Car insurance premiums are expected to hit a record high in 2018, as the costs of running a car continue to get more and more expensive.
Daily car journeys are a necessity for many workers and families, and according to research by Confused.com, the average car insurance policy is set to reach a record £900 this year.
Younger, male drivers are bearing the brunt of this increase, with motorists in London and Scotland being heavily hit.
Motor insurance can be a major cost for motorists who already face high fuel prices, pay for regular MOTs and cover the other costs of their vehicle.
And unfortunately for those trying to keep their bills down, car insurance is a legal requirement. However, there are some ways you can cut costs and get around the price hike.
1. Don’t automatically renew
Make a note of when your car insurance is set to come up for renewal. Every year, many motorists simply renew their car insurance with an existing provider, or blindly accept a renewal quote.
However, last year it was revealed that drivers who auto-renew their premium are missing out on almost £300 of savings by sticking with their current insurer instead of swapping.
Auto-renewing is a sure-fire way to end up paying a bunch more money without actually getting any additional protection for the extra expense.
2. Compare online and switch
The reason many people automatically renew their car insurance is because switching can seem like a hassle.
But just by shopping around online for half an hour and visiting some deal comparison websites, as well as the big-name insurers like Direct Line, Aviva and Zurich who aren’t on comparison sites, you could significantly reduce the price you pay for cover.
Insurance companies rarely offer their very best deals to existing customers, instead reserving their cheapest possible prices for new customers.
3. Think about the distance you drive
Before buying car insurance, think carefully about the amount of distance you actually drive. Overestimating mileage is another basic way that motorists are overspending hundreds on their car insurance premiums.
If it’s possible for you to agree to a lower annual mileage cap than you did last time you bought insurance, it’s possible you’ll save money.
It’s also worth taking into account how you’ll be using the vehicle. If you’re only going to be using it during weekends, for instance, don’t insure it for commuting or business, as it will just add more to your premium.
If you’re in a two-car family, also be aware that one car is more likely to do more miles than the other and ensure you get the best deal for each.
4. Don’t pay by direct debit
While spreading the cost of your car insurance seems like a better option than paying for a premium all in one go, it will probably cost you more in the long run.
Many insurance companies charge interest when customers opt to pay for their insurance monthly so be wary before accepting.
If you can’t pay your insurance in one lump sum and your provider is charging interest on monthly payments, another option is to spread the cost of your cover for free by paying with a 0% interest credit card.
5. Ask for a discount
One of the oldest tricks in the book; when your insurance is up for renewal, contact your current provider and tell them you’re thinking of switching.
If you’ve done some research and know there are cheaper deals out there, asking for a discount can work particularly well.
Call up your insurer, quote another deal you’ve seen online and tell them to beat it.
6. Go no frills
Sometimes the price of your car insurance can shoot up due to unnecessary add-ons.
Think carefully before adding extras, such as legal expenses cover, windscreen cover or use of a courtesy car to your insurance package unless you absolutely need them.
These extras are often unnecessary and can significantly bump up the price of your policy.
7. Other ways to cut car insurance costs
There are other ways to save on your car insurance, such as having a second, low-risk driver on the policy or car sharing on certain journeys.
Reducing fuel consumption is also another simple way to keep your costs down. Make sure your tyres are properly inflated, removing any excess weight and drive more smoothly; all quick ways to stop your car gobbling up so much petrol.