The cost of motor insurance can vary hugely. There are many factors that can influence the premium you have to pay. Some you will have little or no influence on such as your age and experience or previous motoring offences. Others you can work on to reduce premiums. Your excess, the type of car you drive, its security system and how it’s used for example.
The type of vehicle you drive
The more powerful the engine, the more expensive the car is to repair, and the more likely it is to be broken into or stolen will all affect the premium you have to pay.
The insurance industry has some standard car ratings, from one to twenty. However, many insurers now use their own systems. The rating of a new or used car depends mostly on the engine size and weight of the car as well as the cost of replacement parts and the probability it of theft.
You might be the safest driver in the world, have an unblemished record on the road, never have been caught speeding, or been the victim of car crime, but if you live in the ‘wrong’ area your insurance premium can suffer. If you live in an inner city where you are more likely to be involved in an accident or have your car stolen, you will likely pay substantially more than someone who lives in a country village or leafy suburbia. Whether or not your car is kept in a garage can also make a difference.
Parking on a drive is also regarded as safer than private parking. Also, using a carport is generally considered as no better than parking on the street.
Ideally keep your car parked in a locked garage overnight. More than 50% of vehicle thefts occur during the night so if your car is safely locked away your insurance costs will come down.
Higher premiums also apply if you use your car for work especially if you happen to be employed in one of the professions regarded as higher risk – journalism, the licensed trade, HM Forces, professional entertainment, sport, music journalist, music, the media.
Including cover for drivers under the age of 25 will also affect the premium. Consider who to put as the main insured driver – If you have more penalty points than your spouse, putting him/her down as the main driver with you as a named driver on the policy could also cut the premium.
Car security – A car alarm, immobiliser or tracker will protect your vehicle from theft and should reduce the premium. All improvements to security should help to lower your car insurance costs.
If you are considering fitting such security devices it’s best check that they are approved by your insurer also which ones will cut your car insurance quote the most.
Opt to up the excess you are prepared to pay on any claim to reduce the premium. The more you are willing to cover yourself in the event of a claim the lower your premium.
Most policies have a compulsory excess and a voluntary excess which you can vary. Increasing the excess will reduce your premium as you are in effect taking some of the policy risk by paying a higher percentage of any claim. For example if you are sure that you won’t make a claim for less than £500 then have an excess of this level and you will see your premium fall significantly.
Finally, one of the easiest ways to cut the cost of your insurance is to shop around. Finding competitive quotes is easier than ever with hundreds of websites available to find and compare quotes. Big players in the comparison market include Moneysupermarket.com and Confused.com where you can see quotes from different providers compared side by side.