You’ve just landed your dream job, but there’s one problem – you need to get to work but your house might as well be located in Mordor, i.e. walking isn’t really an option. Plus, buses are sighted about as often as unicorns in your neck of the woods.
You have no choice but to drive. You buy an old clunker that can scale Mordor’s dubious roads, but as an inexperienced, new driver, the online quotes for car insurance are eye-watering.
Desperate for a solution, you decide to sell half the contents of your wardrobe on Vinted and DePop. But it’s not enough! Even after several trips to the post office to ship multiple pairs of old jeans and coats, you’re short! Oh well, at least you helped save the planet by selling pre-loved clothes.
But what now? Sell your kidney on the black market? Resign yourself to a year of beans on toast and rice and beans? Scurvy, here we come.
Hold up! Did you know there are tons of ways to get your insurance down without having to sell any of your organs or risk scurvy?
Saving money on insurance is about doing it the legal way. There’s no need to cut corners or get flexible with the truth. We’re here to show you there are many legitimate ways to get a lower premium:
- Pay your insurance annually
- Don’t renew at the last minute
- Drive less
- Consider a black-box policy
- Can you add an experienced driver
- Park in a safe area
- Consider a bigger Excess
- Shop around for add-ons
- Your job title makes a difference
- Borrow – not own – a car
- Understand insurance groups
- Consider claiming
- Don’t mod your car
- Consider Pass-Plus
- Shop around with short term insurance
Let’s explore them here!
1. Pay for your insurance annually
If you can swing it, pay your insurance annually
We know this isn’t an option for everyone, but if you can pay off your insurance in one go, you may want to look into this option.
That’s because if you pay for your car insurance annually, rather than monthly, you could save money on interest charges and loan administration fees.
Monthly payments usually come with additional fees and charges, so if you want to avoid these fees altogether, it’s best to pay annually. Just make sure that you can afford the lump sum payment upfront before signing up for an annual policy!
0% interest credit cards can provide an alternative way to pay off an annual bill. If you qualify, you could spread the cost of your insurance premium over a few months, and save on interest too.
2. Don’t leave your renewal to the last minute
Did you know that not leaving your renewal to the last minute could actually save you cash? Yup. Figures suggest that getting new quotes 15 to 29 days before your insurance is due to renew may give you the best deal on your insurance.
That’s right – all things being equal, getting an insurance quote earlier rather than later resulted in lower quotes for car owners.
This also gives you an opportunity to shop around if you need to, and potentially negotiate a better deal with your current insurer if you wish to stay on with them anyway.
3. Drive less for a lower premium
Another way to lower your premiums is by driving less. You might be thinking “well duh, I know that! Are you going to suggest just giving up driving altogether next? Talk about ground-breaking money-saving tips! Not.”
But listen up, snarky pants, we do have a point. Are you taking the car when you know there are other options?
Many insurers base their premiums on your estimated mileage, so this is definitely something to consider if you’re looking to save money on your car insurance. Plus, think of the turtles!
If you’re willing to take public transport or cycle to work when the weather allows it, you could potentially save money on your premium.
Having a low mileage is generally seen as a lower risk to insurers because it simply means you’re not driving as often as someone with a higher mileage. This means you’re statistically less likely to be involved in an accident as you’re not on the road as often.
Just make sure that you’re honest about your mileage when you sign up for a policy. It’s easy for insurers you work out if you’re being a little economical with the truth. For instance, your mileage will be recorded on your yearly MOT and this can be accessed easily by your insurer.
Plus, if you declare a super low mileage, some insurers might actually increase your premium. That’s why shopping around helps. And yes, we know, navigating insurance is a bit of a minefield!
Misleading your insurer could result in your policy being invalidated or cancelled altogether, which comes with a whole host of issues you don’t want to have to deal with. For instance, you’ll find it much harder to get insurance in the future, and premiums are likely to be expensive. Ultimately, it’ll be counterproductive. Just don’t do it.
4. Consider a black-box policy
Also known as telematics insurance, black box policies track factors such as how smoothly and safely you drive, when you typically drive, and your braking behaviour.
This data is used to reward low-risk driving behaviours with lower premiums and discourage risky ones with higher premiums. So not only could black box insurance potentially save you money on car insurance, but it could also improve your driving habits and make the roads a safer place for everyone!
If you’re interested in this type of insurance, make sure to check out our black box insurance policy article here.
5. Consider adding a more experienced named driver
One way to reduce your premiums is by adding a named driver to your policy, such as a parent or older sibling. The reason why this works is that your parent or older sibling is likely a more experienced driver.
