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Seven ways to save hundreds on your car insurance          

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

These simple and totally legal hacks could leave you with a cheaper car insurance bill.

Car insurance costs have risen steadily in recent years and prices are set to reach their most expensive levels by the end of 2018.

The average premium is expected to hit £900 a year for the average driver this year.

Here, Matt Oliver of GoCompare Car Insurance, reveals seven ways to knock hundreds of pounds off your premium.

  1. Save £88 – By using the right job title

Your occupation is one of the major pieces of information that insurers use to work out your insurance premium. Ultimately, some occupations are viewed more ‘risky’ than others which means, unfortunately, if you are a professional footballer, you’ll likely be shelling out more for your cover than a priest.

That said, in some cases there may be more than one job title on a pre-defined list that accurately describes what you do, and in this case you could make some significant savings.

For example, if you describe yourself as a ‘chef’ your average quote could be as much as £88* higher than if you selected ‘kitchen staff’. Other jobs that tend to have a lot of similar options include office work, building and construction, teaching and journalism.

However, it’s important to always make sure you’re honest when giving your details to an insurer if you knowingly misrepresent yourself that could invalidate your cover.

It’s not just those in full-time work that this applies to. For instance,  if you’re a full-time parent, retired or a full-time student make absolutely sure you’re selecting those titles and not ‘unemployed’ – it could save you almost £300**.

*Based on a 31 year old male, living in Reading, driving a Vauxhall Corsa, altering chef to kitchen worker.

** Based on a 31 year old male, living in Reading, driving a Vauxhall Corsa, altering unemployed to full-time student.

  1. Save £520* – By adding a more experienced driver to your policy

Inexperienced and young drivers typically face the highest premiums– but could save significant money by adding more experienced drivers to their policy.

GoCompare found that drivers could save nearly/up to £520* by adding a more experienced driver, such as a parent, to their policy. While new or younger drivers are likely to see the biggest savings, this also applies to more experienced drivers, even if you’re deemed a low risk driver yourself.

This is simply due to the additional drivers, in most circumstances, making the overall risk slightly lower, as you won’t be the only one driving the car.

What people must still be aware of though is the issue of ‘fronting’, where younger or less experienced drivers claim to be the ‘named’ – additional driver, when they’re actually the sole or main user of the vehicle. In this instance, using a more experienced driver to bring the cost down is illegal, so it’s worth people bearing this in mind when taking out a policy.

*Based on an 18 year old, living in North London, driving a Vauxhall Corsa, before and after adding a parent with a clean license on as a named driver to their policy.

  1. Save £76* – By planning ahead if you buy in advance

While people rarely look forward to buying insurance, showing some enthusiasm and getting it done as early as possible, could save you more than you might think.

On average, car insurance is around 12%, or £76*, cheaper if bought a week before its start date, so getting it out of the way and not leaving it to the last minute can really pay off.

*According to data from GoCompare, average savings of £76 can be made if car insurance is taken out a week before the start date.

  1. Save £120* – By paying annually

Paying monthly can be convenient and an affordable option for many people, but in the long term it’s almost always more expensive than paying for your insurance up front in one lump sum, and paying annually could save you around £120*.

The savings to be made by paying in one go can be so significant that, if you can’t afford it, it’s worth considering other options such as paying on a 0% credit card – just make sure you can pay off the balance on the card before the interest-free period ends, otherwise you could have a hefty bill stacking up.

*Based on a 31 year old, living in Newport, driving a Vauxhall Corsa, paying monthly compared to paying annually.

  1. Save £140 – By ditching the extras

As with any packaged product, it’s tempting to go all out on adding extras to feel like you’ve got a better level of cover.  Consider if you really need the added extras you’re buying, that they’re suitable for your requirements and you don’t already have sufficient cover from another source. Typical car insurance add-ons include legal assistance, courtesy car cover, personal accident cover, windscreen cover and protected no claims bonus, so find out more about these areas before buying something you may not need.

  1. Save £280* – When you shop around

The only way to make sure you’re securing the best deal you can on your car insurance is to shop around and compare quotes from lots of different providers.

Shopping around can also be a really easy way of saving a significant amount of money, in just a few minutes, especially when it comes to renewal.

  1. Save £370* – With a black box

Car insurance premiums for young drivers can be incredibly expensive, and can act as a barrier to new motorists getting on the road. This is because insurance companies say that statistically, younger drivers are more likely to have an accident or make a claim, and as insurance is based on risk, new motorists tend to get tarred with the same brush.

However, telematics or ‘black box’ insurance allows you to have your insurance premium based on your actual driving, which means if you can prove you’re a good driver, you could save hundreds of pounds compared to a traditional policy.

These policies work by having a black box, or smart phone app connected to your car, which monitors your driving and reports back to your insurer. Good driving can be rewarded with reduced premiums, where as poor driving will usually result in more expensive premiums at renewals.

GoCompare found that opting for a telematics policy could save a 17 year old driver as much as £370* a year.

That said, telematics policies tend to be geared towards young, low mileage drivers and can come with exclusions and restrictions, which means it’s important to check the policy is right for you before opting for one.

*Based on an 18 year old female, living in Bristol, driving a Vauxhall Corsa, where the cheapest telematics policy based on behaviour and mileage is £2,850 and the cheapest standard policy is £3,200.