down. Definitely not the easiest way to save money on insurance…
Use and mileage
The more miles you drive, the more likely it is that something will go wrong. It’s just a matter of numbers. Your insurance premium should cost less the less you drive. Don’t lie, though. If you go over the stated mileage by a certain amount, your insurance could be canceled.
Have a wife and kids?
Insurance companies like to sell car insurance to couples who have a mortgage, kids, and jobs. Your credit history is easy to check, and you act responsibly most of the time, which makes you seem like less of a risk to an insurer. That can bring down the price of your car insurance.
Don’t modify your car
We’ve all seen the bling-bling cars that hang out in supermarket parking lots late at night. It doesn’t matter if you like the tacky neon colors and loud exhausts or not; the fact is that if you make any changes to your car, your insurance is likely to go up. Changes can get people’s attention, void warranties, and, in the case of loud exhausts, even be against the law (if above the noise limit). If it’s against the law, it could also make your insurance void. Car companies spend a lot of time making sure their products work well, and if you change them, all of that goes out the window. Your insurance agent will scratch his head and try to figure out how much to charge you, but it will almost always be more than for a standard vehicle.