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How to drive down the cost of car insurance

cheap car insuranceIt’s May so it must be time to renew my car insurance! The Minted mobile, my trusty Ford S-Max, is nearing its ten-year birthday. As it’s still going strong, I reckon I shouldn’t be punished for its advanced years, so I set out to find the cheapest policy available.

Last year I couldn’t find a better deal than Churchill, who at the time was the current insurer, so I stuck with them. This year is different. They’d pushed up the renewal premium by £10 or so to £347.20 which was enough to prompt me to look elsewhere. Naturally I turned to a comparison site, in this case MoneySuperMarket*, and plugged in my details.

To my delight, LV= (or Liverpool Victoria as I still think of it) had cover for about £250. It also had a premium version for £20 more. Both included basic breakdown cover so it was a no-brainer, or so I thought. It was at this point that I remembered I should also check Direct Line and Aviva. These two insurers don’t feature on comparison sites and can sometimes have better deals. However, I had just spent ages typing in all my details and didn’t fancy doing it twice more so laziness (and lunchtime) won out.

Replenished with coffee and a cheese sarnie, I contemplated the LV= offer again. The cheapest one seemed really too cheap and didn’t have a top Defaqto rating. (This is an independent agency which evaluates how far the cover really stretches.) So I splashed out £20 more and clicked on the premium version.

Then, directed to the LV= site, it all got more complicated. Did I want legal cover? No, because I already have that in my house contents insurance. What type of breakdown did I need? There were at least three options, all much more than the basic one which tempted me in. I noticed that the cheapest option did not cover breakdown at home. The rescue van doesn’t come out unless you’re at least a quarter of a mile from your house.

Well, many of the times the Minted mobile has failed to fire up have been at home. I don’t fancy the idea of pushing a kaput Smax down the hill before I can get attention so this was a deal-breaker. And seeing that summer travel will involve teenagers in rural places, I considered that getting basic cover was actually a false economy. I selected the midrange option instead.

With all these add-ons, I ended up paying £304.18. Which is a £43 saving but not as much as I thought it would be! I paid it all in one go too as opting for the monthly payment usually costs more (many insurers treat the premium as a loan and charge a high rate of interest). Still, I’m happy that I’ve covered all areas. Here’s hoping that the Minted mobile continues making the miles without any mishaps.

See our SMM guide to car insurance for more tips.

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Friday, 24 May 2019