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I’m an insurance expert and here are six ways you can cut the cost of your car insurance premiums


JANUARY is a good time of year to get along to those tedious tasks you keep putting off, one of which may be renewing your car insurance.

Drivers often stick with the same insurance provider year after year, but shopping around could save you hundreds of pounds.

Shop around to make sure you're getting the best deal on your insurance

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Shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your insuranceCredit: Getty

Comparison websites such as GoCompare and Confused.com are an easy way to check lots of different providers at once.

But there’s still a lot to consider.

Whether your car insurance is coming up for renewal, or you’re getting a policy for the first time, you need to make sure it includes everything you need.

That might include breakdown cover or a named driver if you share your car.

But if your policy seems a little on the pricey side, there might be a few simple things you can tweak to help lower your premium.

Ian Hamilton, head of motor underwriting at Aviva, has six top tips to help you save money on your car insurance.

Buy a multi-car policy

It’s sometimes easier to sort your insurance out for yourself but, if there are other vehicles in your household, you could save money by combining them onto one policy.

Multi-car policies often give a discount for each vehicle added.

Iain said: “If there’s more than one car in the household it may be cheaper to buy a multi-car policy than single policies for each car.”

Using a multi-car policy doesn’t mean you will have a blanket policy – each driver will still be responsible for their own car and premium.

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You can still tailor-make the policy around the needs for each car – and you don’t all have to have the same renewal date.

It’s not always cheaper though – so make sure you compare costs.

Check your mileage

When applying for a new insurance policy, always make sure your mileage is accurate.

The amount you pay for your premium can be affected if not worked out correctly.

So don’t just punch in 10,000 miles a year because it’s a round number if you only take the car to the supermarket once a week.

An insurer may decide you are lower risk if you drive fewer miles, and give you a cheaper quote.

Similarly, don’t say you only drive a few miles a week if you’re clocking up major numbers on the odometer or you might find you’re not covered if you have an accident.

Iain said: “Make sure your policy reflects the amount of miles you drive – don’t over or under-estimate your mileage as you could pay more or it may affect a claim.”

Only pay for the type of driving you do

Whether you commute to work in your car or just use it for the school run, you should be sure to tick the right box when you’re searching for car insurance.

Social, domestic and pleasure usage means you don’t use your car in a business capacity or to get to your workplace.

If this applies to you, you may pay less for your insurance as it’s assumed you won’t be using the car during the commuter rush when accidents are more likely to happen.

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But don’t select this option if you do drive to work, or you could invalidate your insurance.

Iain said: “If you don’t use your car to drive to work, make sure you’re not paying for commuting cover.”

This is sometimes overlooked and you may pay an additional fee when you don’t need to.

If you’re taking out a multi-car policy and only one of the cars is a commuter car, make sure the premium is added to the correct car.

Check where you park your car

The safer your car is parked while at home or at work, the better.

If your house has a garage or a driveway, make sure it is mentioned.

However, if you never use the garage – don’t say you do. If your car is stolen and it’s not secured in there when you said it would be, you might not be covered.

Iain said: “If you can, park your car overnight on your driveway or in your garage and some insurers provide discounts if a car is kept off the road.”

Insurers may also ask where you keep your car parked while at work.

It can you save money if your car is in a safe and secure place while getting on with your day.

Check your cover

Car insurance should be tailor made to your driving needs – there’s no point scrimping if it means you don’t get the cover you want.

However, some drivers will have additional covers on their policies that they either many not need or didn’t notice are included.

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For example, it’s not a legal requirement to have breakdown cover but many drivers prefer to have it for peace of mind.

“Most policies have additional covers that you can choose to add for an additional premium.” Said Iain.

“Check what covers you’ve got as you may be paying for things that you do not need.”

Popular add-ons include breakdown cover, personal accident cover and key cover.

Choose a higher excess level

The excess is the amount you have to pay when when making a claim on your insurance before your insurer will make its contribution.

This is usually divided into two parts: a compulsory excess and a voluntary excess.

You can add more to your voluntary excess, which means you pay more when making a claim but doing this may lower your premium.

“Most car insurance policies have a standard excess if you make a claim but you can choose to select a higher excess that can often lower your premium,” said Iain.

However, don’t choose an excess that’s so high you can’t afford it – you don’t want to be left unable to make a claim because you couldn’t pay the excess.

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