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How to save money on car insurance

Setting out to compare car insurance quickly becomes more complicated than it needs to be. With every car insurance quote you receive, you can find yourself more confused than ever. That's why Choose are here to help.

On this page, you'll find motor insurance to suit your needs without any hard sell or vested interests. Choose are completely independent of any insurance company, so you can browse car insurance price comparison quotes with confidence.

We understand searching for a policy that offers all the cover you need as well as being value for money can be tricky. That's why our car insurance price comparison tool is as straightforward as possible, leaving the power to choose in your hands.

Choose are an Introducer Appointed Representative (IAR) of Seopa Ltd. They compare car insurance quotes from over 110 UK insurance providers, and we bring that choice straight to you. We've chosen to work with Seopa Ltd because they're also independent and aren't owned by or have any investment from any insurance company.

At Choose, we're proud of our charitable partnerships, and we endeavour to give back at every opportunity. That's why we give 5% of our profits to charity every year. To learn more about our current charity partnerships, visit this page.

You can also learn more about the Choose Promise by visiting this page and understand what we mean when we say "fair price comparison".

How can I get a cheaper car insurance quote?

No one wants to pay more than they need to for motor insurance. Ideally, you'll be looking for a policy which covers every eventuality while still offering value for money. So, working out how to get cheap cover is often much of the battle.

First, every car insurance quote will be based on the miles you expect to cover annually. Lowering this can reduce your quote, but it isn't as simple as making up a number. When you sign a policy document, you're stating that all answers are as true as they can be, so ensure you're honest throughout.

A way to lower your quote, then, is to cut down on the mileage you do every year. Just sitting down and working out how many miles you travel every week can give you an accurate figure, plus it might reveal places you can cut down on the mileage too. That won't only lower your car insurance quote, it'll also lower your fuel bills.

As well as this, when you compare car insurance, consider opting for a higher voluntary excess. What this means is that you'll need to pay more upfront if you do make a claim, but your insurance premiums will be lower.

Finally, you could dramatically reduce your motor insurance quote by analysing what cover is truly needed and what isn't. Lots of us are attracted by packaged insurance deals, but the extras in there may not be relevant to your circumstances, and you may even have them bundled in other packages. So, analyse what you need before you compare car insurance products.

What different level of car insurance cover is there?

There are three levels of cover you should be aware of when you're looking at motor insurance: third party; third party, fire and theft, and comprehensive.

The minimum car insurance you have by law is third party. Any third party car insurance quote you see will cover other people and their cars but not you. So, if you damage someone else's car in an accident, the damage to them is covered by your third party policy, but any damage to your own vehicle wouldn't be covered.

Two important things to note with third party motor insurance: you won't be covered if your car is damaged or stolen, and you'll have to pay for any losses yourself.

The second level of cover is third party, fire and theft. This type of policy covers everything third party does, but it also covers the cost of repairs or replacement if your car is damaged by fire or stolen.

If you want to be fully covered, search for a car insurance quote that is fully comprehensive. This is the highest level of motor insurance cover available and, as the name suggests, it's the most comprehensive cover you'll find.

Fully comprehensive motor insurance means your car is covered in the event of an accident, even if the damage was your fault. Similarly, any accidental damage or vandalism can be claimed on your insurance policy.

When you're searching for a car insurance quote that's value for money, you might think that basic is best. Even so, weigh up the pros and cons of opting for third party only, and remember that basic doesn't always translate as the cheapest option out there.

Use our car insurance price comparison tool to compare policy options and find the best for your budget and requirements.

Does it matter which car insurance provider I choose?

Different insurance providers offer different policies with additional extras that may or may not be of interest to you. When you compare car insurance, be sure you have a list of desirable extras to avoid being attracted by deals that might not necessarily work for you.

For instance, some comprehensive motor insurance will include personal injury cover and personal effects cover. If this is in addition rather than included as a matter of course, check whether you have similar cover elsewhere before signing up.

Equally, courtesy cars and hire cars are two policy areas which many motor insurance companies differ on. Some will only provide a courtesy car if your car is able to be repaired, while others provide a hire car while you're organising a new vehicle.

With any car insurance quote, it's important not to assume that something will be included, and so you could always analyse the policy carefully to see if, for example, audio equipment is covered under your agreement.

Like many other sectors, smaller insurance companies are eager to break the power of the biggest names, so they may offer more incentives to help entice customers to their car insurance quote rather than their competitors'. This isn't to say small motor insurance companies don't offer great deals, but you should always read the small print.

