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Top car insurance haggling tips for the short- and long-term

Written by: Morgan Smithson
If your car insurance is coming up for renewal, there are ways to beat potential price hikes.

Car insurers are required to display the previous year’s premium as well as the price of cover for the year ahead. This means you’ll clearly see if the price has jumped.

If it has, here are tips for both the short- and long-term to haggle down your car insurance:

Short-term tips

Research – it’s no use calling up and asking for a deal, without any supporting evidence that the figure is fair. Ideally, just over a month or so before your policy renewal date, take some time to research deals from both your current provider and others.

If you find a good deal elsewhere, then this will give you a good basis to ask your current provider if it will at least match, if not better the quote.

Ask for freebies – the saying “don’t ask, don’t get” is the best advice when looking for a cheaper and better insurance deal. If your insurer can’t match a cheaper price, then ask for extras to be included on the policy for free, for example, windscreen or breakdown cover. Use this opportunity to mix and match your policy and make it work best for you.

Contact at the right time – research shows that customers save 40% on their car insurance by getting a new policy 26 days before their renewal date, with the average cost increasing the closer it gets to the renewal date. Be prepared and ensure you don’t accidentally get auto-renewed on a policy that typically costs customers up to £40 more than if they changed the policy.

Clear your cookies – when browsing insurance and comparison websites, it is advisable to delete your cookies and clear your browsing history. While doing your research, in-between visits to insurance sites and comparison websites, it is advisable to clear your cookies and you may get cheaper premiums – just ensure you keep a written note as you go along.

Long-term tips

Add or remove named drivers – Younger and inexperienced drivers tend to pay a higher premium, so if you are under the age of 26 or have only started driving, you can significantly reduce the cost of your insurance by adding an older, named driver to your policy.

If, however, you are an experienced driver then you must be wary that if you add a younger driver to your car insurance then this will cause your premium to increase significantly.

Reduce your mileage – the way insurers see it: the further and more often you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident and make a claim, therefore those with higher annual mileages will cost more money.

To get a more accurate and, hopefully, cheaper insurance, calculate your annual mileage honestly and realistically. The annual UK average is 7,800 miles but you may find your car’s mileage is significantly less than this, resulting in cheaper premiums. If your mileage is quite high, however, see if you can take steps to reduce your mileage in the next year. Making less frequent trips in your car or parking slightly further away from work and walking the rest of the way, are both simple ways to reduce your premium which can go a long way.

Morgan Smithson is motor expert at RegCarCheck

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