There are many ways to get cheaper car insurance, such as comparing quotes from multiple companies, buying at the right time and paying upfront to avoid finance charges. While there are other ways to save as well, not all are simple and easy to execute – such as trading your expensive-to-insure car for a car in a lower insurance group. Below we explain the best ways to get cheaper insurance for your car so you can decide which will work best for you.
What is the best way to get cheap car insurance?
For the same car and driver, prices can be 5X higher or even more from one car insurance company to the next. So if you only check prices with one provider before buying, you might pay an astronomical amount unnecessarily.
In addition to checking prices with multiple companies before you buy, there are other ways to save as well. Here is a recap of the best ways to get cheap car insurance:
- Compare rates: Getting quotes from multiple insurance providers is the easiest way to avoid overpaying for car insurance.
- Level of cover: If your car is very old and not worth much you might decide that a lower level of cover is sufficient for your needs, but generally speaking it’s best to get comprehensive cover (and it usually doesn’t cost that much more money anyway)
- Buy a car with a low insurance group rating: Insurance group 1 cars are the cheapest to insure, insurance group 50 is the most expensive
- Arrange your cover three weeks in advance: The best time to buy car insurance is usually three weeks in advance
- Install a black box: Aimed especially at young, inexperienced drivers, a telematics car insurance policy will track your driving style and can save you money
- Select a higher excess: A higher excess can mean a lower premium, just be sure you can pay the excess if you need to submit a claim
- Pay annually: Avoid interest charges by paying your premium upfront for the year instead of monthly
- Compare prices at renewal: Ahead of your renewal date, compare prices with other providers to see if you can find a better deal
- Multi-car insurance: Discounts of up to 15% or more can be found if you’re insuring multiple cars in your household.
- Drive safe: Avoid accidents to build your no claims bonus to save up to 50% or more
- Consider add-on features: Take your time to understand which add-on features you need, and which you don’t
When is the best time to buy car insurance
The best time to buy car insurance is around three weeks before you need the policy to start. The savings you can achieve buying your car insurance in advance can reach up to 50%, but will vary from situation to situation.
Why is it cheaper to buy early? In part, it’s down to insurance companies viewing early birds as more organised and more careful. People who take care with their finances are also likely to take care with their vehicle and driving. So early shopping can indicate you’re a lower-risk customer. The result? Lower rates.
Not only are rates usually cheaper when buying ahead, but you’ll usually have more quotes to choose from. Many companies won’t sell policies to start on the same day.
A final reason that some companies won’t offer same-day policy start dates, or charge an arm and a leg to do so, is the risk of insuring drivers who were previously uninsured and are trying to buy insurance as soon as a claim arises. For example, if an uninsured driver gets in an accident they might try to immediately buy insurance to cover the incident. This would be illegal on many fronts, however.
What car is best for cheap insurance
While there is no one best car for cheap insurance, you’ll find cheaper insurance rates for cars in lower insurance groups. Car insurance groups are administered by Thatcham, and they indicate the risk of insuring a car to insurers. Group ratings are used in car insurance company pricing models to price cover for a certain car.
Examples of cars in insurance group 1 include the Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Volkswagen up! hatchback, Dacia Logan MCV, Nissan Micra hatchback, Skoda Citigo e iV hatchback, Hyundai i10 hatchback (2014-2019), Smart ForFour hatchback (2014-2019) and Ford Ka+ hatchback (2016-2020). Older trims of the ever-popluar Ford Fiesta fall into insurance group 2 (e.g., hatchback 1.1-litre Style).
Note, while an low trim level version of a certain make and model might fall into one group, higher trim levels will fall into higher insurance groups – cars with more features and higher price tags are generally more expensive to insure.
How to switch car insurance companies
Regardless of your reasons for wanting to make a change, switching car insurance companies involves a few steps. First, find alternative cover. This means surveying the market to find either a cheaper deal or a policy with better coverage – or both. Once you have a quote in hand, find out how long it will be valid for. Next, contact your existing provider to tell them your thinking of switching. They may reduce your premium to keep you as a customer. If they don’t do this and you want to cancel, first find out what the cancellation fees will be and what kind of refund you’ll get, if you paid upfront.
With all this information at hand, you’re ready to make the switch. Make sure you have formally notified your current insurer that you want your policy cancelled. Simply stopping payments will not cancel your cover.
And be sure your new policy is confirmed with a start date that coincides with or precedes the cancellation/policy end date of your existing policy, so you don’t have a gap in cover.
If you’re switching at renewal, be sure to notify your existing provider that you do not want to renew. Some accounts are set up with an autorenew feature to help policyholders avoid a gap in cover. You’ll need to make sure the renewal doesn’t go through, or else you’ll be stuck with cancellation fees.