When you get to 50, you should have a good few years of driving under your belt and it’s likely that you’ll be paying a fairly low premium for your car insurance.
Car insurance for over 50s
The average price for an over 50s fully comprehensive policy is £304 a year (as of December 2017). It’s the second cheapest car insurance rate of any age group, only surpassed by the 65 plus group whose average premium for the same policy is £272 per year*.
But these numbers are averages, and if you have points on your license, own an expensive car or have claimed recently, for instance, then your over 50s car insurance premiums could still prove to be a significant cost.
Below we take a look at how you can find the best over 50s car insurance deals.
Risk and reward
Insurance premiums are weighted by how much risk you pose to the insurance company’s coffers, and drivers who pose the lowest risk of claiming are given preferable rates.
Therefore, drivers with less driving experience, those who have driving convictions, or those who live in high-crime areas tend to pay more for their insurance. This is due to the increased likelihood of them claiming for an accident or collision, vandalism or theft.
One of the best illustrations of this is that young drivers usually have the most expensive insurance premiums. That’s because they have less driving experience and are statistically more likely than older drivers to be involved in an accident and make a claim.
By contrast, older drivers with decades of practise behind the wheel and potentially many years' worth of No Claims Discount (NCD) tend to be rewarded with cheaper cover than younger drivers.
But even experienced drivers can face higher premiums if they drive particularly expensive or powerful vehicles. That’s because these types of car are more likely to be involved in an accident, or be stolen, plus the cost of repairs could also be more expensive.
Statistically, men are more likely to be involved in accidents than women, which meant they paid more for cover, but all that changed in December 2012.
Pushing up the cost of driving
Legislation from the Europe Court of Justice banned insurance providers from discriminating on the grounds of gender. This means that the disparity between men and women’s premiums has shrunk, and actually, car insurance for women has risen by 30%.
Ideally, this should’ve resulted in men’s premiums falling to the levels previously enjoyed by women, but in reality it means premiums have become more expensive for women, while men are seeing just slight price drops.
Alongside the Gender Directive is the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) rules, introduced in 2011, which mean any vehicle not officially declared as no longer in use with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) must be insured at all times.
So, if you have a vehicle you rarely use, such as a classic car or a second car that you only take out now and again, you’ll have to either declare the vehicle SORN when you’re not using it or have it insured all year round.
The combination of these pieces of regulation means the cost of driving has gone up for some drivers, making it is more important than ever to shop around and get the best possible price for the cover you need.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to combat these changes and keep over 50s car insurance costs down.
Ways to save on car insurance for the over 50s
- Get the right level of cover. It might seem cheaper to buy third party only insurance, but fully comprehensive is actually cheaper for many drivers and comes with more extensive cover.
- Pay up-front. Spreading the cost over monthly instalments will cost you more because the insurer will charge you interest.
- Increase your voluntary excess. A higher voluntary excess could lower premiums, but you should only ever set it to an amount you can afford. Think about whether it’s worth saving now compared with how much extra you’d need to pay out if you make a claim later.
- Securing your vehicle. Additional insurer-approved anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks or immobilisers can bring your premiums down. Keeping the vehicle parked in a secure location overnight, such as a well-lit driveway, will also help.
- Be accurate with mileage. Many people over-estimate the number of miles they drive each year, and are potentially over-charged. Drivers who are on the road more will get a higher car insurance bill because they’re at greater risk of being involved in an accident.
- Consider telematics insurance. Help your insurer evaluate your driving and possibly give you a discount on your premium.
- Don’t accept the renewal quote. Use MoneySuperMarket’s car insurance comparison tool, and see if you can save money on your over 50s car insurance.
- Refresh your road knowledge. Try our driving theory test to refresh your road knowledge.
*MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of December 2017.