In the first part of our series on money-saving tips for motorists and cyclists, we looked at how you make your fuel go further during the current cost-of-living crisis. Now we’re turning our attention to how you can save money on car insurance.
Paying for car insurance is an inevitable part of owning a car, but there are steps you can take to make sure that you get the best deal for you and the most for your money. Let’s take a closer look at some of the main ones.
Shop around to find the best deal
Car insurance can be expensive, so it’s a good idea to shop around to find yourself the best deal. Price comparison websites are a handy tool here, although there are some insurers that choose not to use them so you may also need to visit their sites individually to see what they can offer.
Make sure you enter all your details accurately when you’re looking for online quotes and that you pay close attention to what level of cover each deal offers. There are lots of variables to take into account when it comes to car insurance and some of them can have an impact on the price (more on that later).
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
When you’re renewing your car insurance, it can be really tempting to just accept whatever renewal quote your provider offers. It’s easy, convenient and in a lot of cases, you don’t even have to do anything as the process is automated. But it’s also an easy way to end up paying more than you need to.
A renewal quote from your existing provider won’t always represent the best deal. That’s where doing a bit of research can really come in handy. Sourcing some other quotes (at the same level of cover) will give you a much better sense of what you should be paying and will provide you with a solid negotiating position when you speak to your current provider.
You may find that they’ll be able to reduce the price of your renewal in line with the other quotes you found and if not, it’ll be easy enough for you to cancel the renewal and take out one of the new policies.
Check your annual mileage
Working life has changed dramatically over the last couple of years, with remote working becoming the new normal. If you’re spending much less time behind the wheel than you used to then your annual mileage can be adjusted and that could lead to cheaper car insurance. Update your records and make sure to let your insurance company know if your cover is up for renewal so they can update their quote.
Changing jobs is another factor that can affect the price of car insurance, particularly if you’ve left a job that was considered more high risk than the one you’ve switched to. Again, just let your insurance company know and you could see some savings in the future.
Carefully consider extras
As we mentioned earlier, there are lots of variables to consider when you’re looking at car insurance quotes. Breakdown cover, windscreen cover and legal cover are just a few of the extras that may be included in your policy – or that you may need to pay extra for.
Have a careful think about which of these you really need and if there are any that you’re happy to do without (or don’t need because you already have them as part of a separate policy, such as breakdown cover). It’s a simple exercise and one that can help to keep the costs down.
Pay the full cost upfront
You can usually choose to pay insurance in monthly payments (direct debit) or in an annual lump sum. While monthly payments help to spread the cost across the year, you’ll often end up paying more by the end of the 12 months. If you’re in a position to be able to pay the full cost of the cover upfront, it can save you money in the long-run.
Consider black box insurance
Black box insurance can prove to be a cheaper option for less confident and younger drivers, so if you fall into this category then it’s definitely worth considering.
It involves installing a black box in your car, or downloading an app, which then tracks things such as your speed and braking while you’re driving. If you prove to be a safe driver, you could see a reduction in your insurance costs at renewal time.
Change your parking spot (if you can)
It might not seem like much, but switching your parking spot is another way to keep the cost of insurance down. Insurers consider parking on a private driveway to be a safer than parking on a road as you’re less likely to be the victim of theft.
You could also choose to park in a garage, although this isn’t guaranteed to reduce the price of insurance as some providers feel there’s increased risk that your car will be damaged as you drive in and out.
Be sure to keep an eye out for further top tips in the months to come on how you can save money and remember that Halfords.com is here to support you with all your motoring and cycling needs.