Cut the cost of your car insurance

Making sure you have motor insurance in place is a legal requirement and not optional, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that once you’ve bought your cover, you can just sit back and let things be.

Millions of people are guilty of auto-renewing their policies – simply agreeing to renew their premiums with their existing insurers. About a third of all drivers are thought not to have switched provider for more than three years.

If you are one of them, the chances are you are paying well over the odds for your cover. With a few honourable exceptions, insurance companies like to entice you with attractive deals to start with but then hike the costs once you are on board. Insurance is one of those things in which you are rarely rewarded for loyalty, and if you are not prepared to spend half an hour once a year looking for a better deal, you could be pouring money down the drain.

Spending a bit of time each year looking for a better deal is the easiest way to save some money.

The good news is that it’s easy to switch, and price-comparison services can save you a small fortune, as long as you know how they work and you keep your wits about you.

Rather than rely on just one of them, it’s a good idea to visit a few of these sites, which include, and, because they don’t all use the same panel of insurers.

And make sure you take out the cover you require. Price is obviously a factor, but you need to make sure you are comparing like with like. For instance, what might look like a dirt-cheap quote to start with might not be quite so attractive if you want to be liable for a lower excess. As you progress through the application process, adding extra bits of cover as you go, you might find the overall price ends up significantly higher than the original quote suggested. But if you haven’t shopped around for some time, you’ll probably still save a tidy sum.

Finally, as well as visiting a few price-comparison sites, bear in mind that some insurers – such as Direct Line – do not sell their policies via third parties, so it’s worth checking out their own websites, too.


Top tips

Consider installing some security, such as an immobiliser or a tracking system.

If possible, park your vehicle in a garage overnight rather than leaving it on the road. If your insurer knows you do this, it should being your premiums down.

Are you getting all the features you need? For example, will you have the use of a courtesy car if your own vehicle is out of action?

Keep a note of the renewal date and start to look for a new deal a couple of weeks before then.