Another year, another price increase, it’s something that UK drivers are pretty used to, but, with a bit of savvy shopping you can spank the insurer and dodge the average £50 hike that’s been added to your insurance bill this year.
According to figures released by MoneySuperMarket, the average car insurance quote has risen £478, a £50 increase over the last year.
Some areas have been more severely affected with prices rising by a quarter.
The main reason for the price hike is the the increase in insurance premium tax (IPT) from 6% to 9.5%.
You can expect that figure to rise to 10% by October 2016 – bummer!
However, it’s isn’t all doom and gloom, there are simple tips you can follow that will save you money, so you not only dodge the price hikes, but potentially also save on what you are currently paying – winner!
How do I save on my car insurance?
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Use the correct job title
This is one I could never get my head around when I worked in car insurance, believe it or not, I once had to turn former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville as I couldn’t even get a quote for him as he stated his profession was a footballer.
If you were to describe yourself as a chef, you will pay on average £98 more than if you had have used kitchen staff as the option – and the problems are not restricted to chefs.
Construction workers pay more than builders followed by bricklayers who pay more than builders, sounds crazy right?
It doesn’t stop there, music teacher pay £86 more than teachers and office managers pay more than office administrators.
If you job title is covered by more than one category, check them all to make sure you are getting the cheapest option.
If you are a stay at home parent or retired, it’s imperative to never choose unemployed as the you category, it can add up to £300 a year to your bill.
Add an experienced driver
Now, I need to be clear on this one so nobody gets themselves into any trouble.
It is illegal to state somebody is the main driver of the car that isn’t, but adding a secondary driver is totally legal and can save you quite a few quid.
You must ask for their permission first, ensure they have a clean drivers license and preferably a decent no claims history.
Don’t leave it until the last minute
Shopping around for a quote three weeks before your renewal date, instead of on the day, saves you on average £280.
Younger drivers can expect to save even more.
Be sure to do a comparison before accepting your renewal quote from your insurer, almost six million people just accept their renewal quote and put themselves a cool £113 out of pocket in the process.
Pay up in full
Many insurers charge you interest on your payments for the privilege of spreading the cost over the year. You can expect to pay an average of an extra £62 a year by spreading the cost, so if it is possible pay up front.
Increase excess and cut out extras
These days insurance policies come with all sorts of added extras such as breakdown cover, drivers legal protection, excess insurance, windscreen cover, driving abroad and a courtesy car.
These all add to the cost of your premium.
You may also have these included with your current account, home insurance, travel insurance or even an AA membership.
A quick check to see that they are not already covered by anything else you’re already paying for could save you even more money, after all there is no point in paying for them twice.
Also take note of the excess there is on the policy, this is how much you have to pay yourself when making a claim.
The lower the excess, the higher the car insurance policy, so do your sums and work out what you could realistically afford should you need to make a claim.
Increasing the excess by even £50-£60 can have an impact on the cost of your car insurance premiums.
It is something us Brits do not do enough of. If you’re being quoted by phone, the salesperson on the other end will have an income target and in some cases a policy target too.
Calling towards the end of the month can save you money if those clever sales staff have already hit their targets and are looking to boost their policy target.
I know from my time in car insurance that a lot will sell at a loss once their income target is complete – just a little insiders tip for you there!
How do you keep the cost of your car insurance down?
He is also a contributor to Clear Debt, ICOUNT Money and M1 Debt Advice blogs discussing all things personal finance.