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The cost of car insurance has increased over the last couple of years, and according to the price index, the average premium for comprehensive cover is now annually £594. With some experts predicting further increases, we’ve put together a few of our top tips to help you reduce the amount that you spend on your car insurance.

Shop around

When looking to reduce your car insurance costs, remember that staying loyal to your current insurer is unlikely to benefit you. Most of the best car insurance deals are offered to new customers. So, if your renewal is coming up, look around and see if any other insurer can offer you less than what you’re paying now. Price comparison sites such as gocompare, and moneysupermarket will all be able to help you do this.

When comparing prices, make sure that you compare like-for-like cover, as some policies may appear much cheaper than your current policy, but give you less cover overall. Once you have a quote that you’re happy with, call your insurer and see whether they can match, or even beat, the quote that you have found. You may just be surprised at how quickly they cave in!

Voluntarily increase your excess

The excess is the amount of any claim that you’ll have to pay from your own pocket, before your insurer pays up. When you shop around for insurance, the providers will give you a price with a pre-set excess. But if you choose to pay a higher “voluntary” excess on top of what you’ve been quoted, it can have a big impact on the cost of your car insurance. Use the online tools on price comparison sites or the insurers’ websites to compare the premiums quoted with different excesses.

If you’re considering doing this, remember that if you do have an accident you will have to pay this excess, so don’t be tempted to allow this to rise too much, especially if you have a car of low value.

Add a driver to your policy

Adding a second driver to your policy can help to reduce car insurance costs – particularly, if the driver is older and has more experience on the road. This is because your insurer will base your insurance premium on the fact that you will be spending less time in the car. As you’re not the only driver, the chances of you having an accident and therefore making a claim are reduced.

Be aware however, that if you’re the main driver of a vehicle that you must put the insurance for your car in your name. If you do not do this, you will be committing a crime known as ‘fronting’ and your insurance will become invalid. Fronting typically occurs when a more experienced driver falsely insures a vehicle in their name, even though another driver (typically younger and less experienced) will be driving the vehicle.

Try comprehensive instead of third party insurance

It stands to reason the third party insurance would be cheaper than the comprehensive, right? Wrong! So many people who were high risk drivers used to opt to take third party insurance to get a lower premium, then premiums were increased to reflect the higher risks. If you’ve got third party insurance, try getting a quote for comprehensive cover – you might be surprised.

Change your car

A bit drastic we know…but it could make a big difference. There are 50 car insurance groups, with higher numbers typically being more powerful and higher value cars. You can use this free tool to find out which group your car falls into – and to see the insurance group of other models. Even different engine sizes of the same model often have different insurance groups.

Sign up to a blackbox

Certain insurance providers can now fit a system into your car to monitor how well you drive. This system is referred to as “telematics” or a blackbox, and is installed to monitor how well you handle the car, how cautiously you drive, as well as your speed. It will also monitor whether you’re driving at perceived dangerous times of the day, such as late at night or early morning.

Based on the information from this system, an insurer could reduce your premiums. This type of system is particularly good for individuals whose premiums are high, such as young drivers, and the price of the blackbox is typically included in the cost of your car insurance.

Redefine your job title

Something as small as tweaking your job title on an application for a car insurance quote can have a big impact on your car insurance premiums. It may sound a bit strange, but just by a careful rewording of your job title, you could reduce how much you’re quoted. For example, a ‘fashion photographer’ could reduce their premiums by claiming their job title to be just a ‘photographer’ – go figure!

You can play around with your job title using Money Saving Expert’s Car Insurance Job Picker.

Make use of your garage

If you have a garage, parking your car in this space rather than on the road can help to reduce your car insurance costs. Even parking your car in your driveway could have an impact on how much you spend on your car insurance overall, as not leaving your car on the road helps to reduce the risk of accidental damage, as well as theft.

Consider extra qualifications

Pass Plus is an official training scheme aimed at improving the skills of new drivers. Some insurers offer extra discounts for people who’ve passed, so it is worth considering. Similarly, the Institute of Advanced Motorists offers an advanced driving test – again some insurers will offer discounts to drivers who hold the qualification.

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