We all want to save money, the problem is knowing the right way of going about it. Car insurance can be a costly business, but there are a number of measures you can take to keep your premiums to a minimum.
Install a black box
Black box/Telematics policies are relatively new, thanks to the advent of GPS and tracking technology. If you’re a careful, young driver, living in a high vehicle crime area; you may find your premiums are simply unaffordable. The problem with statistic based quotes is that they apply a broad framework of data based on other people, and completely disregard the individual being quoted for. This is where black box or telemetric insurance can come in to play. Basically the insurer fits a tracking device to your vehicle to monitor how, and where you drive. This allows the provider to build up a personal data set about you as a motorist and you’ll get a fairer premium as a result. This type of policy could reduce the costs for a number of motorists, but is particularly useful for new and young drivers, as well as drivers with a previous history of claims.
Adding modifications to your vehicle can often be costly in terms of insurance. Thankfully, security measures are seen in a positive light and there are a number of precautions you can take to reduce your premium. Aside from the obvious car alarm, tracking devices, immobilisers, and steering wheel locks will all reduce the cost of your policy. Also parking your car in a more secure location than the street, such as a driveway or garage will have a positive effect.
Voluntary excess fee
A common way to reduce your premium is to opt for a voluntary excess fee. The excess fee is the amount you’re liable for in the event of a claim, in practice this means that the sum you set (on top of the compulsory excess fee) is deducted from the amount awarded, if your claim is successful. You need to ask yourself – ‘in the event of an accident, what’s the most I’d be willing to pay for repairs, before needing to claim on the policy?’ If you decide that you’d need to claim for say, £400 upwards, then setting a voluntary excess at £750, clearly isn’t going to work for you. However you may feel that the additional monthly saving versus the risk might be worth it. Remember you can always try to squirrel away some extra funds into a spare bank account to help you cover any minor collisions which might occur – if at the end of the 12 months you haven’t used it then you’re a winner!
Lower your mileage
It is known that the more mileage you do, the more your insurance will cost. It stands to reason really, as you’re spending more time on the road and therefore at greater risk of making a claim. Perhaps consider walking short journeys, or splitting usage with another household car in order to reduce your mileage. No car users like to take the bus, but you might consider taking the train for longer journeys to save some miles. If you can’t reduce your mileage, strive to be as accurate as you can with reporting it to your insurer, modern GPS systems make keeping track of journeys a doddle. Be careful not to under-report your mileage though, otherwise you may void your policy
Pay your premium upfront
Many of us choose to pay monthly by direct debit as it’s the most affordable option. If you’re in the enviable position of being able to pay your premium upfront you’ll be financially better off, as monthly repayments are seen as technically a loan, with interest being charged.
Add a ‘named driver’
One trick which can be employed in certain circumstances is that of adding a named driver to an existing policy. An example of where this could be beneficial is that of a young driver adding an experienced driver, such as a parent, to their insurance. This would also apply to new drivers, as well as other groups susceptible to high premiums.
Probably the most obvious advice is ‘drive safely’. Other than protecting yourself and those around you, drivers with a ‘no claims’ history can enjoy up to 70% off their premium. If you are unfortunate enough to have an accident, considering the damage is too expensive, you should consider footing the bill yourself in order to preserve your no claims bonus until you really need is, as you can expect a sharp increase in premium prices once you’ve claimed.