Car insurance soaring: 24 ways to beat rising costs

Straight Downhill
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.

See also: How to stay covered while driving abroad

See also: Car insurance: Five gadgets that could slash your bill

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.