Cheap car insurance for pensioners

Getting older doesn't mean insurance has to be expensive. We explain how you can keep costs down.

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While young drivers get hit with high insurance costs, these tend to drop off as they grow older and wiser.

Sadly though, the fall in costs doesn’t last forever. At a certain point, your age will push your policy premium back up again. Depending on your age and any medical conditions, you may find it hard to find any cover at all.

Yet there are insurers that will cover you, and there are specialist policies for older drivers too.

What should I be looking for in a policy for pensioners?

When you’re getting car insurance as a pensioner it’s vital you get the level of cover you need.

If you have an expensive car, it’s worth having a comprehensive policy which will pay out should it get damaged in an accident. Ultimately, dipping into your own pocket could be far more expensive.

Yet, it might be wise to look at policies made for older drivers, which can offer added benefits like:

  • Phone a friend. Some will come with a message relay service which will contact a friend or relative if you’re in an accident.
  • Onward travel. If you can’t drive your car following an accident some policies will cover the cost of getting you home or accommodation.
  • Emergency any driver cover. This lets someone else drive your vehicle home if there’s a medical emergency.

Will I get a cheaper car insurance policy for being a pensioner?

Thankfully, your premiums will still be cheaper than a young driver who is just starting out. Your experience counts for something.

However, once you’re into your 60s and 70s car insurance will start to steadily increase. Insurers say statistically this is the age range when people start to make more car insurance claims.

What could make your car insurance more expensive?

There are numerous ways car insurance companies work out your premium, and it all comes down to risk and how likely you are to make a claim. Here are a few of the main factors.

  • Age and driving experience. Insurers tend to hit young drivers and those over 70 with higher premiums. They say this is because these age groups are statistically more likely to have an accident.
  • Location. Insurers will look at how busy the roads are where you live, as this can increase the chances of you making a claim. Local crime statistics play a part here too. Annoyingly there’s not much you can do here, but a spate of car crimes pushes up your level of risk.
  • Driving history. If you’ve had any marks on your driving record then it will probably impact your premiums.
  • Car make and model. All cars in the UK are given a car insurance group rating, which looks at how powerful or fast the vehicle is, and factors like how much repair parts will cost.
  • Excess. Your excess is the amount you pay towards a claim before the insurance money kicks in. The lower your excess, the higher your overall insurance cost. Although make sure you can afford to pay the excess should you have an accident.
  • Level of cover. The received wisdom is that third party cover should be cheaper than a comprehensive policy. After all, you’re getting less protection. However, third party policies are often taken out by riskier drivers, so are often more expensive.

How can I keep my car insurance costs down?

  • Shop around. Don’t go for the first policy you find and don’t just auto-renew your current deal. The easiest way to keep costs down is to compare, compare, compare. Really hunt around for a new, cheaper deal each year.
  • Low mileage. The less you use your car each year the cheaper your premium will be.
  • When you drive. Now you’re older you might be retired, which means no more rush hour commutes in your car. This is one way being a pensioner can reduce your policy price.
  • Telematics policy. This relatively new type of insurance policy lets you fit your car with a black box which measures your speed, distance travelled, and the time of day or night you’re travelling. Drive responsibly and you could be rewarded with a better insurance deal.
  • Higher voluntary excess. Your excess is the amount you pay towards a claim before the insurer starts paying out. Voluntarily accepting a higher excess can mean a lower premium. However, make sure you can afford to pay the excess.
  • Pay annually. Sending your insurer a lump sum each year is generally cheaper than paying for your policy monthly. Insurance companies will charge more and put interest on instalments too.
  • No claims discount. Drive responsibly, avoid making any claims, and after a few years your insurer should reward you with lower premiums.

Bottom line

If you’ve just hit retirement then you don’t need to worry about higher insurance premiums just yet. You should still be able to enjoy more affordable protection for a good while yet. But as with all good things, the more favourable insurance costs won’t last forever. If on the other hand, you’re over 70, you’ll start noticing premiums rising.

There are still options to keeping costs down such as choosing a telematics policy if you remain a safe and careful driver, or keeping your mileage low. But above all the options we’ve listed above, you could save some money by simply shopping around and comparing deals.

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*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, (July ’22). 51% of car insurance customers could save £341.77

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