But this option only works if your more experienced relative does drive your car occasionally and is planning on using it in the future. Otherwise, you’d be lying to your insurer in a situation not too dissimilar to fronting and could find yourself in a really difficult place in terms of insurance cover and/ or getting insurance in the future.
If they have a stellar driving record with no claims, insurers will see them as less of a risk and lower your premium as they drive the car too.
6. Leave your car somewhere safe
Where you leave your car overnight will have an impact on your car insurance premium. Parking on a private driveway in a safe area could get you cheaper insurance than parking your car on the road.
Surprisingly, research by Uswitch suggests that parking in a garage does not always get you the cheapest premium, as some garages are considered too small to accommodate a modern car, and therefore there’s a damage risk.
You can usually obtain several quotes to find out whether leaving your car on the road or parking on the driveway will make a dent in your insurance policy.
Just make sure you actually park your car on the driveway overnight if you say you’re going to! Otherwise, your insurer could deny your claim in the event of a theft.
7. Consider opting for a larger excess
If you opt for a higher excess, then your insurance premium is likely to be lower. This is because insurers take less of a financial risk when insuring you. If you do end up making a claim, they’ll know you’ll cover a larger chunk of the cost due to your excess. They pass some of this saving on to you by giving you a lower premium.
Of course, a larger excess might not be right for everyone. You need to be certain that if the worst were to happen and you had to claim, you can actually cover the cost of the excess.
In a related way, the Fees you might pay after you’ve bought a policy are worth a look. They might not seem relevant when you’re buying, but they could cost you a pretty penny (but not here). Get the low down on car insurance fees before you make your decision.
8. Shop around for add-ons
One way to save money on your car insurance is by shopping around for add-ons. Many comprehensive policies come with optional add-ons like legal cover and breakdown cover. People often simply add these on if they want them, without thinking about it too much.
But, did you know that you could shop around for these types of policies elsewhere? You don’t need to have your comprehensive insurance company provide your breakdown cover as well. You’re free to shop around and see if there’s a better deal out there.
We’re sure you already know you should compare insurance policies. Comparing insurance add-ons is just one extra step to help you save a little cash.
In a similar vein, if you’re a member of the AA or RAC, you may be able to get a lower insurance premium too.
9. Think about your job title
Did you know that your job title can have an impact on the cost of your car insurance? Some occupations are seen as higher risk than others so if you have a job that’s considered high risk, you may have to pay more for your insurance. On the other hand, if you have a job that’s considered low-risk you may be able to get a cheaper premium.
Job titles are usually selected through a dropdown menu, so you need to select the one that is the nearest match to what you do. They might not have your exact job title, especially if you work at one of those trendy start-ups, where everyone is a “social media ninja” or “product rockstar” or whatever. And sometimes, two seemingly similar job titles fetch very different premiums.
Websites like MoneySavingExpert offer free tools where you can fill in your current premium and job title and see how it would change if you selected an alternative job title that closely matched what you do as well. As long as you’re honest with your insurer and select a job that reflects your actual occupation, you could save some cash on your premium!
So it’s definitely worth thinking about your job title when you’re shopping around for car insurance!
10. Don’t own a car. Borrow one
We’re not trying to be sassy here. And we’re sure you’re worked up after the whole “drive less” section. But before you fling your phone across the room in frustration, hold up!
Think about whether you actually need a car. How often do you use it? Just to get to work? Can you carpool with a colleague and pay towards fuel if they live close by?
If you live with your parents, could you borrow one of their cars to get to work? And yes, you’d still need insurance to drive their car, but you can often be added as a driver on their insurance policy, which may work out cheaper than insuring your own car as a sole driver.
If you only drive occasionally, borrowing someone’s car for those rare occasions is super simple with insurance policies like Zixty’s temporary car insurance which takes minutes to arrange and can last anywhere between a few hours to a few weeks. We even have an app, so you don’t have to call anyone on the phone and talk to an actual human to arrange it if you don’t want to. Bonus!
11. Understand insurance groups
Contrary to popular belief, insurance premiums aren’t these mysterious, random numbers insurers pull out of a hat after concocting an opaque algorithm nobody has access to. Well, okay, so that might be partly true.
But, insurers do allow you a little sneak peek behind the scenes with insurance groups. Cars are generally sorted into 50 insurance groups depending on how luxurious and powerful they are. The cars in the highest insurance group are the most luxurious and most powerful motors around.
