Car insurance for used cars

If you own a secondhand car, consider your car insurance options and how to save money.

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If you’re looking to insure your used car, the process shouldn’t be any different just because it’s secondhand. Insurers will look at several factors in order to calculate the insurance premium. But the type of policy you choose will really depend on your own circumstances in addition to the make and model of your car. Read our guide to find out about car insurance for used cars and how you could reduce your premium.

How do I get car insurance for my used car?

Obtaining insurance, whether it’s for a used car or a brand new one, is exactly the same. If you own a secondhand car that has been around for many years, you may have to pay a little more attention to which insurance companies are willing to offer you cover as some may have restrictions on the age of the vehicle, if it’s particularly old.

In order to get car insurance for your used car, follow these simple steps:

  • Begin an online quote by specifying the make and model of your car.
  • Provide all information relating to yourself such as name, address, age, etc, as well as details about your car, such as its make, model and age.
  • Choose the level of cover and any optional extras that you may require.
  • Review the details of each policy carefully.
  • Select a policy.
  • Finalise details and pay for your cover.

What type of policy do I need for my used car?

As a minimum, your used car will need third party insurance to be on the UK roads. Beyond this level of cover, it really depends on your own situation as well as the age, make and model of your car.

For example, if your car is old and isn’t worth a great deal, you might decide on a third party or third party fire and theft policy, as a comprehensive policy might not make much sense.

However, if you have a secondhand sports car that is still worth a lot, you may wish to have a comprehensive policy to ensure you won’t be left out of pocket if something happens.

Do your research and compare deals to ensure you have the right policy for your needs.

Finder survey: What aspects of car insurance matter most to Brits when choosing a policy?

ResponseMaleFemale
Cost of the premium53.26%49.1%
Level of excess44.84%37.5%
Ability to pay in instalments21.2%26.66%
Courtesy car included25.82%23.95%
Customer service23.1%16.87%
Provider reputation19.84%20.18%
Don't know9.24%16.42%
I would not choose car insurance8.97%10.69%
Other0.82%0.75%
Source: Finder survey by Censuswide of 1032 Brits, December 2023

Do older used cars have different insurance requirements?

No, used cars have the same legal requirements as other cars and will need at least third party insurance as a minimum to be on the roads.

However, your used car could qualify for a classic policy if it meets the requirements. Many insurers will consider a classic car to be a vehicle older than 15 years old and worth more than £15,000 while others may only insure a classic car if it’s at least 20 years old, is the driver’s second car and the annual mileage is low. It’s important to do your research to find the insurers that will cover your used car.

How can I save on car insurance for used cars?

In certain situations, you may pay a high premium for your used car if it’s a top of the range make and model. In this case, there are several ways to save money.

  • Multiple discounts. Check into policies that include discounts you might qualify for, such as insuring multiple cars or bundling insurance policies together with one insurer.
  • Safety features. You may qualify for extra discounts if your car is fitted with an alarm.
  • Low 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.
  • Cover level. If your used car isn’t worth much, you might not want to choose a comprehensive policy. But do your research to ensure you’re not left out of pocket if, for example, something goes wrong and your car is written off.
  • Shop around. Don’t simply choose to renew your car 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.

How much is car insurance for a used car?

The cost of car insurance for a used car is dependent on many factors but can sometimes be cheaper to insure. Details about the driver such as their age, address and driving history will be reviewed as well as information about the car such as its make and model, age, performance and value. The cost will also depend on which insurer is providing the cover.

Shop around and compare deals to find the best deal for your needs.

What should I watch out for?

Used cars do have a few caveats for getting the right amount of insurance. These include:

  • Fire and theft. Although new cars may be more appealing to thieves, older cars may also be targeted since the parts might be easier to sell. If skimping on cover, consider keeping comprehensive.
  • Car value versus insurance. Consider the cover you need for the value of your car. If you have an old car and sufficient savings, it may not be worth the extra premium.
  • Upkeep for safe driving. Used cars need more maintenance than new ones to keep them safe on the roads.

Frequently asked questions

*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (June ’23). 51% of car insurance customers could save £488.46
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