Published On: Wed, Mar 6th, 2024

As car insurance hits £955 expert shows ‘right way’ to cut premiums – and what we do wrong | Personal Finance | Finance


The average motorist is paying a staggering 58 percent more for the car insurance than a year ago as sky-high inflation pushes up the cost of settling claims, due to rising labour, repairs and material costs. Motor premiums are putting even more pressure on people’s wallets as the cost-of-living crisis drags on.

A motoring expert says there are plenty of things motorists can do to reverse the trend and potentially save hundreds of pounds a year.

But he also warns that some options could backfire.

Motoring expert Rob Walker at Vantage Leasing said playing fast and loose on your car insurance application could give you a quick saving but prove costly in the long run.

“Accidental omissions or outright lies risk invalidating your insurance so that any claim is declined. It could even lead to a prosecution for fraud. There are ways of getting a cheaper quote, but you have to do it the right way.”

The fewer miles you drive each year, the lower your premium will be because you are less likely to get into an accident and need to claim.

Second-guessing your annual mileage is not easy, but deliberately underestimating it could invalidate your policy, Walker said. “As mileage isn’t the only factor used when giving you a quote, it is not worth making it up.”

Do not be tempted to skip the less impressive part of your driving history, such as speeding tickets, insurance claims and accidents, he added. “If you get found out, this could invalidate your cover, increase premiums, and make it harder to get cover in future.”

Insurers use postcodes to assess risk and drivers who live in high crime areas can pay more for cover as a result.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about that aside from move home. “The address on your car insurance must match the one on your driving licence, otherwise your policy may be declared invalid and you could face a £1,000 fine,” Walker said.

Fronting is another temptation to avoid. This happens where parents try to save money by adding a child as a named driver to their insurance policy, when in reality they are the main driver of the car.

If caught, the policy will be cancelled, future premiums may rise, and you could even be prosecuted as fronting is considered fraud.

As more Britons take on a side hustle to make ends meet, becoming a delivery driver is an increasingly popular option.

However, any driver who starts using their car for business rather than “social, domestic and pleasure” needs to inform their insurer. “Otherwise they risk having any claim rejected and could even face criminal charges for driving without valid insurance,” Walker said.

Declare any modifications to your car as they may affect its value or safety, he added. “Exceptions are if they increase safety, like winter tyres or vehicle security upgrades.”

Walker said there is plenty motorists can do to get cheaper car insurance without taking chances. “The most important thing is to shop around for competitive quotes when your policy comes up for renewal, instead of auto-renewing.”

READ MORE: Insurance premiums for young drivers skyrocket by more than £600

Do not just go for the cheapest policy, though. “Read the fine print carefully to make sure you are getting adequate cover before signing up.”

You do not necessarily have to switch insurer, but could haggle by asking them to match a quote you have received elsewhere.

Increasing your voluntary excess can also cut premiums. Just make sure you can afford to pay it if you make a claim.

Paying your full annual premium upfront is cheaper than monthly direct debit, as most insurers treat the latter as a loan and apply interest.

Walker said consider cutting back on unnecessary cover options that you think you can do without, like a courtesy car while yours is being repaired.

Tom Banks, car insurance expert at GoCompare.com, suggested a telematics policy. “Also known as a black box policy, this bases premiums on your actual driving habits, cutting costs for careful drivers.”



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