6 min read

Quick guide to car insurance

Frankie Jones
22 January 2019

In case you haven’t checked your offers recently, ClearScore now do car insurance. That’s right: as well as taking out a new credit card or switching your energy tariff, you can now insure your car and get road-ready with us too! Comparing quotes is quick and easy - see a range of quotes tailored to your circumstances in less than 5 minutes. We use your unique credit report data to pre-fill your answers, so you can spend less time applying for insurance, and more time dreaming about where your car will take you next.

But before you start comparing, it’s worth taking the time to find out how car insurance works and how ClearScore can help you. Whether you’ve just got your first set of wheels, or you’re a seasoned pro looking to switch providers, get the lowdown on car insurance with our quick guide. (If you’re unsure about any of the terms we mention, that’s what our car insurance glossary is for.)

Why do you need car insurance?

Well, because it’s the law!

Think of car insurance as a safety net: it’s there to provide financial protection in case something happens to your car. If you have an accident and you’re not insured, you’d have to pay for repairs to your and anyone else’s vehicle out of your own pocket. This could quickly add up to thousands of pounds which you might not have to hand. Insurance will also provide cover for your injuries, and for anyone else who is implicated.

‘But I’m a really safe driver!’ we hear you say. Not the point, unfortunately - it might not be your fault if anything happens to your vehicle. If your car is stolen, vandalised or destroyed by fire, insurance will also have your back (depending on the level of cover you have).

Insurance might seem like an unnecessary expense if you never make a claim, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Plus, you could find yourself with an unlimited fine and a driving disqualification if you’re caught driving without insurance.

What kind of insurance can you get?

There are three main types of insurance on the market:

- Third party

This only covers injuries to other people and any damage to their property. So if you damage your own vehicle, you’ll have to pay for the repairs yourself. It’s the most basic level of cover available, but strangely it’s not always the cheapest, so it’s worth shopping around.

- Third party, fire and theft

This is the same as third party, but it also covers the cost of repairs (or a replacement vehicle if necessary) in the case that your car is stolen or damaged by fire. Again, this isn’t always the cheapest level of cover.

- Comprehensive

This covers damage to your own car, as well as accidents involving other people. You could also get a courtesy car and legal expenses (likely at an extra cost). Unsurprisingly, it’s the highest level of cover as it protects against pretty much all possible outcomes.

At the moment, ClearScore only offer comprehensive insurance. We’re working hard to add the other levels to our offering, so if you’re interested in third party insurance, please check your offers soon! If you’d like to be the first to know when we start offering other levels of insurance, check that you’re subscribed to receive our product update emails. If you’re not yet a ClearScore user, you can sign up for an account here.

What you’ll need to get a quote

You’ll need the following to get started:

- Details of your vehicle

Make sure you know:

  • Your car registration number
  • Your expected annual mileage figures
  • Where your car’s parked during the day and night
  • What you use your car for, e.g. commuting or business use
  • Whether your car’s had any modifications since it was made

- Your driving history, and that of any other registered drivers

You’ll want a copy of your driving license with you, as you may need to refer to it. For example, we need to know how long you’ve held your license and what type of license you hold. If you’re adding any other drivers to the insurance policy, we’ll also need their driving license details and history.

- Any previous claims, convictions or accidents

We’ll also ask you if you’ve had any accidents, convictions or claims within the last five years. This is purely used for calculating the cost of your insurance, and we’ll never share these details with anyone. And if you’re adding other drivers to the policy, you’ll need to find out whether they’ve had any previous accidents, convictions or claims too.

If you’re curious about how your car insurance quote is calculated, you can find out more here.

Try our Coaching plan
Now you know all there is to know about car insurance, why not try our Coaching plan? Written by our in-house finance experts, it’s designed to give you all the tips for getting the best deal on your insurance. You’ll have a quick conversation with ClearScore’s very own chatbot - it only takes 5 minutes. And when you’re done, we’ll write you a personalised to-do list to get you on track for finding the cheapest car insurance policy.

Start the plan

by Frankie Jones

Frankie Jones is ClearScore's in-house Copywriter. 

ClearScore exists to make your finances simple.
We offer a free service where you can handle everything to do with credit in one place. In your ClearScore account, you can see your credit score and the full details of your credit report. Your credit cards, mortgages, mobile phone contracts, loans, overdrafts and utilities all on the record. Our goal is to make ClearScore as simple, calm and straightforward as possible. Money is stressful enough.