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Tweak your annual mileage to save £100 on car insurance

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
25/10/2016
Reducing your annual car mileage by just one mile can save you up to 15% off the price of your insurance premium, as YourMoney.com reporter Paloma Kubiak discovered.

Every year I set myself the task of comparing insurance quotes for our car and business van, hoping to whittle them down to the most affordable price.

When our annual policies were up for renewal earlier this month, I checked the usual comparison sites: Comparethemarket.com, Confused.com, Gocompare.com and MoneySuperMarket.com, before going direct to insurance companies such as Aviva and Direct Line.

Finding a competitive quote was quite challenging this year as I had to contend with two Insurance Premium Tax hikes in less than 12 months.

I ended up going through a van insurance broker to get the best deal and I was just about to pay when the customer service agent suggested reducing our annual mileage by one mile to see if she could get the price down.

She told me she has used this trick a few times before and it has worked so I wanted to see if this could be replicated in other insurance quotes.

Data sourced from running quotes on Comparethemarket.com proved the theory can work both for car and van insurance; in some sample quotes, a driver would be able to save more than £100 just by knocking one mile off the annual mileage submitted.

As an example, the largest savings based on a 35-year-old male teacher with a clean 10-year licence, living in North London, looking for comprehensive insurance cover were as follows:

  • Hastings Direct: when 12,000 miles was reduced to 11,999, the quote went from £765.82 to £661.27 – a £104.55 or 14.7% saving
  • People’s Choice: (12,000 to 11,999) the quote went from £765.93 to £661.37 – a £104.56 or 14.7% saving
  • Insure Pink: (12,000 to 11,999), the quote went from £752.95 to £660.47 – a £92.48 or 13.1% saving.

Click on the below tables to see the savings quoted:

ymoney-insurancepremiumthumbnail ymoney-insurancepremium2thumbnail

Unable to input the exact number?

When I was searching for insurance cover, most of the comparison sites used a bracket system, such as less than 5,000 miles, or 5,000 to 6,000 miles, or 10,000 to 12,000 miles.

Annoyingly, it wouldn’t let me input the exact mileage which is why I had never thought about reducing my annual mileage by such a small amount.

I suggest picking up the phone to the insurer offering the right level of cover for the most affordable price to see if you can tweak the annual mileage by one mile to save money – that’s what I did with the van insurance broker and there’s nothing illegal about this method, as long as you don’t lie about the annual mileage you believe or expect you’ll carry out in the year ahead.

Dan Bass, head of motor at Comparethemarket.com, said: “The majority of insurers do not change a premium based on small changes to annual mileage. However, there are some examples where companies use brackets of mileage e.g. using units of 1,000 miles, and will change the premium accordingly depending on whether you have driven, say, 10,000 miles as opposed to 9,999 miles.

“Given that this small change in mileage can have an impact, it is worth keeping track of how far you drive over the year by checking your odometer when you take out the policy, so that you can give a precise mileage for your next policy.”

Is your car, motorbike or van insurance due for renewal soon? If so, could you save money by tweaking your annual mileage? Let us know if this worked for you in the Disqus comments section below.

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