Don't pay over the odds for your insurance just because you own a 4x4. Read our guide to see what your options are and compare deals here.
If you own a 4×4, you may be used to shelling out a whole heap to keep it running, but should you also expect to pay a hefty amount to protect it? If you want to cut costs without cutting cover, you do have options. Read our guide to discover why 4×4 insurance can often be pricey but find out what steps you could take to lower your premiums for your pride and joy.
Why are 4x4s so expensive to insure?
As with all motor insurance, there are several factors that insurers will look at in order to calculate the insurance premium. These can include the age and driving experience of the driver and where they live, as well as the make and model of the vehicle, its value, what it’s used for, where it’s kept at night and how often it will be on the road, amongst others.
Another factor that can affect the price of insurance is the insurance group rating of a vehicle. Every new vehicle in the UK is given an insurance group rating of between 1 and 50, with 1 being the cheapest to insure while 50 is the most expensive to insure. The rating is based on a number of elements including the vehicle’s original sale price, its performance, its security and cost of repair work.
As a result of this insurance group rating, 4x4s will often fall into the higher group rating simply because they cost more to buy than traditional cars. Parts might also be more expensive, leading to higher repair costs. This is what ultimately pushes the price of the insurance premium up.
What might affect the cost of my 4×4 insurance?
Your insurance premium will very much depend on your own circumstances as well as your vehicle. Some 4x4s may well be cheaper to insure than others. This is because 4x4s come in a range of shapes and sizes and may also be used differently, for example, used for short journeys and running errands or used for off-road work.
It’s also worth noting that while car insurance may be suitable for some 4x4s, others may require van insurance. Check to see what cover your 4×4 needs before committing to a policy.
Levels of coverage
4×4 insurance comes in the same three cover levels of motor insurance including:
- Third party
- Third party, fire and theft
If you paid big money for your 4×4, it’s worth considering getting a comprehensive policy to ensure you won’t be left footing the potentially huge repair bill for your own vehicle if you’re involved in an accident.
Insurance policy extras
If you plan to take your 4×4 off the beaten track in search of some off-road adventure, it’s worth checking that your insurer will cover you for using your vehicle in this way. This is known as greenlane cover.
If, on the other hand, you plan to use your 4×4 for competitive off-roading, you will more than likely need specialist insurance that specifically offers this very protection.
Policies can also usually be enhanced with extra protection. However, these will vary depending on the insurer providing the cover. Some of the optional extras that you might be able to add to your policy include:
- Breakdown cover
- Legal expenses cover
- Towing cover
- Off-road cover
- Agreed value cover
What about modified 4x4s?
If your 4×4 has been modified to enhance its performance or speed, or you’re planning to add one or two high-spec components, it’s important you check that your insurer will still offer you insurance.
You might even decide that you want to protect your investment by choosing agreed value cover, which would pay out a usually higher agreed amount rather than the market value in the event of your 4×4 being written off. This will generally set you back more but you might decide it’s worth it for the peace of mind it offers you.
How to get cheaper 4×4 insurance
Even if your 4×4 falls into a higher insurance group, there are still ways you could lower your insurance premiums. Consider the following:
- Choose a cover level that suits you. Contrary to what you might expect, comprehensive cover can be cheaper than third party (TP) or third party, fire and theft so it’s always worth checking. This is because of the risk profile of many people who typically get TP.
- Increase security. If your 4×4 is not currently fitted with an alarm, think about adding one to reduce your premium.
- Have a secure location to park your car. 4x4s kept in a garage or on a secure driveway are usually cheaper to insure.
- Limit your mileage. If you start working part-time or your long commute becomes much shorter, letting your insurer know about a reduction in your mileage could result in cheaper insurance.
- Increase excess. Agreeing to pay a bigger voluntary excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if damage occurs.
- Add experienced drivers. If you’re a high risk driver due to your age or experience, adding an older and more experienced driver to your policy could help to lower the premium.
- Limit optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which optional extras you really want as adding extra protection to your policy will generally push the price up too.
- Advanced driving skills. You could be in line for a discount with certain providers by taking an advanced driving course such as those offered by the Pass Plus scheme.
- Avoid paying monthly. If you can, try to pay for your premium in one go as you’ll pay interest if the premium is spread out over the year.
- Limit modifications. Any modification made to your 4×4 to make it look better or drive faster is likely to increase your premiums so think carefully before making any changes.
- Consider telematics insurance. Having a “black box” fitted to your 4×4 to monitor your driving could result in discounts if you drive safely.
- Shop around. Don’t automatically renew your insurance when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy so check the cover details carefully.
Frequently asked questions
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