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Fully comprehensive car insurance

Compare quotes for fully comprehensive car insurance

Car insurance comes in many shapes and sizes, but you’ll often find that fully comprehensive cover provides the best level of protection for the lowest price

By Mehdi Punjwani

Published: 06 May 2021

Group of young males and females enjoying car journey

What is fully comprehensive car insurance?

Fully comprehensive car insurance is the highest level of cover you can take out to protect your vehicle – the other two options are third party only, and third party, fire & theft.


What does fully comprehensive car insurance cover?

A fully comprehensive car insurance policy offers the most coverage of the three options, so it will include everything in both third party only and third party, fire & theft.

This means you’ll be covered for damage you cause to another person, their vehicle or their property. You’ll also be insured for damage to your own car as a result of fire, explosions, theft – and many fully comprehensive policies also cover the following:

Do I need policy extras with fully comprehensive car insurance?

The above cover options may be included as standard with your fully comprehensive car insurance policy – but this will depend on the provider. In instances where this cover isn’t automatically included, you may be able to add them on as policy extras.

This can bolster your cover and provide extra reassurance that you’ll be protected should something unexpected happen. But keep in mind that taking out policy extras is likely to raise your overall premiums, so consider whether you really need the added cover.

What isn’t covered by fully comprehensive car insurance?

While fully comprehensive car insurance offers the greatest level of cover, there will still likely be exclusions as part of your policy – such as:

  • Driving under the influence: Drink and drug driving is dangerous and will earn you points on your licence – and any claims resulting from being intoxicated won’t be valid
  • Not having a valid licence: You won’t be able to claim if your driving licence isn’t valid 
  • Wear and tear: Damage resulting from wear and tear is unlikely to be covered – keeping up with regular maintenance is recommended to avoid damage caused by negligence or regular use
  • Violation of guidelines: insurers will sometimes set out a list of guidelines you should follow, and violating these can mean they won’t accept a claim
  • Carelessness in security: If your car is stolen because you’ve left it unlocked or with the windows open, or your belongings stolen because they were left in in open view, it’s unlikely you’ll be covered for a claim
  • Other cars or drivers: You won’t be insured for driving other cars unless you’ve taken out a multi-car policy or you’re a named driver on someone else’s cover. Likewise, unless you’ve added another driver to your policy, no one else will be insured to get behind the wheel of your car. The only exceptions for this are likely to be emergency situations 

What is the difference between comprehensive and third-party car insurance?

While fully comprehensive policies offer a wide range of cover, third party only car insurance will only protect you against the cost of damage done to others. 

This means should you be involved in an incident that results in your own car being damaged, or you being injured, or your possessions being lost, you won’t be able to claim for these costs. However you will be covered for the damage done to another person, their vehicle or their property.

Third party only cover is the legal minimum level of insurance required to drive on UK roads no matter what the vehicle.

How much does fully comprehensive car insurance cost?

Even when choosing fully comprehensive car insurance, the cheapest option of the three, the price you’ll pay still depends on a raft of other factors. One of the principal ones is your age – largely because younger drivers, due to their inexperience on the road, are seen as at a higher risk of making a claim on their policy.

As a result, younger drivers almost always pay more for car insurance – in the second half of 2020, the average cost of a fully comprehensive car insurance policy for drivers aged 17-19 was just under £2,000 a year, compared to less than £900 for those aged 25-29, and only £340 for drivers aged 50-64.*

Fully comprehensive car insurance gets cheaper as you get older

Based on fully comprehensive car insurance policies with one driver only holding a full UK licence. MoneySuperMarket data collected between July and December 2020, accurate as of February 2021]

Why is fully comprehensive car insurance cheaper?

It might seem counter intuitive that the highest level of cover available is also usually the cheapest – but it wasn’t always this way.

Third party cover used to be the cheapest, therefore the most common for high risk drivers wanting to lower their premiums. As a result, more and more claims were being made on third-party policies, which was then reflected in the price – reversing the trend and making them the most expensive.

Fully comprehensive car insurance is generally cheaper than the alternative options

Based on car insurance policies with one driver only holding a full UK licence. MoneySuperMarket data collected between July and December 2020, accurate as of February 2021]

What else affects the cost of car insurance?

Aside from your age and the level of cover you take out, car insurance providers also take the following into account when deciding your premiums:

  • Your car: Insurers sort cars into different groups based on factors like their value, performance, and availability of replacement parts. The higher your insurance group, the more you’ll likely pay for cover – you can use our car insurance group checker to see where your car sits
  • Your annual mileage: The longer you spend on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident – the higher risk means cover is usually more expensive. You can find policies designed for low-mileage drivers, which usually offer cheaper cover – as well as pay-as-you-go policies that charge by the mile
  • Your driving history: If you have a history of driving convictions, these will also be accounted for when deciding your premiums
  • Your claims history: Likewise, a history of making claims on your car insurance policy will show you to be a high risk of future claims, so you’ll probably have to pay more

How can I get cheaper fully comprehensive car insurance?

Choosing fully comprehensive car insurance is a simple way of getting a cheaper quote for your policy – but you can also:

Pay annually: Paying up front for your car insurance policy might mean parting with a lump sum every year, but it’ll usually work out cheaper than spreading the cost over 12 months

Avoid small claims: While some claims are unavoidable, mostly due to the size of the damage or loss incurred, taking care of smaller costs yourself can help preserve your no-claims bonus

Consider telematics: Telematics cover, sometimes known as black box car insurance, gives young and inexperienced drivers a chance to earn cheaper premiums by driving safely with GPS software installed in their car

Improve security: Factory installed mobilisers and alarms will help reduce the likelihood of your car being stolen, making you a lower risk to the insurer

Park off the street: Similarly, parking in a driveway, garage or carport can knock a few quid off your overall premiums compared to keeping your car on the street – particularly at night

Compare car insurance quotes

It’s always a good idea to shop around, and comparing car insurance quotes on MoneySuperMarket is the best way to browse deals from multiple car insurance companies. All you need to do is enter a few details about your car and driving history, and you’ll be able to see fully comprehensive car insurance deals tailored specifically for you and your vehicle.

Fully comprehensive quotes will include any voluntary and compulsory excess fees you’d need to pay to claim, extra coverage you can add to your policy, and the annual or monthly price you’ll pay for coverage. You can also compare fully comprehensive car insurance quotes against third-party only and third-party, fire and theft quotes to help you find the right car insurance policy for you. Once you’ve found the best quote available you can click on the deal and it’ll take you to the provider’s website.

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