Five Effective Ways to Keep Car Insurance Costs Down

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The jubilant feeling of passing your driving test can quickly become scuppered when you begin to look at quotes for car insurance. On average, 17 to 22 year olds can end up paying many thousands of pounds a year -- and even this may be for a basic policy.

However, there are ways to keep costs down without sacrificing the important protections that comprehensive cover can provide.

5 Ways to Keep Insurance Costs Down

  1. 1

    Try and Increase Your Voluntary Excess

    Unfortunately, younger drivers are statistically likelier to make a claim -- in part because of their inexperience, but also because some new motorists take risks by driving recklessly. The downside is that insurers have no choice but to tar everyone with the same brush in order to make offering policies viable. One way that you can send your costs tumbling is by increasing the amount of money you would contribute in the event of making a claim -- known as your excess. Most insurers demand that you pay a certain sum, say £100, before they contribute towards the rest of the claim. However, volunteering to pay more -- anywhere from £200 to £600 as an example -- can significantly lower the cost of your premiums. You just need to make sure that it’s a commitment you’ll be able to afford if the unexpected happens, as any essential repairs to your motor could end up delayed.

  2. 2

    Be Smart with Your Choice of Car

    For insurers, the vehicle you drive is a big deal. After all, if you’ve got a luxury car or a rare model, it will likely mean that its worth a lot of money -- and the cost of replacement parts will be through the roof. Many drivers don’t realise that insurance companies have 50 categories for cars based on how pricy they are. Opting for a mainstream motor that’s reliable and only a few years old is the best way to strike a compromise between purchasing something too flashy and driving around in a banger you’ll be embarrassed by.

    lower insurance car
    Skoda Citigo by Robert Cutts

    Choose Skoda or any other car from insurance groups 1 or 2 to keep your premiums lower.
  3. 3

    Consider Agreeing to a Black Box

    Telematics is an exciting technological development in the insurance world which could save you a pretty penny. These black boxes monitor how many miles you cover, your average speeds, as well as the times of day you’re heading out on the roads. All of these vital statistics help insurers receive a clearer picture of whether you’re a responsible driver, and it could result in your premiums decreasing dramatically. Some companies even offer an app which allows you to keep track of your score.

    Here is an overview of the technology:

    There are downsides -- you could be penalised if you’re seen to be driving on hazardous roads regularly, and night time travelling is also frowned upon by most insurance providers because it increases the risk of a collision. It’s important to compare and contrast the conditions insurers impose on their black box customers before you sign on any dotted line.

  4. 4

    Compare Insurance Providers

    Although it can be arduous to spend hours upon hours browsing deals on price comparison websites, this precious time could save you hundreds of pounds. Who knows -- there may even be a few freebies thrown into the bargain, such as breakdown cover. Often, it’s also possible to secure discounts if you agree to pay for a full year’s policy in advance as opposed to on a monthly basis.

    The main challenge you’re going to face is striking that balance between being over-insured and under-insured. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid forking out extra to be insured for scenarios that you’re very unlikely to ever encounter. But conversely, it may be unwise to pick a policy which only covers the costs of damage caused to other vehicles and not your own.

  5. 5

    Join Your Parents’ Policy as a Named Driver

    This tip isn’t going to be suitable for everyone, not least because your mum and dad might not be thrilled with the idea. You should know that there is an important distinction that needs to be made when you’re looking for policies and filling out application forms. If a young driver is being named on an older adult’s car insurance policy, they cannot be driving their vehicle for most of the time -- as otherwise, insurers can invalidate the cover.

    You might consider the following video before making a decision:

    Alternatively, if a newly qualified driver has their own vehicle, some insurance companies allow an entire family’s insurance to be brought together under one policy. You’ll just need to do the maths and calculate whether this will save you money as opposed to signing up for policies individually.

As we’ve seen, insurance can be a minefield -- but there are ways to make sure that you secure a thorough policy at a reasonable price.

And, if you’re a good driver, you should find that the costs continue to tumble in the coming years through no claims bonuses.

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