Similarly, larger insurance providers may trade on their reputation, reasoning that customers will look to them for quality, reputable insurance cover.

The best way to assess an insurance provider is to look at their customer service history, and especially check whether there has been any high profile customer service failings in the news or reported by the Financial Ombudsman Service.

What cover could be included in the insurance policy that I should look for?

Car insurance price comparison allows you to isolate the different policy types you're looking for (third party; third party, fire and theft, and fully comprehensive), but there are plenty of additional extras that could impact the type of cover you're choosing.

Typical additions you come across when you compare motor insurance include legal expense cover in the event of a disputed accident, courtesy car cover, windscreen cover or packaged breakdown cover.

It's important to check the details of your car insurance quote to see if everything you'd expect to be covered is included. Think about these:

  • Personal belongings cover of items within the car and what level this is
  • Loss or theft of keys and what the small print is on this
  • Car rescue cover to remove your car from the site of an accident
  • Repairs guaranteed for a set period following work by the company's approved repairers
  • Loss or damage to your car stereo and sat nav
  • 24-hour emergency helpline for support

Don't be seduced into thinking that you need everything a car insurance quote might offer you. Look at every point individually and ask whether you need it.

Breakdown cover, for example, is sometimes included as standard with insurance policies, although this is rarer than you might think. It could also be a good thing, as including breakdown cover might push up the price of premiums.

Some motor insurance providers offer breakdown cover as an optional extra but be sure to check breakdown cover costs independently of your insurance quote to see if you're saving any money. Just as insurance quotations vary between providers, so does breakdown cover.

How much voluntary excess should I choose?

Voluntary excess prevents insurers from having to pay out for every bump and scratch, plus it also keeps your premiums low. The voluntary excess on your car insurance quote details the amount you'll have to pay whenever you make a successful claim.

The good news is that this amount will be the same whether you claim for a small accident or a large one. It means that insurers won't be forced to deal with small claims where the costs or paperwork may outweigh the cost of repair. This helps to keep car insurance premiums low for all customers.

Choosing the right voluntary excess is a balancing act, and it's tempting to keep it as low as possible in case you have an accident. However, the very nature of an excess means this will automatically increase your premiums, so how do you find the right balance?

Your first consideration should always centre on what you could afford to pay in a typical month. If your car was damaged tomorrow, would you be able to pay £200 excess? This type of affordability test can help you determine how much voluntary excess is right for you.

Remember, however, that if you opt for a high excess, you might be required to cover all the damage to your car yourself.

Is it worth paying to protect my no claims discount?

For some drivers, protecting their no claims bonus is worthwhile as it helps keep their premiums low in the years ahead. It's typical for motor insurance providers to offer discounts for five years of no claims, although some insurers stretch this to eight years for maximum customer benefit.

Building up a no claims bonus over several years could see the annual discounts rise from up to 30% in the first year to a maximum of over 60%, so it's easy to see why drivers covet them so much.

However, it's not always as simple as not making a claim if you have a crash. If there's an accident and you take full or partial responsibility, the third party will likely make a claim against you, and that means your no claims bonus disappears.

Most insurers allow you to safeguard your no claims discount by paying an extra amount in addition to your insurance premiums. This ensures that, if you were forced to make a claim, the bonus would remain intact.

Protecting your no claims discount in this way doesn't mean you're completely free of consequences when it's time to renew though. The number of claims and the number of years without any claims are both taken into account.

Can I take out a new car insurance policy online?

It's straightforward to compare car insurance online and then take it out online quickly too.

Simply search using the Choose car insurance price comparison tool above to find the right car insurance quote for you. Remember to check what the policy covers and click through the deal to the insurer's website.

Insurers make their application forms as easy to navigate as possible, and there are usually help guides available at the click of a button if you're uncertain about something. Once you've inputted your details, you should get a full quote based on the information you've supplied.

For some drivers, this is where it gets tricky and they find that they can't take out online the car insurance policy they were hoping to. This could be due to having points on their licence or driving too many miles per year to make the policy viable.

One important thing to remember at all times is that you should never be tempted to be dishonest on your insurance application. Any untruth about your driving history, car usage or even just the overnight storage location of the vehicle can invalidate your policy.

Be honest and be vigilant - there's a perfect car insurance quote just waiting for you on the Choose website.

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