Cheap car insurance – how to lower your premiums and get cashback

Cheap car insurance – how to lower your premiums and get cashback

WE all know that the cost of running a car is soaring.

And one of the biggest expenses to keep your motor on the road is the price of insurance – although average premium rates have dropped to £472 in 2019.

But if you're being driven round the bend by rising costs, then it's time to take action.

There are lost of ways you can cut the cost of your insurance.

Here's our guide to making sure you get the best cover for the cheapest price.

Never auto-renew: Loyalty doesn't pay

This is the big one.

When it comes to renewal time, insurers rely on you not bothering to shop around and just accepting the hike in your premiums.

But research from comparison service MoneySuperMarket shows that Brits are chucking away a whopping £245 a year by auto-renewing.

You can knock hundreds of pounds off your annual bill by spending just a few minutes shopping around.

Under new rules brought in last year, insurers must clearly show how much you paid in the previous year. That's great news because it makes it easy to see how much your premiums are going up by and the price you need to beat.

Use price comparison sites such as Moneysupermarket, Confused or GoCompare to find cheapest deal. It's worth using more than one, as different sites have different relationships with each insurer.

Some insurers, such as Direct Line and Aviva, don't use comparison sites, so you should contact them directly to see what they'll offer.

Once you've found the best deal – contact your existing provider to see if they can beat it. If they won't – switch.

Check your job title

When it comes to shopping around on comparison sites for a new policy, see if you can reduce the cost by changing your job title.

Research has shown that drivers could be forking out almost £300 more than they need to by incorrectly saying they're unemployed when they're actually studying.

But whatever you do – don't lie about what your job and try and cheat the insurer.

If you do your insurance could be invalid and you'll find you won't have any cover when you really need it.

But if you legitimately tweak your job description, you could save more cash. For instance someone who selects "chef" could pay as much as £88 more than someone who selects "kitchen staff".

Other jobs that tend to have a lot of similar options include office work, building and construction, teaching and journalism

MoneySavingExpert has a tool you can use to see if you could save.

Go fully-comp

The world of insurance can be a strange place and choosing a comprehensive policy can actually work out cheaper than if you took out just third party cover.

It's because some insurers look at third party policies and associate them with higher-risk drivers looking for the cheapest cover possible.

Many insurers will only offer comprehensive policies for cars worth more than £1,500 but if you're looking for cheap cover, make sure you check fully-comp offers in case you can save.

Be as accurate as you can with your annual mileage – the less your mileage, the lower your premium is likely to be.

But don't be tempted to wildly underestimate how much you drive, otherwise you'll be committing fraud.

What is black box insurance?

ANOTHER way you can cut your insurance costs is by switching to telematics insurance.

Also known as "black box" insurance, you'll get a small box fitted to your car which records how you drive.

It will record things like speed, your driving style, the time of night you typically use your car and what even type of roads you drive on.

The idea is that by showing your a responsible driver, you'll be offered cheapper premiums.

Origianlly, the polices were designed for younger drivers, but lots of insurers now offer them to all drivers.

Research from comparison site you Uswitch found drivers could save £400 a year by swapping to telematics from a standard policy.

Pay up-front

Obviously, not everyone can pay for their annual premium in one go, but if you can afford to, the cost of your cover will be cheaper.

That's because if you pay monthly, you'll usually be charged interest on top of your premium.

Add a second driver

Adding another driver to your policy can also cut costs.

If you're a high risk driver and you can add someone who is much lower-risk, you might be able to bring down the cost of your policy.

This can work for young drivers – who will often have to pay pricey premiums as they are viewed as a risk – and their parents, who could have years of driving experience and deemed to be a lower risk driver.

Remember that there are no hard and fast rules about this and the only way you'll find out if it will cut your premium costs is by shopping around for quotes.

If you're a family with two or more vehicles, you could save thousands by taking out a multi-car policy too.

Increase you excess

Increasing your excess should make your premiums go down, but this isn't always the case. When you're getting a quote try different levels of excess to see how it affects your premiums.

Make sure you can afford whatever excess you choose if you are involved in accident, otherwise you might lose cover.

Get cashback

Some sites will offer you the chance to get cashback when you pay for your car insurance.

Cashback can come via the comparison site or if you go directly through the insurer's website, so when your shopping around, check to see what offers are available.

Plan ahead

While people rarely look forward to buying insurance, getting it done as early as possible could save you more than you might think.

On average, Go Compare found car insurance is £76 cheaper if bought a week before its start date.

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