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How to beat rising car insurance premiums

12th October 2016 Print

According to the latest data from the Association of British Insurers, the average comprehensive car insurance premium currently stands at £434 – a 10% increase on the same period last year. 

To help motorists beat the price hikes, Car Insurance shares three ways they can cut the cost of their car cover:

1. Choose the right car

Your choice of car, especially if you are a young driver, can have a big impact on what you pay for insurance.  

To enable insurers to calculate which cars are most likely to be involved in a claim, all new cars are categorised into 50 insurance groups.  Not all insurers use the same rating system, but will use something similar when they assess a vehicle.    

The main factors considered to ‘group’ cars include the vehicle’s value, performance, security and the estimated time and costs of repair.  The higher the group rating the more expensive the car will be to insure.  

A high-performance, high specification, prestige car – such as a top of the range BMW, Mercedes or Range Rover will be in a high vehicle group.  This is because these cars tend to be more desirable to thieves and are expensive to repair or replace, these factors will be reflected in their insurance costs.

Different versions (specification and engine size) of the same car can also be banded in widely different insurance groups.  For example, a new top of the range Vauxhall Corsa Black Edition 1.4i 150 PS Turbo S/S is classified as a group 21 car while the cheapest model Corsa, the Sting WT 75 1.4i is in group 2. 

Making any non-factory-standard modifications to a car is likely to override the standard group rating, making it more expensive to insure.

2 Customise your car insurance

You can save money on your insurance if you tailor your policy, for example, by opting for a higher policy excess (the first part of any claim which you have to pay). The higher the excess you choose, the lower your premium will be.

Other ways to customise your insurance include:

Take care with policy add-ons.  Typical add-ons include legal assistance, courtesy car cover, personal accident cover, windscreen cover, breakdown cover and protected no claims bonus. Check that you really need any added extras and that you don't already have sufficient cover from another source (e.g. packaged bank account or home insurance).

Driving less - the more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to have, or to cause, an incident.  Limiting your annual mileage can help reduce your premium;

Improving the security of your car, for example, by fitting an approved alarm, immobilising device or tracking device.

Extra drivers - adding a more experienced driver, with no driving convictions to your policy can reduce your premium. If possible, avoid adding drivers under 25 (the younger a driver is, generally the more expensive your policy will be).

Opting for a telematics (also known as ‘black box’) car insurance policy where premiums are calculated on how, where and when you drive can reduce the cost of your insurance.   

3 Don’t stay loyal to your car insurer

Comparing prices for car insurance is an effective way to find a good value policy and save money.  The simplest way to shop around is to use a comparison website such as 

“The cost of insurance is a significant consideration in owning and running a car.  Insurance premiums are based on a number of different factors related to both the driver and the car.  While you can’t change some factors – like your age – you can control others.  For example, the choice of car you drive, which can have a considerable impact on the amount for pay for your insurance cover.”  

For more information on car insurance group ratings and to check a car’s insurance group, visit