According to recent figures, car insurance premiums have risen by a staggering 61 per cent for most motorists in just five years. Furthermore the EU gender ruling, where insurers can't discriminate on sex when it comes to pricing, is in effect, forcing both males and females to up their search for the best value insurance.
Clearly, it is desirable to want to acquire the cheapest premium possible. Whether it is getting a discount on a TV subscription service or haggling with a mobile phone provider about the value of a contract, the art of haggling is certainly not lost on car owners driving in an era of constant financial uncertainty.
Drivers looking for a bargain on their car insurance, new or as a renewal, have a number of tips and tricks at their disposal to guarantee insurers will offer them the best deal on the market.
It's a common sense process to start shopping around for the best deal on car insurance but you would be surprised at how often drivers take one look at their renewal form, skim to the price and simply accept their premiums for the next year.
Obtaining quotes from a variety of insurers is the simplest way of trimming sterling from your insurance premiums but be warned: a drop in price could be at the expense of cover. Always read the small print when comparing prices and check if you're receiving the right amount of cover.
It is even worth getting a 'new' quote from your existing insurer as many firms tend to produce a cheaper price for new customers than renewing ones. By simply starting again with the insurance process, it could prove financially prudent.
At its heart, insurance is about the calculation and estimation of risk. The riskier you are - whether that's risk presented by the type of car you drive, your age and more - the likelihood of your insurance premiums becoming higher than average.
As a result, it's integral to bring your risk levels down to a level where you find your insurance premiums are acceptable. For instance, have you recently moved house? Insurers compare your address to a data showing where vehicles are most commonly damaged or stolen. Moving to a new, more secure area where car crime is lower could qualify drivers for a smaller premium as there is less risk involved.
The security of a vehicle can also play a big role in reducing risk. Upgrading a vehicle with steering locks and vehicle tracking systems, as well as parking it in a secure garage or off-street location, can bring down the price of insurance premiums. Getting a vehicle tracking system installed by a certified installer could also result in a discount through a reduction in the likelihood of theft.
Type of vehicle
The make, model and edition of your vehicle has a comprehensive effect on the pricing of insurance. A sports convertible tends to cost more to insure than a four-door family vehicle so if discounted premiums are of paramount importance to your finances, it may be worth trading in your convertible for something a little more sedate.
Furthermore the more changes made to a car, the more drivers will be charged for premiums. It is advisable to inform insurers of any modification to a vehicle, whether they have been made by you or a previous driver, as it could invalidate an existing policy. This includes the addition of alloy wheels, tail fins, neon lights and other aesthetic modifications.
Mileage also has an effect. The fewer miles the car covers, the greater the saving; serving as further evidence for the risk argument. However, it is important to be honest with insurers about annual mileage as inaccuracy with your mileage figures could invalidate a claim.
If drivers are willing to raise their excess - a payment a customer needs to make if they decide to claim on their policy - they could make a saving on their monthly premiums. For example if you have an excess of £150 but have an accident that requires £800 worth of repairs, you will have to pay the initial £150 towards repairs. Naturally, drivers will need to ensure they can actually afford to make a higher excess payment in the event of an incident that requires a claim to be made.
As a motorist, one of the most expensive aspects of owning a vehicle is the insurance payments. As a result, it makes sense to reduce the insurance payments as much as possible while maintaining the same level of cover drivers desire.