Day 13: Save on your car insurance

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Day 13 of our money-saving calendar and we delve into the murky world of car insurance. In the last year or so we've all done it. The car insurance renewal comes through the door and we start to think "This can't be right. There must be some way to bring the cost down."

But while some people resort to lying about their occupation or annual mileage, this is a dangerous business. In the event of a claim you will be found out and your cover invalidated. In any case, there's really no need to lie, because there are five easy ways to bring the cost down.

1. Rethink your security

Ideally you need to be parking on the drive or in a garage overnight, so if you have one available, make the time to clear out the junk and get your premiums down fairly substantially. The only proviso is you need to make the time to park in the garage every night or you may invalidate your cover.

If you have no choice other than to park on the street, then consider fitting an alarm or immobiliser. It will help cut the premiums - and protect your car at the same time.

2. Drive more carefully

If you have three points on your licence for speeding then you may already be charged a premium for your careless driving. If you pick up any more, however, you will see a big increase in your premiums.

If you're not careful after that you will find the number of insurers willing to cover you at all will fall through the floor and those who are left will charge you an arm and a leg, so kill your speed and get yourself back down to zero.

3. Get married

OK that's a quite an extreme length to go to in order to cut the cost of insurance. However, even if you add your boyfriend or girlfriend to your policy (even if they don't live with you) it should bring down the cost of cover, as insurers perceive couples as safer drivers than singletons.

Of course, it should go without saying that you should only do this if your other half ever actually drives the vehicle or you could run the risk of invalidating your cover.

4. Get to work another way

Commuting will add to the cost of your cover dramatically, because commuters make up such a large percentage of those who make a claim. If you opt for public transport or car share for at least half of the time, then you can let your insurer know and you'll be shocked at how much it will save you.

5. Shop around

It has been said a thousand times before, but it doesn't make it any less true. If you automatically renew you can expect to spend £100 or more over the odds, so set aside some time and sit down with a price comparison website or two.
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