There are lots of costs to think about when buying a car. On top of the actual price of the vehicle, you also have to fork out for things like fuel, road tax and repairs.
Our latest research found that it costs an average of £192 a month (£2,300 a year) to run a car in the UK.
One of the biggest expenses is insurance. This varies based on things like the type of vehicle and where you live, but the typical motorist splashes out over £500 every 12 months.
However, there are a few things every driver can do to keep this cost down. Here, we run through 10 ways that you can save money on your car insurance.
1) Make your car more secure
You’ll pay more for your insurance if your car is theoretically easier to steal. Make sure you have an alarm, consider adding some form of tracker and try and park somewhere safe, like a garage or a well-lit street. Accessories like wheel clamps and steering locks can also bring your payments down.
If you’re looking to increase the security of your car, check out our range of car safety equipment here.
2) Increase your excess
If you agree to pay a higher voluntary excess fee when you make any future claims, you can lower the general cost of your policy. However, make sure that you are comfortable paying that sum if such a situation does occur.
3) Add a black box
Black boxes are one form of telematics car insurance – where the amount you pay is directly linked to your individual driving data. This means that if you drive carefully and don’t break any of the rules in your policy, you’ll end up paying less.
4) Reduce your mileage
Try to reduce your annual mileage, as the less you drive, the less you’ll pay. On paper, there should be fewer opportunities to have an accident if you’re not travelling as far. When your insurer asks you to estimate your annual mileage, make sure you give a realistic prediction, otherwise you could be charged for exceeding it.
5) Choose your car wisely
Some cars are considerably more expensive to insure than others, so factor this in when choosing your next vehicle. Those with larger and more powerful engines are generally more expensive to insure, as are cars with higher price tags. The make and model of the vehicle can also make a difference, so consider shopping around.
6) Choose fully comprehensive cover
Third-party insurance is the most basic form of policy, but it is not always the cheapest. Make sure you shop around and check the price of fully comprehensive cover, as, despite offering the most protection, that is often where the best deals are found.
7) Take a Pass Plus course
Some insurers will give you a discount if you go on a driving course, such as Pass Plus. In theory, it proves that you are a safer driver and should be less likely to have an accident. However, not all insurers take this into account, so check before paying out for a course, as they can be expensive.
8) Add a named driver
You can also reduce your insurance payments by adding someone else to your policy, particularly if that person is an experienced driver with a clean license. This is because insurers assume that driving will be split between the two people. It is important that the named policyholder is the person who drives the car the most often, as the practice of ‘fronting’ is illegal.
9) Avoid modifications
Our recent study found that 47% of Brits have modified their car in some way. However, doing so can increase your insurance payments, particularly if the modifications raise the value of your vehicle. They can also make your car more tempting for thieves, so insurers might up their charges.
10) Pay your annual insurance in one go
Some insurers will give you the option of either paying for your annual cover in one go or splitting it across 12 monthly direct debits. If you can, consider paying a one-off lump sum, as you’ll probably be charged interest if you pay in installments.
For more useful guides and information, head to the Car Parts 4 Less blog.
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