Better understand the over 60s car insurance market
Even for those with decades of experience behind the wheel and many years' No Claims Discount (NCD), car insurance for over 60s motorists can still be a significant expense.
Car insurance remains a legal requirement in the UK, but you don't have to accept high premiums. Our research continues to show that drivers can save money by rejecting their insurer's renewal quotes and shopping around for a better and cheaper over 60s car insurance deals.
There's plenty more you can do to keep costs down while retaining the level of cover you need. Here's a guide to car insurance for those aged 60 or over.
The cost of car insurance for over 60s motorists
Compared to younger drivers, those over the age of 60 pay the least for their car insurance. According to the latest MoneySupermarket car insurance monitor, which analyses trends in the car insurance market over the last 18 months, the over 65s have actually seen the highest levels of price deflation.
Although the cost of car insurance for over 60s certainly pales in comparison to the prices faced by teenagers, it still isn't cheap - especially if you're no longer working.
What determines car insurance prices?
Insurers use statistics to predict how likely it is you'll make a claim.
Older, more experienced drivers are statistically less likely to be involved in accidents than inexperienced, teenage drivers, and the premiums are weighted accordingly.
Similarly, a crash in a Vauxhall Corsa is likely to cost less to repair than a crash in a BMW 7 Series, so the BMW driver pays more to offset the increased financial risk.
The same goes for drivers living in high-crime areas, where there's a bigger threat of criminal damage or theft. They'll pay more for cover than someone who lives in a comparatively low-crime area.
Women used to get cheaper car insurance than men because statistics show they're involved in fewer accidents. Women are still safer drivers, according to statistics, but the European Court of Justice has introduced new legislation which bans insurers from charging men and women different prices for cover.
The EU Gender Directive means that women are seeing their car insurance premiums go up, while men are seeing marginal price drops.
Everyone's car insurance premiums are pushed up by drivers who flout the law by driving without any cover.
Rules to combat the problem came into force in 2011, and mean that any car you own which isn't declared as off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) notification must be insured at all times.
Anyone who breaks the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) rules can receive a £100 fixed penalty notice, have their car clamped or even face court prosecution with fines of up to £1,000.
So if you have a vehicle you use infrequently, you'll have to make sure it is either covered or declared SORN. You could of course opt for a lower level of cover for the periods when the vehicle is not in use and then upgrade when you do use it.
Types of cover
There are three different car insurance policy types available; fully comprehensive, third party, fire and theft (TPFT) and third party only.
The last type only covers you against damage to other people and property. TPFT offers that same level of cover with added protection against fire and theft. Finally, fully comprehensive cover offers all the previously mentioned cover as well as cover for damage to your own vehicle.
Third party only cover is often the cheapest option, but remember that if you have to make a claim and there is damage to your own vehicle, you'll have to foot the bill yourself - which could make it quite an expensive option.
TPFT cover might be marginally less expensive than fully comprehensive cover, but again you'll be liable for you own damages.
Types of vehicle
As we touched upon earlier, more powerful and valuable vehicles tend to cost more to insure than less powerful, less valuable cars.
If you're looking to buy something new, check which car insurance group each car belongs to as this will give you an indication on how expensive it will be to insure.
Vehicles are categorised into 50 car insurance groups, based on their value and performance. Those at the higher end of the scale are the most expensive to insure, whereas those at the lower end are cheapest.
As an illustrative example, a 2008 Ford Ka would be in group 1 (the cheapest group), whereas a Mercedes Benz SL Class 500 would be in group 50.
Shop around for car insurance for over 60s drivers
With the CIE rules and the EU Gender Directive changing the car insurance market, it's more important than ever to shop around and get the best possible price on car insurance for over 60s motorists.
Accepting your current insurer's renewal price probably won't get you the best deal, and you're unlikely to be rewarded for your loyalty. Our research shows consumers could save £220 (51% of consumers, Consumer Intelligence Feb 2014) by shopping around for quotes elsewhere.
Our comparison service is very simple to use and will only take a few minutes of your time - certainly less time than it takes to give you details to several insurers over the phone. You can also adjust the level of cover or the voluntary excess you're willing to pay to see how your quotes are affected.
When you've found a competitive quote, you can click through to the insurer who will have all the details ready to set up your new, cheaper car insurance policy.
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†82% of shoppers obtained a quote in 5 minutes or less. Source eDigitalResearch December 2012.