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Old 20-06-2010, 01:18   #1 (permalink)
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Insurance Advice

Having spent almost two years reading countless amounts of threads on insurance and seeing them consequently locked, I've decided that it may be helpful to throw something together to show people that replying to the question "Where do I go for cheap car insurunce?" isn't as straight forward to answer as they may think. So here goes...

Love it or hate it, we all need car insurance if we actually plan on driving on public roads. It's what ensures that we get a fair payout in the event of an accident, and covers any compensation and other costs incurred if we are ever at fault for an accident while sat behind the wheel. Apart from anything else, it is a compulsary requirement by the law and you can be disqualified, fined and have your car impounded and/or crushed if found driving without valid insurance. Because of this, it is of utmost importance that you are honest when obtaining insurance quotes; there's no point getting cheap car insurance if your insurer won't pay out in the event of an accident because you have told them that you have a 1.4 litre engine in your car when it is actually a 2 litre turbo.

Car insurance varies hugely depending on your age, where you live, what car you drive and lots of other variables - many of which can't be changed.
Having said all that, there are a few simple steps that can be taken in order to legitimately reduce the cost your car insurance, and hopefully just reading this can save a few people enough money to buy a year's membership for this site

Throughout this thread, I'll be suggesting that you try different quotes after changing your reply to different questions. I have found that the best site to use for this is Gocompare.com as they allow you to keep going back and changing a single option without having to fill out the whole form again. Having found the cheapest answers to the given questions, shop around some more. Try confused.com, moneysupermaket etc etc. Then go directly to the cheapest insurer on the list and they often knock it down even more. Don't forget to check the site affiliates; Adrian Flux and Chris Knott as these have been known to be very competetive for other members.



Unchangable Variables
Most of these go without saying, but I intend to be thorough and therefore should start with the basics, so here goes:
Age - Generally, the younger you are, the more expensive your premium.
Gender - Usually (possibly always?), males will find their premuim more expensive than the equivalent female (females can't drive but never claim for their car park dings ).
Pass Date - The longer you've held your licence, the cheaper you will find the premium.
No Claims Bonus - The longer you have held insurance without making a claim, the cheaper your insurance.
Points/Convictions - If you have these, your premium will be more costly.


Car/Engine
Generally speaking, the bigger your engine, the more expensive you will find your insurance premium.

To be more specific, each model of car is divided into insurance groups based on the likelihood of you claiming. The groups are numbered 1 to 20, with the higher end being more expensive (your car could be grouped here because you have a big engine, desirable car or simply one that's easily stolen). The higher the risk, the more you're going to be charged.

For details of what insurance group your car is, visit http://www.parkers.co.uk/insurance/#ig=0


Address
Again, your address is grouped based on risk. If you live in London, you will be paying more than the equivalent person in Cambridge. Sadly, there's nothing you can do about this (bar moving house) but hopefully this thread will go some way towards eliminating comments like "Why's so-and-so paying less insurance than me even though he's got a nicer car".

For details of how your area is grouped, visit http://www.motorcarinsuranceuk.co.uk...de-ratings.php


Named Drivers
First of all, lets get the issue of 'fronting' out of the way. Many young drivers seem to be under the impression that it's acceptable to be a named driver on a parent's insurance and then be the only person that actually drives the car - this is not the case. Insurance companies are cracking down on this and every year, more and more drivers are having claim payouts denied because they have been found to be fronting. If you're going to be the person driving the car the most, the insurance needs to be in your name otherwise it is deemed invalid and you are therefore commiting an offence punishable as listed in the second paragraph of this thread.

On a brighter note, young drivers will usually find that your premiums are considerably reduced if you add one or more of their parents to your own policy. Do this by all means, your premium will more than likely be lower and your parents can then legally drive your car (even if, as in my case, it's simply to move it off the drive because you have blocked their car in) - two birds, one stone.


Modifications
In short, declare them. Your insurer needs to know about anything that is changed from standard, whether you have done it or not - pleading ignorance will get you nowhere.
As far as I'm aware, Adrian Flux and its sister company Flux Direct are the only two insurance companies that offer a lower premium for modified cars, others tend to slightly increase the premium for each modification, however this may not make the premium cost more in the long run, so shop around.


Mileage
Try and give as close to an exact 'estimated annual mileage' as possible. If you do more miles than that, let your insurer know, but you don't want to have to essentially pay to drive miles that you are never going to. Keep in mind that the average driver does 10,000 to 12,000 miles per year.


Car Value
The higher value you put on your car, the more it will cost to insure it. In the event of an accident insurers will either give you market value for your car, or what you have told them the value is; whichever is lowest, so for that reason, you don't want to undervalue it either. Here's a neat little trick though - if your car is worth 3000, type 2995 into the 'value' field and you might just get your premium into the next price bracket down, thus saving you a little more.


Job Title
Another big factor in the price of your premium; if statistically, people who have the same occupation as you are likely to claim, you will find that your premium is increased in comparison with a low risk occupation. There are no clear guides to what a 'low risk occupation' is, but if your job can be split into two or three categories, it's worth trying quotes with them all to see which offers the best price.


Excess
You must pay the first 'x' amount towards a claim. This is called the excess. Insurers will set a compulary excess, and then you can opt to decrease your premium by increasing the voluntary excess that you pay on top of the compulsary. It's worth getting quotes with and without voluntary excess to see how much of a difference there is, then you can make an informed decision on which is the best option.


