Car Insurance Guide

The cost of motoring seems to be constantly increasing with the AA recently reporting that car insurance premiums increased by 40% in 2010 alone. This means that the average driver is now paying £791 per year for the obligation of insuring their vehicle.

Things are not set to get any easier with recently reports indicating that the government is planning on increasing insurance premium tax in an attempt to force young drivers off the road. However, you donít have to just sit back and take it. The following are ten top tips which should help shave hundreds off your annual car
insurance bill:

Pick the right car
Your choice of car is obviously important as it is suppose to reflect who you are. However, it is no longer enough to simply consider looks, performance, fuel economy and reliability when picking your motor as car insurance firms are placing ever greater importance on your choice of car when quoting you premiums.

For example, a 21 year old male driver would have to pay at least £600 to insurance themselves on a one litre Toyota Aygo. However, when searching for quotes on a 1.6 litre Vauxhall Astra, this same driver would struggle to find quotes for
less than £850. It is therefore possible to save at least £250 annually with your choice of car alone.

Security features
If your car does not already come equipped with them then make sure that you fit approved immobilisers and alarms. These will result in your car being viewed as substantially lower risk by insurers and therefore result in an annual saving on your insurance bill.

Live in the right areas
This one is slightly more difficult and expensive to change, but where you live can have a significant impact on the car insurance premium you are quoted. According to Moneysupermarket.com, someone living in areas of Scotland considered low risk by insurers could stand to pay up to £500 less than if they were living in areas considered to be high risk such as Manchester. This could be food for thought the next time you move house.

Haggle
It is just too easy to accept the car insurance renewal sent to you by your current insurer. However, more often than not this will be far more expensive than what you could be paying else where. The best tactic is to phone up your insurer and tell them of cheaper quotes you have received elsewhere. More often than not you will be given a better offer.

Use price comparison websites
Donít phone you present insurer without being prepared. Do a bit of ground work first by using price comparison websites. This is the easiest and fastest way to compare deals which are possible through hundreds of different insurers. It is more than likely that you will find a deal better than what your present insurer is prepared to offer with industry experts estimating that the average driver could save over £200 per year with price comparison services.

Buy Online
Most insurers will offer an discount to customers who buy their insurance online due to the possible admin savings they get through not having to hire staff for call centres. Donít be afraid to take advantage of this as buying online could save you up to 10%.

Be careful where you park it
Where you car is parked during the day and night will have an impact on the insurance premium you are offered. Parking in a garage or on a driveway is considered as substantially lower risk by insurers than if you were to park it on the road where your car is more likely to be subject to vandalism. However, do not lie to your insurer by telling them that you plan to park it in a garage if you are actually parking it outside your house on the road as they may refuse to cover you if your car is damaged when situated there.

Avoid the old facts
In the past, it was common knowledge that getting 3rd party cover rather than fully comprehensive would result in a cost saving. This made sense as your insurer would only cover damage you had caused to other peoples cars and would not pay for
damage caused to your own. However, insurers operate on statistics and it started to become obvious to them that higher risk drivers were the ones most likely to take advantage of this. The result is that 3rd party cover now actually costs more than fully comprehensive even though you get less for your money.

Another old truism which is being eradicated is that offering to pay a higher excess will result in an annual cost saving. This is for exactly the same reason as why 3rd party cover is now more expensive than fully comprehensive as higher risk drivers are the ones most likely to take advantage. The result is that offering to pay a higher excess is of only marginal benefit.

Lowest mileage possible
A simple fact of car insurance is that the more miles you do the more of a risk you are considered by insurers. This sort of makes sense when you think about it so be very careful when telling car insurers how many miles you are planning on travelling throughout the year. However, make sure that you do not exceed your limit as your insurer may refuse to cover you. It is a difficult balancing act.

Additional qualifications
Completing courses such as pass plus, which can be done through most driving instructors, could reduce your insurance premiums by up to 35%. This is due to the fact that drivers who have completed these courses are statistically less likely to become involved in an accident. This is particularly beneficial to younger drivers.