If you’re finding your car insurance seems to go up in price each year, there's a reason for that. While average premiums have been rising year on year, it's also typical of insurers to offer their best prices to new customers and subsidise this by charging existing customers higher prices at renewal. So sticking with your provider could mean you're paying more than you need to on your policy.
But luckily, there are a few things you can do to bring down the cost of your premium. Check out our list of money-saving hacks, then head to your ClearScore offers to see how much you could save on your car insurance policy.
Don’t auto renew
If your insurance policy is set to auto renew, unless you tell your insurer otherwise, your policy will be automatically renewed when it comes to an end. While this might sound great - less work and worry for you - in reality, it means you might not be getting the cheapest deal. This is how insurers catch you out.
Unfortunately, in the insurance world, loyalty isn’t rewarded with lower rates. Quite the opposite in fact. Car insurance renewal prices are often higher than when you first took out the policy.
We suggest you make a note of when your insurance is up for renewal, and look out for a letter or email from your insurer. This should arrive around 3 weeks before your policy is up for renewal, and it’ll tell you what new price your insurer is offering you. If the price is too high, this gives you the chance to shop around before you’re automatically renewed.
The best time to renew your car insurance is around 21 days before it ends. Both being too keen, and leaving it to the last minute, could see you overpaying by hundreds of pounds a year. It’s a competitive market out there, so be sure to get a quote before your policy auto renews.
Where do you park in the dark?
Where you keep your car overnight is a major factor affecting your car insurance cost. But parking your car in a locked garage, surprisingly, isn’t always a guarantee for the cheapest policy. This is partly because insurers know that burglars have instant access to your car once they’ve broken into your house, as people often leave their car keys near the front door. They’ll take this into account, particularly if you live in an area with a high number of burglaries.
If you’re wondering where the best place to park is, generally, parking on a driveway is cheaper than on the road.
Having said that, rating factors vary from one insurer to the next. So if you live in a busy, built-up area, or an area with high crime levels, you might be better off parking your car in a garage rather than on the road. Or, you could get a cheaper price simply by parking your car a few roads away, in a less crime-heavy street.
Your best bet is to compare a range of quotes in your offers, to find the best price for you.
Increase your excess
When you take out a car insurance policy, you’ll be asked to confirm your excess. This is the amount of money you’re prepared to pay out towards a claim before your insurer contributes. In most cases, there will be a compulsory excess set by your insurer, but you can add a voluntary excess if you want to. This will increase the amount you agree to pay towards a claim.
One way to bring down the cost of your premium is to increase your excess. Because you’re willing to pay more towards a claim, this means your insurer will have to pay less, and therefore they’ll often reward you with a cheaper premium. So your insurance will cost less in the long-run, unless you make a claim.
There’s no guarantee with this one - a higher excess doesn’t always equal a cheaper price - and it is a bit of a risk. No one knows what will happen in the future, and not all accidents are within your control. So make sure you can afford to pay the amount you’ve agreed to, in the case that you need to.