The good news is that you can check what group your make and model is in before you even find a car you like! There’s a handy car insurance group tool here that lets you do just that. You’ll be able to work out whether your dream car is likely to be on the lower end of insurance premiums before you’ve even found a couple in your area.
Want to know even more about car insurance groups (and who doesn’t), we’ve done the hard work for you in our snappily titled “Everything you need to know about car insurance groups“.
Car insurance groups aren’t the end of it when it comes to car insurance premiums. There’s a world of terms and phrases, and while they’re not going to hold a crowd on a night out, it’s worth knowing the basics. Why not check out our comprehensive guide to car insurance jargon.
This is worth checking out as well! Don’t assume that your car will be cheap to insure just because it’s really old or doesn’t cost much. That’s not always the case.
12. Think about whether to claim
If you have a car accident or incident, you must tell your insurer even if you’re not thinking of claiming. This may affect your premium, but if you read your policy wording, you’ll likely find that you’re still required to tell your insurer. If they find out after the fact, it could invalidate your insurance.
However, telling your insurer about your accident is not necessarily the same as claiming. And before making a claim, it’s important to think about whether or not it’s actually worth doing so. For instance, is your car’s front bumper completely smashed, or is it just a little scratch that can be buffed right out?
If the damage isn’t too severe, and you can afford to pay for it yourself, it might make sense to avoid claiming. This will help you build your no-claim discount, and it’ll mean a lower premium when renewal comes around.
13. Don’t mod your car, this isn’t Pimp My Ride
Xzibit isn’t going to pay your car insurance premium, so don’t be tempted to mod your car ala Pimp My Ride. It’s not worth it.
Modifications can increase your car insurance premium for all sorts of reasons, from making it more appealing to thieves to making it more susceptible to accidents due to increased power, the impact of after-market mods on handling, and increasing its overall value.
Basically, if you’ve bought an old car that’s on its last legs, maybe just live with it for the time being. There’ll be a time and place for a newer motor, and there might even be a time when you could consider pimping your ride. But that time isn’t now, young padwan. Not when you’re actively considering selling your kidney just to afford car insurance in the first place.
14. Consider Pass Plus
If you’re a new driver, your premium is probably going to be higher than that of a more experienced driver.
But, one potential way to lower that astronomical figure you’ve been quoted is to go through the Pass Plus Scheme.
The Pass Plus Scheme is a six-hour course designed for newly qualified drivers. It teaches you road safety and helps you overcome driving anxiety. It includes driving on motorways, night driving, and navigating urban driving.
Now, if you’ve only just passed your driving test after months of lessons, the last thing you probably want to do is take on yet another stressful qualification.
But the Pass Plus Scheme doesn’t involve any formal tests. As long as you put in the work and pass the modules with your qualified instructor, you’ll receive a certificate at the end of the experience.
You’ll likely feel more confident about your driving and you might even bag a lower insurance premium as you’ve shown you’re willing to go above and beyond to become a better driver.
But bear in mind that not all insurers offer discounts, and the cost of a qualification like this one can offset any potential savings.
Before you sign up just so you can nab a saving, check with potential insurers about what savings you can expect. Also, see if your council offers discounts to take this course.
15. Take out Zixty short term car insurance when you buy a car
Zixty’s short term car insurance is a great solution for those times when you need coverage immediately, but don’t want to commit to an annual comprehensive policy before thoroughly shopping around.
For example, if you’ve just bought a car, but haven’t had time to shop around, you might want to take out short term car insurance for a few days. Just make sure you have insurance when you take delivery, else points and fines are only a police stop away.
Without short term car insurance, you might feel pressured to buy any car insurance policy just so you can legally pick up your car from the dealer. With Zixty’s short term car insurance, you can take the time to find the best annual deal out there without worrying about how to get your car home or buying the first policy you see.
How to save money on car insurance: An overview
New drivers rejoice! You no longer have to be plagued with the high premiums that come with being an inexperienced driver. There are so many ways to lower your premium that don’t involve eating beans on toast for a whole year. Isn’t that a relief? Looks like scurvy isn’t on the cards for you after all.
By following some of these tips, you can easily get cheaper car insurance as a new driver. So go out there and enjoy the open road, knowing that you’re not paying an arm and a leg for it. Well, relatively speaking anyway.
But, and this has to be said: tax avoidance is OK, and tax evasion is not. It’s a subtle difference in words, but a huge difference in where you sleep at night. Car insurance (well, insurance more generally) is the same: If you lie to your insurer, any saving you might make could be dwarfed by the cost in the future. Fraud detection tools are increasingly sophisticated, and the chance of being caught is real.