Make no mistake, owning a car isn't cheap. As well as the cost of the car itself, there are plenty of other associated costs to fork out for. One of the most significant of which is your car insurance.
The thing about car insurance is that it can vary from year to year, sometimes it goes up - especially if you have an accident or a driving conviction, and it can go down if you prove yourself to be a good driver. But aside from waiting for a no-claims bonus to come in, is there more you could be doing to cut the cost of your car insurance?
Get all the hints and tips you need for bringing down your car insurance cost here.
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Get a cheaper/more sensible car
The more expensive the car, the more expensive it is to insure. While you might be able to afford the cost of the car itself, it's the insurance that could sting you, leaving you with very little money left in your monthly budget. Large cars and sports cars can also incur higher insurance premiums, which might make you want to think twice about the type of car you want.
Investing in a cheaper/more sensible car is the way to go if you want cheaper car insurance. When choosing your first car, and subsequent cars while you're a young driver, it makes sense to opt for a safe choice. As you become a more experienced driver, with more trust from insurers, you can work your way up to the car of your dreams.
Keep it safe
If your car is left in an unsecure place at night, you could be facing a higher premium as your car is at a higher risk of being stolen or damaged.
There are different ways you can keep your car safe. Storing it in a garage, car park or on a driveway at night will provide some assurance to insurers, as well as yourself. There are also different smart devices you might want to adopt, including trackers that could help pinpoint the location of your car if something happened to it.
Use a broker to find a deal for your needs
People use brokers to find good mortgage and loan deals, but have you ever thought about using one for your car insurance? A good broker knows the best deals, which can help you take advantage, without having to scour through them yourself.
The other benefit of a broker, of course, is that they can help you with specialist insurance needs. If you have a drink driving conviction or you're a convicted driver because of speeding offences, you can get information regarding the options available to help you find the best deal for your circumstances. You'll be surprised at how much you can save by going through a broker!
Your insurance can go up if you use your car a lot. This can be inevitable if you have a long commute to work or if you take multiple long journeys throughout the year. But for those short journeys, is it really necessary to use your car all of the time? Cutting down on how much you use your car will help you reduce your carbon footprint, while also helping you cut your costs. You'll not only save money on your insurance, but you'll save on fuel costs too.
Boost your excess
Another way to cut your insurance costs is to up your excess. While you'll have to pay out more if you make a claim, you could find yourself paying less overall - especially if you don't make any claims.
Before making a rash decision, it's worth reading more about whether or not you should increase your excess and if it could work in your favour.
This might seem like an obvious one, but the safer the driver you are, the lower your insurance will be. No accidents means no claims, which will help keep your premiums low year after year.
There are several things you can do to become a safer driver. If you're a new driver, the Pass Plus course can help you grow in confidence, and can lower your insurance too. Practice makes perfect, and the more you drive, in unfamiliar territory and conditions, the more confident you'll become behind the wheel.
Add a named driver
Adding another person to your insurance policy can help bring down your overall cost. This is particularly useful if you're under 25, are a new driver or you have some driving convictions. You'll need to be the main policyholder and the other driver must use your vehicle - it's considered fraud to add another driver to your insurance if they don't drive your car.
Stick to the basics
When you take out insurance, you'll be offered all kinds of add-ons with your premium. While it can be tempting to take on everything that's offered, some of these add-ons could be a waste of money if you don't need them. Only take out what you need to avoid paying over the odds.
Carefully consider the kind of insurance you need
With car insurance, there are two main types - comprehensive and third party. Comprehensive will cover you against many types of damage, while third-party covers you against third-party damages and losses. Third-party coverage is cheaper, and might be a better option if your car isn't worth much. Weigh up the value of your car versus your insurance to make sure you don't end up with a terrible deal.
Stay clear of modifications
Adding modifications to your car can enhance its appearance and give it some additional features, but it could mean additional cost for your insurance. This is because cars with modifications can be more appealing to thieves. If you were to suffer damage to your car, it will also be more expensive to repair, with some parts being difficult to source.
If you're interested in modifications that could help you save money on your premiums, check out some modifications that could help you reduce the cost of your car insurance.
Don't spread the cost
When you take out insurance, you have the choice of paying for the year upfront, or you can pay in instalments. If you choose to pay in instalments, you'll end up paying more overall. Spread out monthly, insurance works like a loan, and the added interest will add to the amount you owe.
Protect your no-claims bonus
Your no-claims bonus can become a significant amount over the years. By protecting it as much as possible, it could pay off just a few years down the line. You should weigh up whether you should claim or pay outright for any damage or repairs caused by an accident - it could work out cheaper in the long-run to simply absorb the cost yourself!
Whether you're looking to save money, want to stretch your budget or you simply want to make sure you're getting a good deal, it pays to find ways to save on your car insurance. Why pay over the odds when you don't have to? It's easier than you think to save, and no matter what your individual circumstances, you could find yourself saving money over the course of the year to put to better use. Start saving on your insurance today to help you enjoy your lowest premium yet.