Save, make, understand money

How to

Beat the car insurance tax hike and cut £250 off your premium now

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Tomorrow sees consumers hit with the second Insurance Premium Tax hike in less than 12 months. But in just a few minutes, you could save yourself £250 on the price of your car insurance policy.

From 1 October, Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will increase to 10% – the second rise since November 2015.

While the IPT rise this time round is by a small 0.5% (from 9.5% to 10%), meaning the average comprehensive motor insurance policy will increase by £2, more than £16 has been added to the average policy compared with this time 12 months ago, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

However, because IPT is a tax the government applies to individual policies and it’s paid as a percentage of your car insurance premium, motorists who have the highest insurance costs, such as young drivers or those with on-going medical conditions, may have to pay a higher rate.

But there are simple ways you can beat the hike and price comparison site Gocompare.com said drivers could save as much as £256 on their insurance by shopping around.

Here are the top tips from Gocompare.com to slash the cost of insurance your motor:

1) Buy in advance

Some insurers may view people who buy insurance in advance as more risk averse and therefore less likely to take chance behind the wheel or miss payments. Gocompare.com found buying insurance 30 days in advance could be £103 cheaper than buying it the day before.

2) Be accurate with your mileage

Overestimating your mileage can have an impact on your premium. On average, the difference between driving 10,000 miles and 9,000 miles a year can be as much as £36, dependent on your circumstances.

3) Think about your job and title

Your occupation is one of the key considerations insurers use to calculate the cost of your premium. When an insurer asks for your occupation, you will usually have to select one of the pre-defined titles they have on their system. This means for some people, there may be more than one job title that accurately describes what they do. If you’re retired or a homemaker, you should select those options and not just say you’re unemployed or out of work. Typically unemployed drivers face higher insurance costs than homemakers or retirees. The difference between being housewife/husband and unemployed was £140.

4) Add a named driver

Fronting, which is when a more experienced driver (usually a parent) claims to be the main driver of a younger motorist’s vehicle to get cheaper insurance premiums is illegal and a form of insurance fraud. But by adding another person like a spouse or parent to your policy as a named driver could reduce insurance premiums significantly. Gocompare.com found that by adding a 50-year–old driver who has no claims or convictions to a 17 year old’s policy, the total premium dropped by £345.

5) Counterlogical, but go fully comp

A common misconception is that third party only is cheaper than comprehensive cover, but in many cases this isn’t true – fully comprehensive cover could even be cheaper than a third party only policy. This is because, some insurers may view those looking for comprehensive cover as caring more about their vehicle and therefore more likely to be careful on the roads. It could save you nearly £205.

6) Pay annually

In most cases, paying for your insurance in one annual instalment is often cheaper than opting for monthly payments. This is because insurers typically charge interest to spread your costs monthly.

Using a credit card with a 0% interest free period could allow you to manage your own payments, without paying interest on the balance. With cards offering up to 24 months interest free on purchases, in one example Gocompare.com Car Insurance found using a credit card to pay for your insurance could work out £113 cheaper than opting for monthly payments from an insurer. Just make sure to pay the balance off before the end of the 0% period otherwise, you will be charged interest on the remainder of the balance on the card.

7) Shop around

Most people know that in most cases, the best deals go to new customers. Regularly shopping around is the best way to save big money on the cost of your renewal. You could save an average of £256 by shopping around so it really can pay to spend a few minutes doing your research.