Car insurance soaring: 24 ways to beat rising costs

Straight Downhill

Motorists are facing the fastest year-on-year rise in car insurance since records began five years ago.

The average premiums have gone up by 11% in the last year alone, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). It says that the premium for a typical insurance policy is now £484.

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Costs have skyrocketed partly due to a spate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) rises in the past couple of years, the most recent being a jump from 10% to 12% in June 2017.

It's also been affected by the Government's decision to reduce the Discount Rate in March this year.

The ABI is calling on the Government to introduce a new system for calculating compensation payments. The Ministry of Justice is consulting on a replacement system, but it hasn't made any announcements on its decision.

"This dramatic increase drives home how important it is the Government press ahead with a new framework for the discount rate and call a stop to further hikes in Insurance Premium Tax," said Huw Evans, director general of the ABI.

According to's latest Premium Drivers Index, motorists between 17-24 will pay on average of £1,365 a year for their car insurance, up from £1,342 last quarter.

That said, they have the most to gain from shopping around. They could save a cool £298 just by switching insurance provider.

But whatever age you are, you don't have to settle for these hikes – here are 24 ways to slash your car insurance premiums.

Get a quote 28 days before renewal – and another the day before

Quotes are often valid for 28 days. This way, if prices go up just before your renewal date, you can revert to your original quote.

Shop around for the best quotes

Competition is fiercest among car insurers for new customers, so don't automatically renew. Price comparison tools can be just as helpful when deciding whether to renew your policy or move to a cheaper alternative.

Broaden your search

Aviva and Direct Line don't appear on any car insurance price comparison websites so you need to go direct to these insurance providers to compare quotes.

Ask your existing insurer to beat the best quote you've found

It doesn't cost you anything to ask, and it's less hassle than switching.

Increase your excess

The higher the excess, the less you should pay in premiums. Obviously you need to ensure the excess is still affordable or this trick is a bit pointless!

Declare whether you've made any claims

If you haven't claimed on your car insurance for a year, you'll earn a no-claims bonus which can help to bring your premium down.

Accurately assess the value of your car

When getting quotes, make sure you don't overestimate the value of the car or you will end up paying a higher premium than you need to.

Trim off any extras you don't need

Why pay for 'free car hire' while your car is being fixed, if you don't need it?

Add a second driver

If the additional driver won't actually use the car, this can bring the premiums down.

Reduce your cover

If you drive an old banger that's on its last legs, opt for third party cover rather than comprehensive cover.

Avoid modifications

Adding spoilers, alloy wheels or boosting the engine size is likely to increase your premium.

Buy online

You usually pay less if you buy your car insurance on the internet, rather than over the phone.

Park your car off-road or in a garage

This means your car is less likely to be stolen, so is less risky to insure. Just be careful not to scuff your car on the garage's inside walls or door.

Make the car more secure

Adding an immobiliser, alarm and tracker to your car will also reduce the risk of it being stolen, and bring down your premiums.

Spend less on hire car insurance

Get car hire excess insurance and reduce your excess that way, rather than buying an expensive add-on from a car hire firm.

Get a multi-car discount

Some insurers such as Admiral, Privilege and Direct Line will give you a discount if the same person insures more than one car.

Pay for your insurance upfront

[SPOTLIGHT]Insurers will charge you as much as 20% extra if you want to pay off your premium in monthly instalments. Pay upfront for your insurance and you'll save. Use a top 0% purchases card and you'll be able to pay it off gradually without being charged any interest.

Take an advanced driving course

Taking the Pass Plus training course could shave as much as 30% off your car insurance premium.

Consider a 'pay as you drive' scheme

Some firms, such as Stoneacre, fit a special device to your car so the insurer knows how much you drive it. The less you drive, particularly at risky times (eg night-time), the less you pay!

Buy a dashcam

Dashcams film your journeys while you're out on the road, capturing the action should you or anyone else on the road get into an accident. The footage on these cameras is being to catch out dodgy drivers and insurers love them too. Having one can shave a bit off the cost of your premiums, but some insurers will only cover specific models.

Impose a mileage limit on yourself

You can lower your premium by sticking to a mileage limit.

Downgrade your car

Cheaper cars with smaller engines cost less to insure. Rare, expensive cars cost more!

Get married

Married drivers pay less as they are statistically seen as more 'stable'.

Move in with your partner

Again, those in a stable relationship are seen as less risky drivers, and pay less.

The cheapest cars to insure
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The cheapest cars to insure

Price new: £5,995

Dacia has made a big impact in the UK with its line of affordable motors.
The Sandero is the foundation of the brand's offering and is famed for being the UK's cheapest car.

With a group two insurance classification it's also one of the cheapest cars to insure right now.
The entry level Access model is sparsely equipped, but it has a practical interior, big boot and low running costs.

Price new: £8,060

The Seat Mii is a small city car which Auto Express praises for its spacious interior, good build quality and supple ride.

All models are in insurance group one, bar the group two Sport version.
The Mii is available in three-door or five-door styles, but both measure just 3.5 metres, making it perfect for getting around town.

Price new: £8,090

The Skoda Citigo was crowned Auto Express Best City Car 2013.

The magazine praised its low running costs and practicality as well as its grown up driving experience.
Like its Mii stable mate the Citigo has group one insurance in all apart from its top specification model, making it one of the cheapest cars to insure.

Price new: £8,265

The third of the Volkswagen's group of three city cars to make the list is the Up!

Auto Express says the Up! was 'born to rule' city streets with its small dimensions and lightweight body.
There's three versions of this fun city car; Take Up! has a group one rating as does Move Up! while the higher spec High Up! gets a group two classification.

Price new: £8,345

The Hyundai i10 is another car which can get you a cheap insurance quote thanks to a group one insurance rating across all the 1.0-litre petrol models.

Auto Express says the new 2014 i10 offers big car features in a small package. And for £8,345 you also get Hyundai's five-year warranty and roadside assistance package.

Price new: £8,995

Vauxhall has managed to squeeze one of its full sized Corsas into insurance group two.
Auto Express says the 1.0-litre ecoFlex model has the lowest insurance costs of any mainstream supermini.

The eye-catching design, solid interior and big-car features make it an appealing buy for drivers.

Price new: £9,575

The Smart car caused a bit of a stir when it first appeared thanks to its dinky dimensions and bold two-seat layout, making it very useful for driving about town and absurdly easy to park.

The Smart ForTwo is the latest incarnation, which keeps to the same formula; it still has only two seats and is one of the smallest cars on the road measuring just 2.5 metres long,
The entry level 0.8- and 1.0-litre models qualify for group two insurance.

Price new: £11,810

The Peugeot Partner Tepee 1.6 VTi is the passenger version of the Partner van and according to Auto Express easily the most spacious new car that currently qualifies for a group two insurance rating.

It's got a boxy shape that provides plenty of room and has sliding doors which make it a very practical and flexible family car.

If you're after something smaller the Peugeot Bipper Tepee, which is the smallest of Peugeot's family of Tepee MPVs, also gets a group two insurance rating.


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