1. Shop around - or at least haggleIn today’s competitive market, loyalty is rarely rewarded. You’ll often find your premiums jump after being with an insurer for 12 months, even if your circumstances haven’t changed at all.
When renewal time rolls around, head online to get a new quote – whether you’re using a well-known comparison service, or just being treated as a ‘new customer’ by your existing insurer. Even if you’re happy with the insurer you’re with, it pays to ring up and play your face. More often than not, a ‘loyalty discount’ will appear, as if by magic.
2. Swerve the modsModifications can pump up your car’s looks and performance, but will almost definitely have the same effect on your premiums.
Cars are placed in insurance groups based on what insurers know comes as standard. So when you fit anything non-standard (including alloy wheels, brakes, bodywork and more), this introduces doubt. Doubt equals risk. And risk equals higher bills for you.
3. Pay in a lump sumInsurance can be expensive, so it’s hardly surprising that many of us spread the cost over instalments. What few of us check is the APR % associated, and it can easily add three figures to the amount you’re spending over a year.
If you simply must spread the cost, and can be disciplined about paying it off within 12 months, think about using a credit card. There are plenty around with 0% on purchases.
4. Up the voluntary excessThis only really applies to those running older cars worth only a few hundred pounds, who would otherwise be running Third Party Only policies. TPO policies provide very little cover, and it can (occasionally) work out cheaper to run a Comprehensive policy with a large voluntary excess.
The excess makes claiming for accidental damage on such a low-value car pointless, but the insurers realise this – giving you a lower premium, and at least giving you windscreen/glass cover.
5. Limit the driversYou’ll pay through the nose to insure extra drivers who use the car very sparingly, so omit them from cover and add them temporarily when the time demands. This is especially true for young drivers – perhaps those away from home at university, and home only at Christmas.
Your insurer should be able to provide comparative quotes, including the cost of short-term cover.
6. Drive sensiblyPenalty points are anathema for cheap insurance, so avoid amber gambling and ease up on the acceleration. You’ll have to declare any points you receive for five years, so they can impact on your policy even after the points are spent and have come off your licence.
7. Fit a telematics boxTelematics boxes are fitted to your car, free, by your insurer. These then report back about your driving style, with discounts or other rewards given for smooth driving. These can be particularly beneficial for younger drivers, who are (perhaps unfairly) all tarnished with the ‘boy (or girl) racer’ stereotype.
Find your next affordable-to-insure car at Inchcape. Browse our used car range or select a new car and enquire at a dealership near you. Our branch experts can provide details of insurance grouping for your chosen model/engine/trim level combination.