I am a middle aged woman, live in the countryside and own a boring, elderly Japanese car. I’ve only had one tiny shunt – around 15 years ago – and I don’t drive many miles. Still, my car cover costs more than £200 a year: add on road tax at £230 a year plus MOTs, services and being a car owner is expensive even more so now that fuel prices are rocketing. The RAC says that diesel prices went up by 6p a litre in May to 132.3p a litre: soon, no doubt, it will be 150p.
While my age and claims experience mean my car insurance is relatively cheap, I’d obviously like to cut the cost further. And for the young, first time driver insurance costs can be punitive: the Association of British Insurers says the typical 18-20 year old pays nearly £1,000 a year. Comparison site GoCompare has come up with some money saving tips for car cover which are worth a look:
1. Use the right job title. Your occupation affects your premiums. If you can (honestly) describe your job differently it might save money: calling yourself kitchen staff rather than a chef could save £88 a year. If you aren’t working, describing yourself as a full-time parent or student rather than unemployed could save you £300 a year.
2. Add an experienced driver to an unexperienced, young driver’s policy could save £520 a year because this will cut the overall risk. DON’T consider putting a younger or inexperienced driver as the additional driver if they are actually the main driver. Doing this in an attempt to cut premiums is illegal and is called ‘fronting’.
3. Buy your car cover early – if you buy a week before the start date you could save £76 compared with at the last minute.
4. Pay annually, not monthly. You’ll pay a lot less – about £120 says GoCompare. Jane wrote about this recently see her blog here.
5. Don’t pay for extras you don’t need – and save £140. Do you really need legal assistance? Courtesy car cover? Windscreen cover? Protected no claims?
6. For young driver, look at getting ‘black box’ insurance – where the premium is based on how the insured drives. Having a black box or app could save a 17 year old £370 a year.
7. Don’t automatically take your insurer’s renewal quote before checking out comparison sites – this could save you £280 says comparison site GoCompare. However, last year I found that my insurer’s renewal quote was actually lower than I could find on a site – so don’t automatically cancel your policy without checking first.
See our guide to car insurance here