Car insurance is important and often mandatory on some level. But with gas prices going through the roof, there are a lot of us that would begrudge spending any more money on our cars.
But we need them to get around, and to get around, we need to be protected. Insurance can feel like paying for nothing, but you’re paying to avoid having to pay out big should the worst happen. In the meantime, anything we can do to bring those monthly payments down is sure to be appreciated, so we’re looking at all the ways you can save money on your car insurance.
Improve your car’s security
The golden rule of cheaper car insurance policies is that of the no-claims bonus discount. As you get older, as you take out your insurance policy for longer, your rates will lower annually. It’s part of insurers wanting to reward drivers who don’t make a claim by adding a discount to their premiums.
However, the other side of that coin is you have to avoid making a claim, which means you’re going to have to look after your car. Sure, some claims are inevitable. If a lorry pushes you into the other side of the road, you’re going to want to make a claim, but you can also take steps to avoid a few other instances.
One way is to try and avoid any theft or breaking into your car with devices like alarms, immobilizers and locking wheel nuts. Some of these might even be enough to deter anyone from trying to get into your car, and you’ve managed to miss out not only on a stolen car but a broken no-claims bonus. But these things have an upfront cost, so make sure this will be reflected in the insurance policy before you commit.
Be careful of where you park
For the same reason, you’re going to want to think about where you park. A lot of insurers will even ask. If you have a garage or driveway, make sure the insurer knows that’s where your car is going to be overnight. It’s all about avoiding anyone vandalizing or stealing your car, which is considered a risk to your insurer, so if your car is parked safely away from nefarious hands, your premiums will lower.
Along the same lines, know what thieves really love in a car? Alloy wheels, body kits, performance upgrades, and anything else that an episode of Pimp My Ride would feature. Modifications tend to hike up insurance prices because they are flashy to thieves.
Take a driving course
It’s possible that your insurer might give you a discount if you take an advanced driving course. This is mostly the case if you are young and inexperienced at driving. But check with your policy provider before you go spending money on it. Some insurers might not take it into account.
Limit your mileage
Another way to be frugal means also spending less money maintaining and filling your car: don’t drive it as much. Okay, that’s not realistic for everyone, but there is a method to the madness. Fewer miles mean lower risk to an insurer because you’re spending less time driving.
Look into public transport or get a bike to exercise to work. You won’t have to deal with the petrol price hike right now. Win, win, win.
Shop around and compare
There’s a lot you can do on the money side of things to get the best deal possible. The first is obvious: compare policies. Comparison websites are a godsend for taking the long hours out of this, so look around and see what suits you best.
Don’t take any add-ons if you can forget it. You can always look up the same add-ons and see if you can get them cheaper elsewhere if you really feel like you need them, but they’re optional for a reason. Car insurance add-ons can be courtesy car cover, legal assistance, personal accident cover, windscreen cover, etc.
If you want to save some money long-term, consider paying annually. Just like your Spotify and most subscription boxes and apps, you can get a better deal if you pay for one year rather than 12 months.
Another idea is to renew your policy early. You can buy your car insurance up to 29 days before the policy start date and if you are quoted a good price on that day, you can grab it early. Research shows that the closer you get to your renewal date, the higher your premiums could go.
Increase your voluntary excess
If you choose a higher voluntary excess whenever you take out a policy, it will reduce the price of your insurance premiums month to month. However, the other side of that coin is that when you have to make a claim, you’re putting up that amount to the cost of repairing or replacing your car. Only take out as much excess as you can afford.