Insurance Type
Here, the most popular options are 'Fully Comprehensive' or 'Third Party, Fire and Theft'.
Fully Comp means that you will get a payout regardless of who's at fault for an accident.
TPFT will only pay for the damage you cause to other people, buildings, cars etc if you're at fault for an accident, but you'll be left with a damaged vehicle that by that point, may be worthless. For this reason, I personally would never go TPFT, but that's up to you. The only thing I can say here is the following: don't always assume that TPFT will be the cheaper option - often, for whatever reason, it's actually cheaper to be covered fully comprehensive so make sure you do more quotes.


Commuting
I'm getting bored of stating the obvious now so I'm going to keep is short. If you're not driving your car to work, don't include commuting and you will save monies. Simples.


Where is the Car Kept
If it's in a garage overnight, it's safer and therefore less likely to get stolen. So if you have one, keep it in there and include this when getting quotes. The same applies for a driveway, so run some more quotes and see what's best for you.


Advanced Driving Certificates
Doing a course and getting these will bring your premium down as you are deemed a safer driver. The only one I can vouch for first hand is Pass Plus. It cost me 120 (six lessons) and saved me over 300 on my first policy - no brainer. I can't guarantee that it will be the same for you but as with everything else; do a quote and see.


Are You a Member of a Car Owners Club
Yes, you are. Some insurers will give you a discount for this. The obvious ones being the site affiliates; Adrian Flux and Chris Knott.


Monthly Payments
Try and avoid these if possible. Your premium will be considerably lower if you can afford to pay it all off at once. Run some more quotes and see.



At the end of the day, if you're 17 years old and looking for insurance, you're going to get shafted. At least reading this and spending some time searching around will mean you can choose to be shafted by the more gentle insurers.




Additional Notes

zr04 - Companies like bell.co.uk are willing to accept NCB even if you are a named second driver. So for the people who are fronting, get out while companies are still honoring this!

Jaxx - When it comes to renewal always, always, always find a cheaper quote and then phone your current provider and 9 times out of 10 they will match it or at least knock off a few quid!

AndyBuck - I actually found choosing the option to leave it on a driveway instead of my garage 50 cheaper. Just a heads up before people automatically assume garage is best.

Superspy - generally greenlight are also one of the companies who have lower premiums for modified cars. they ALWAYS give their cheapest quote at the first point of call (you can't knock them down if you find a cheaper quote) so it might be a good idea to try them first, to give you a baseline quote to work from.

Nhmzr - I did exactly the same quote to start on the 1st and on the 15th and the quote they found for the 15 was around 100 cheaper, not sure why but thought I'd let people know as it may help someone else out

Man in the Car - worth noting that in general most drivers will get a reduction at their next renewal after they reach the ages of 25, 30, 40, 50 (or 55) and 60, and then increases again at 70 and 80. As these don't take effect until the next renewal after you attain these ages it can be beneficial to try to have your renewal date either on or soon after your birthday, so that you will benefit from these reductions at the earliest opportunity.
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Old 20-06-2010, 01:34   #2 (permalink)
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I dont think you have mentioned this but companies like bell.co.uk are willing to accept NCB even if you are a named second driver. So for the people who are fronting, get out while companies are still honoring this!

I was actually "fronting" for 3 years thinking it was OK to do and only found out recently when i changed companies it was a pretty stupid thing to do.
So i now have 3 years NCB as a first driver with bell, allowing me to get great insurance on the stupidly fast jap variety.

Hope this helps.
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Old 20-06-2010, 02:04   #3 (permalink)
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when it comes to renewal always, always, always find a cheaper quote and then phone your current provider and 9 times out of 10 they will match it or at least knock off a few quid!

interestingly last time I got a cheaper quote from elephant, phoned admiral to cancel and turns out they are the same company so was able to just use the cheaper quote instead of my renewal! was 200 cheaper so it is definitely worth the phone call!

Final thing I have to add is look out for 10 month deals, I am about to complete my 2nd spell of these. Basically after 10 months your policy runs out but you get a years no claims and as a 21yr old driver quickly racking up NCB is a good way to lower my premium. So at the end of this year I will all ready have 4 years no claims, 4 months earlier than normal

fantastic effort for this guide though jay must have taken a while!
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Old 20-06-2010, 10:20   #4 (permalink)
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i actually found choosing the option to leave it on a driveway instead of my garage 50 cheaper. Just a heads up before people automatically assume garage is best.

good guide mate, should help reduce the insurance threads
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Old 20-06-2010, 10:55   #5 (permalink)
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I'll get some additional notes added to the bottom for other people's input - thanks guys.
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Old 20-06-2010, 14:46   #6 (permalink)
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generally greenlight are also one of the companies who have lower premiums for modified cars....or more accurately, they wont insure standard cars unless they are high performance. they also have a list of high risk cars they wont insure such as boxters/saxos to bring their premiums down, and they ALWAYS give their cheapest quote at the first point of call (you can't knock them down if you find a cheaper quote) so it might be a good idea to try them first, to give you a baseline quote to work from.
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Old 28-06-2010, 22:30   #7 (permalink)
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Old 29-06-2010, 12:10   #8 (permalink)
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Ive been searching for insurance for the past few days, just changing the fields on comparison sites, and I've found that the time of month seems to change the price, I did exactly the same quote to start on the 1st and on the 15th and the quote they found for the 15 was around 100 cheaper, not sure why but thought I'd let people know as it may help someone else out

Unfortunatley I need to be insured on he first As I start work :/
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Old 02-07-2010, 23:54   #9 (permalink)
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Great thread.
This won't affect many, but helped me knock 4 figures off my insurance. I had a company car, and a broker (Swinton) negotiated my NCB based on this. The compare websites and other brokers and companies direct said I had to start afresh. If it applies to anyone raeding this, good luck
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Old 14-07-2010, 12:06   #10 (permalink)
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great thread, thanks for the heads up
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