August 1, 2017 | Barnes Lois It’s essential to have the right cover in place if you drive a car – but is there any way to save money on this unavoidable expense? We share our top ten tips for reducing the cost of your car insurance. Some types of insurance are more important than others, and with many of us trying to save money any way we can, it’s tempting to take a ‘pick and choose’ approach to the cover you need. However, if you drive car insurance is something you must have in place. Not only is it a legal requirement, it’s also essential to know you’re covered should an accident or theft happen. That said car insurance isn’t something you should simply shell out for without a second thought to how much it’s costing. It is possible to drive down the cost of your car insurance considerably by following a few simple steps– here are our top 10. Shop around This is the first thing you should do with any type of insurance nowadays, when the internet makes it so easy to compare car insurance quotes from different providers. No longer is it necessary or financially sensible to just accept your renewal or take the first quote you’re given. There are many insurance companies who now offer great deals on motor insurance, such as TrustATrader Insurance, as well as others. This doesn’t always mean looking for the cheapest cover, but instead finding a policy that will suit your requirements precisely, at a price that will suit your budget. It’s free to get quotes from car insurance providers so you’ve nothing to lose in comparing as many as you can until you find the right one for you. Make your car secure The more secure your car is, the more your insurer will see you as low-risk and therefore charge you less for insurance. So wherever possible it can really pay to make your car as safe and secure as possible. It’s well worth installing an immobiliser and alarm system (preferably Thatcham-approved as not all security systems are accepted by insurers). This will lessen the risk of your car being stolen and so will reduce your insurance premium. Buy online Another great thing the internet has brought to those needing to find cheap car insurance is the ability to buy online. As well as making the whole process a lot easier for you, as you can arrange your insurance from the comfort of your desktop, buying online is also preferable to your insurer – it means less paperwork and hassle for them. For this reason, many car insurers offer significant discounts just for purchasing your policy online, so next time your car is up for renewal, opt for the online route. Seek out a low-band car If you are looking to buy a new car, it’s certainly worth bearing in mind how much it’s going to cost you to insure. Some cars are classified in lower insurance bands than others, so when choosing your new set of wheels, it may be a good idea to enquire after its band before you buy. Your car dealer or vendor should be able to tell you how costly your car is going to be to insure, so make sure you look into this and go for a car that won’t cost the earth to cover. Increase your voluntary excess If you increase the amount you are willing to pay towards a claim before your insurer pays out, this can significantly reduce your car insurance premium. For example, if you agreed to pay £100 in the event of a claim instead of £50, your insurer will charge you much less for your premiums. However, this must be balanced against the fact that if an accident or theft does happen and you need to make a claim, you’ll be faced with having to pay out more than if you had opted for a lower excess. You’ll also need to take into account any additional excess some insurers apply to claims if you’re a younger driver. Cut down your mileage Again, although this is not always a realistic option if you are required to drive long miles for whatever reason, if you cut down the amount you drive you should see a reduction in your insurance cost. The less you drive your car, the less vulnerable it is to breaking down, accidents, and so on – so your insurer will see you as lower-risk and charge you lower premiums. Make sure to declare on your policy exactly how much you do drive, and be careful not to over-estimate (although it’s advisable not to under-estimate either – always be truthful). Get qualified Of course your passed driving test proves you are qualified to drive, but there are additional tests available that will make you even more of an expert on the roads. The more qualified you are to drive, the more your insurer will see you as a trustworthy driver and will cut your premiums accordingly. So if you want to become a better, safer driver and cut the cost of your car insurance in the meantime, it may be worth taking an advanced driving test such as the Pass Plus course – this can be especially beneficial for younger drivers. Park it safely Continuing in the same vein, where you park your car can make a significant difference to how safe your car is and therefore how much you’re charged for insurance. If your car is usually left parked at the side of a kerb, for example, it will be more vulnerable to theft and vandalism than if it was securely locked up in your garage. Although this is not always possible depending on where you live, if you do have the means to stow your car away in a safer place, it’s a good idea to do so – your premiums will be less and your wallet will thank you for it. Name another driver This will particularly apply if you are a younger driver. Insurance premiums can be especially high if you are a young, inexperienced driver, even higher if you happen to be male on top of that (risk statistics show that young male drivers are the demographic most likely to make the more expensive claims). So, to help deal with this cost, name another driver on your policy. This could be a parent who also uses your car, or another older driver. Having a more experienced person named on your insurance will make you a lower-risk customer and so will reduce your premiums. Also, if you drive an additional car, make sure to declare this on your policy – spreading your risk across more than one vehicle can reduce the cost of cover. However, it’s not advisable to get your parent insured as the main driver to save money if you’re a young driver, because if your insurer discovers that you are in fact the main driver it’s very likely they won’t pay out in the event of a claim. Steer clear of modifications to your vehicle If you want to bring the cost of your policy down further, avoid making modifications to your car. As well as making it a more obvious and attractive target to thieves and vandals, modified cars are also seen as more likely to be involved in an accident. By adding to your car you’re only making it more of a high-risk vehicle to insure, so leave well alone if you want to secure the lowest premiums.