Feature

How to Lower Your Car Insurance Premiums: 12 Easy Solutions

Paying high car insurance premiums can be frustrating. But there are things you can do to bring those costs down.

Follow these 12 easy solutions to lower your car insurance and put more money back in your pocket.

1. Compare Quotes Every Year

The most obvious way to save money on your car insurance is to shop around. Premiums can vary dramatically between different providers, even if the policies themselves are very similar. So, make comparing quotes an annual ritual.

Getting quotes only takes a few minutes when you use price comparison websites like Comparethemarket, MoneySuperMarket and Confused.com. Simply enter your details once and get quotes back from multiple insurers.

Comparing prices every year, even if you’re happy with your current insurer, ensures you’re always paying a competitive rate. If you find a better deal, you can switch and pocket the savings.

2. Increase Your Voluntary Excess

Opting for a higher voluntary excess – the amount you’d pay towards any claim – can substantially reduce your premiums.

For example, increasing your excess from £100 to £250 could cut your premiums by up to 30%. Going all the way up to £1000 means even bigger savings.

Just bear in mind you’d have to pay that excess amount if you did need to claim. Make sure you could afford it without financial hardship.

3. Consider Telematics/Black Box Insurance

Telematics insurance policies use a black box fitted to your vehicle to monitor aspects like the miles you drive and your acceleration and braking patterns. That data allows insurers to more accurately profile risk.

Drivers who stick to speed limits, drive smoothly, and avoid excessive mileage are rewarded with significant discounts. Savings of up to 70% are possible for the safest drivers.

However, if the black box catches you breaking road laws or driving recklessly, you’ll lose those privileges. This Big Brother approach isn’t for everyone, but it works well for careful motorists.

4. Install a Thatcham Approved GPS Tracker

Another way to leverage telematics for cheaper premiums is getting an insurance approved GPS tracker fitted. This allows your car to be tracked if stolen, making it more likely to be recovered and reducing insurance costs in the process.

The key is choosing a system with Thatcham approval. This industry standard confirms that the GPS technology is robust and tamper-proof.

One example is a Thatcham GPS Tracker from an established brand like Rewire Security. Their insurance tracker range has full Thatcham accreditation, meaning significant premium discounts from leading UK insurers. Expect savings of around 20%.

5. Improve Your Security

Boosting your car’s security can also mean lower insurance prices. Investing in systems like steering wheel locks, alarm systems, immobilisers and tracking devices shows insurers you take protecting your vehicle seriously. The improvements make your car less appealing to thieves, reducing the risk of expensive claims from theft and theft-related damage.

Ask about discounts for security enhancements when getting your quotes. Driving a fortress on wheels can literally pay dividends!

6. Buy a Car with a Low Insurance Group Rating

The insurance group rating system categorises vehicles into bands from 1 to 50 based on repair costs, theft risk, value when new and performance. The lower the band, the cheaper the vehicle is to insure.

Cars in groups 1-10 include models like the:

  • Fiat 500
  • Vauxhall Corsa
  • Ford Fiesta
  • VW Polo

While performance cars feature in higher bands 40-50:

  • Audi R8 Spyder
  • BMW X6 M
  • Porsche 911

So, if cutting insurance costs is a priority, buy a car with a low insurance group rating. Family motors and small hatchbacks are usually very affordable to cover and are a much better option for new drivers looking to save on costs.

7. Choose a Car in a Low Risk Colour

Insurers actually discriminate based on car colour when assessing risk. Their claims data shows some colours are more likely to be in accidents and therefore cost more to insure.

Black, grey, blue and silver cars get the best rates. But flashes of red catch the eye, apparently increasing crash risk and bumping up premiums as a result.

So, be boring and choose a common, low risk colour that blends into the background. Not only will your car be cheaper to insure, but you’ll also spend less on speeding tickets too!

8. Reduce Your Annual Mileage

The more miles you drive every year, the higher your risk of being involved in an accident. So, reducing annual mileage can mean lower premiums.

Be realistic about the miles you’ll actually drive when getting quotes. There’s often a big difference between estimates of 5,000 miles, 10,000 miles and 15,000 miles per year.

Just be careful not to overestimate, though. If you have a telematics policy, the black box will catch out any exaggerated numbers!

9. Maintain a Clean Licence

Insurers charge higher premiums for drivers with recent claims, convictions, and penalty points. So, maintaining a clean licence without incidents is key to cheaper insurance.

Allow enough time, stick to speed limits and avoid situations where accidents and road rage are likely. The safer you drive, the lower your prices will be both now and long-term.

10. Consider Paying Annually

Most insurers charge admin fees for paying monthly. Paying for your full policy upfront avoids these costs.

For example, paying £500 as one lump sum could save up to £60-£70 over ten monthly instalments of £50.

Paying annually obviously requires having savings to dip into. But it’s worth considering if cash flow allows it, or you could use a 0% money transfer card.

11. Join a Car Club

If you only need occasional vehicle access, joining a pay-as-you-drive car club can be cheaper than owning a car and paying for annual insurance.

Clubs like Zipcar let you rent vehicles from just £5.75 per hour. Rates include insurance, tax, breakdown cover and fuel. You only pay for the hours and mileage you use.

For anyone driving less than around 4,000 miles per year, joining your local car club is likely the most cost-effective option. And it removes the hassle of needing to deal with tax, MOT and maintenance.

12. Avoid Fronting

Fronting involves putting someone else (often a parent) as the main driver on your policy to take advantage of their lower premiums. Typically, it’s younger drivers trying to save money by pretending a mum or dad will drive the car most.

This type of insurance fraud can get both parties banned from driving and even imprisoned. So, don’t do it. It’s far better to follow our other tips, choose the right car at the start, and take an advanced driving qualification. Doing things above board keeps you legal and avoids massive headaches later on.

Bonus tip: Take an Advanced Driving Course

Pass Plus, BTEC courses and advanced driver training give useful skills while also delivering cheaper insurance. Discounts are often 10% or more but taking an Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) course can slash premiums by up to 30% in some cases.

Better driving lowers accident risk. Give insurers evidence of those abilities through accredited courses, and they’ll respond with reduced prices.

With expensive premium hikes an annual frustration for so many drivers, hopefully these tips give some ideas on bringing those costs down without compromising on cover. Follow even a handful, and you should put the brakes on runaway insurance prices.

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