Thanks to the internet, instant car insurance is a reality. And with the advent of smartphones and tablets, you don’t even need to be sitting at a computer to sort out your policy.
Here’s how to find the cheapest car insurance quotes and arrange your cover in a matter of moments.
Search for a quote online
When you visit the MoneySuperMarket online car insurance comparison site, you get immediate access to over 139 providers, all vying for your business. This means you can compare what’s available, identify the right policy at the right price, and then click through to your chosen insurer to secure an instant car insurance deal. Many insurers offer a discount to those who buy online because the application is less labour-intensive to process.
Reducing the cost of cover
Whatever your personal details, whatever car you drive, it’s highly likely that you could take a few relatively simple steps to trim a worthwhile amount off your premium. Here’s a run-down of some of our recommended car insurance action points:
Limit your mileage
The fewer miles you drive, the less likely it is that you will be involved in an accident – that’s why car insurance proposal forms ask you to state your annual mileage. And the lower the mileage, the lower the premium is likely to be. If you’re unsure of your annual mileage, you can use our car insurance comparison tool, which has a calculator to help you work out how many miles you drive each year.
It is vital that you choose a realistic figure – you could invalidate your policy if you breach the agreed mileage limit. If you realise during the year that you have pitched the figure too low – or, indeed, too high – tell your insurer and they might adjust your premium accordingly.
Check your insurance group
There are 50 car insurance groups that insurers use to rate every vehicle registered to drive on UK roads – and the lower the group, the lower the insurance premium. Cars are allocated a group according to various factors including engine size, performance capability, built-in security measures and the likely cost of repairs.
So if you are buying a car, check its rating – it might influence your choice of model. You can find out details of car insurance groups at www.thatcham.org.
The lower the mileage, the lower the premium is likely to be
Make any changes to your car – even cosmetic ones – and you risk invalidating your insurance cover. Spoilers, lights or fancy wheel trims might not seem significant from an insurance point of view, but they are taken very seriously by insurance providers. Tell your insurer about any change you make, and they may charge you extra for the privilege. For more information on this visit our modified car insurance page.
Have your driving monitored
An increasing number of drivers are having a ‘black box’ recording device fitted to their car by their insurer – a system known as telematics car insurance. This will provide data on how the car is driven – speed, braking, cornering, time of day and so on –the theory being that ‘safe’ driving should be rewarded by reduced premiums. By the same token, poor or dangerous driving may attract an increased premium.
Increase your excess
An excess is the amount you must pay towards a claim. The standard or compulsory excess will be £100 or £150. If you volunteer to pay a bigger excess, you will normally secure a lower premium. But don’t set the excess at a level higher than you can afford or you will struggle if you have to make a claim.
Think before you claim
For each year you don’t make a claim you receive a no claims discount (NCD), which can build up until it is cutting 70% off your annual premium. If you have a minor knock in the car, it can cost less to pay for the repairs yourself rather than make a claim and lose your bonus.
Another option is to pay to protect your NCD – this means you will be able to make a claim (or claims) with losing your discount.
Many insurers charge interest if you opt to pay in monthly installments so, if you can find the premium in one go, it often makes sense to pay the whole lot up front.
Boost security levels
If you fit an approved alarm, immobiliser and/or tracking device, the insurer may reduce your premium. The same applies if you can park in a garage or off-road overnight – more than half of vehicle thefts occur during the hours of darkness.