No-one likes to be paying out more money than they need to, but when it comes to motoring it seems increasingly unavoidable.
From fuel prices to insurance, the cost of motoring continues to increase in the UK on an annual basis.
Thankfully there are a few things you can do to bring down insurance costs. Here are seven suggestions to get you started.
1. Choose the right car
Every car is assigned one of 50 different insurance groups, and the cheapest cars are found in categories one to five. The simplest and most effective step you can take to reduce your insurance premium, either for an annual policy or for short term car insurance, is to drive a car in one of these five categories, which include popular models such as the Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat Panda.
2. Avoid modifications
Whether you want to improve your car’s performance or add some detailing such as alloy wheels or body-kits, you should be aware that insurers can see these additions as high-risk improvements. Expensive detailing makes a car more attractive to thieves, and increased performance increases the chances of the car being involved in a collision – a risk that is magnified amongst young drivers.
3. Improve your driving skills
Insurance companies often offer substantial discounts for drivers who have demonstrated advanced driving skills. This can be done via the Pass Plus Scheme that aims to make drivers more considered and conscientious when they are behind the wheel.
4. Increase your excess
Insuring a car is about assessing risk and charging accordingly. If you are prepared to cover more of the costs associated with that risk – in the form of a higher excess – your insurance company is likely to reward you with lower premiums.
5. Buy only the cover you need
If you only drive your vehicle on an ad-hoc basis then you could be wasting money paying out for an annual policy which more often than not you are not using. Switching to short term car insurance for one to twenty-eight days or utilising one day insurance as and when you require your car could help to lessen the costs. When adding an additional driver for a trip away, again, short term car insurance could prove cheaper than extending your existing policy.
However, if your car is uninsured it MUST be declared SORN (see https://www.gov.uk/register-sorn-statutory-off-road-notification) and kept off the public road (in a garage, on a drive or on private land).
6. Adding a more experienced “additional driver”
It is sometimes possible to reduce the cost of car insurance by adding an older, more experienced driver to a policy. However, it should be noted that adding an “additional person” to a policy when that driver is actually the “main driver” – in an effort to reduce premiums – is illegal, and it will invalidate any subsequent insurance claims.
7. Add additional security features
Insurance companies prefer cars with alarms and immobilisers, as the risk of them being stolen is greatly reduced. Also, storing your car off public roads at night will also secure you some significant discounts on your insurance premiums. So this could be a good time to get on the good side of any friends or neighbours you may have with an empty lockable garage!
Hiten Solanki is a digital marketer and freelance writer currently based in London and writing on behalf of a number of clients including TempCover.