Car insurance premiums have rocketed by a staggering 13% in the last year, following a rise in claims. This takes the average premium to £788. Consumer Intelligence, who specialise in market research for the insurance and banking sectors, confirm that that there are huge regional differences in premiums too: London and North-West drivers pay 50% more than the national average.
In London the average premium is £1,068 (up 16.7% in the past year), and in the North-West the average is £1,177 - a staggering 17.3% leap on last year. More fortunate are those in Scotland, where premiums average at around £562.
Want some good news? We take you through some simple changes to help reduce the cost of insuring your vehicle.
Park in the garage or off road
If you're lucky enough to have one, parking in your garage or on your driveway can help to reduce your car insurance costs. This is because an insurer is likely to see this is as being less of a risk than if your car was parked on a busy main road.
It could save you money as well, as in theory your car is less likely to be at risk of theft or accidental damage.
Tweak your job title
Simple but true, tweaking your job title on a car insurance application can impact your insurance premium. Just be careful about how you reword your job title, and you could find your insurance quotes dropping in price. For example, if you describe yourself as a “fashion photographer” then you could pay more than if your title was just “photographer" – crazy but true!
So have a play around with this, and be as close to your job role as possible, as you could get into trouble if you say you're a nurse when in fact you're a bus driver. MoneySaving Expert's Job Picker could help you with this.
You can find out more about how your job can affect your car insurance premiums here.
Add a named driver
This could benefit younger drivers, especially if you’re adding an older more experienced driver to the policy. This is because the insurer will base their premium on the fact that you will be the secondary driver and spend less time in the car, and therefore lessen the risk factor.
It’s important not to fall into the trap of “fronting” when doing this. The person that will drive the car the most must be listed as the main driver. “Fronting” tends to occur when a more experienced driver insures the vehicle in their name, even though a younger person will be the main driver. This is both illegal and makes the policy invalid.
How about a black box?
Similar to a flight recorder on a plane, a “black box” can be fitted by some insurers to track how well you drive. This is known as “telematics” and monitors things like how harshly you break and accelerate, the speed you drive and even the time of day. This can work well for those with higher premiums, particularly younger drivers – but only if they drive carefully! Drive carefully and the cost of your cover can fall.
Read more about black box insurance here.
Compare insurers and shop around
Very often the best deals for insurance, bank accounts, utilities, credit cards and other financial products are offered to new customers switching companies. If your policy is up for renewal, don’t just automatically do so, always shop around and see if another insurer can offer you a lower price. thinkmoney insurance compares deals from leading car insurance providers to find a policy that suits you. And if you’re a thinkmoney customer you qualify for a discount of up to 20%.
Something that will increase premiums further is the Insurance Premium Tax hike from 1 October – you can find out more in our blog.