Top 10 best car insurance companies 2020

We've put together our top 10 car insurance companies to help you find the best value car insurance.

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The best car insurance companies for 2020

We’ve reviewed and aggregated ratings from independent sources to create our list of the UK’s top 10 best car insurers (listed alphabetically). Our list reflects the quality of cover these brands offer, as well as customer feedback about their service. Click on the insurer name to read our full review.

How we came up with our top 10

To pick our top 10 car insurance companies, we reviewed the ratings from independent sources Defaqto, Fairer Finance and Moneyfacts and analysed ratings for the quality of cover offered by each company, as well as feedback for customer service and complaints-handling. We think these are key elements that make for a better car insurance policy and for happy customers.

We’ve included Saga and Age Co, who both cater purely to drivers aged over 50, as both scored highly across the board. We also included Toyota in our list as its policy is available to different car models and not just Toyotas.

Special mentions

  • NFU Mutual
  • Tesco Bank
  • LV=

These 3 insurers all scored highly with our independent sources, especially in the areas of customer happiness and handling complaints. However, the policies each received a 3-star rating from 1 of the sources, which pushed these providers just outside of our top 10 list.

Although NFU Mutual is known for covering drivers mainly in rural areas, it does cover some city areas. So, whether the view out your window is of cows or high-rises, it’s worth checking if NFU can cover you.

Best multi-car insurance

If you’re looking to insure more than one car, here are the providers who offer the best multi-car insurance discounts:

Aviva. You can get a 10% discount and insure up to five cars on one policy.
Direct Line. You’ll receive an unspecified discount if you insure more than one car, but can still keep them on separate policies. Get cover for up to ten cars per household.
Churchill. Churchill offers potential discounts for those wanting to get insurance for multiple cars.
More Than. You can save up to 15% on certain policies if you insure more than one car.
Saga. Saga also offers discounted multi-car insurance, provided all drivers are over the age of 50.

Our research has shown that, overall, More Than offers the best multi car insurance policy discount at 15%, while Direct Line allows you to insure up to ten cars.

Best over-50s car insurance

While all providers will offer insurance to older drivers, the best over-50s car insurance policies may be those designed specifically for that demographic. Two of the providers listed above provide specialist cover for drivers that are at least 50 years old. These are:

Saga
Age Co

As an experienced driver, you’re likely to get a better deal on car insurance than someone who is younger, but determining which car insurance is best for you will depend on your location, age and experience, as well as the type of car you drive.

Best temporary or short term car insurance

If you’re travelling a short distance or only plan on using a car for a short period of time, it doesn’t make sense to get long-term cover. Of the providers above, Aviva offers short-term cover for as little as one hour, or up to 28 days. This type of car insurance may be best suited to those borrowing a friend’s car, using one abroad or even hiring a removal van.

Other providers like Cuvva, Sky Insurance and RAC also offer temporary car insurance.

Best car insurance for new drivers

It can be tough being a new driver, especially when you see how much you may have to pay for insurance. Drivers under the age of 25 typically need to pay more than £1,300 a year for car insurance.

While most providers will cover a young or inexperienced driver, there are a few that will offer a deal that won’t break the bank, and may even offer discounted premiums. One way to access lower premiums is black box insurance. The entails having a small device fitted to your car to track your driving performance (similar to the black box found in a plane’s cockpit).

This kind of policy, also known as telematics insurance, gets a bad rep since you’re providing a lot of personal data, but it’s not entirely justified. Of course privacy is important, but you need to consider whether it’s worth more than a discount on eye-watering premiums, especially if you’re a young or new driver.

By recording your speed, distances travelled, and your braking and turning, the black box gives insurers a better picture of how you drive. If you’re considered to be a low-risk driver based on the results, you can receive big discounts on the cost of your insurance. Of course if your driving habits turn out to be risky, premium costs can rise.

Best car insurance for convicted drivers

If you have a driving conviction, such as speeding, drink driving or driving without insurance, getting car insurance can be a struggle. Even just having points on your licence can lead to a hike in your premium.

That said, getting cheap car insurance as a convicted driver is not impossible. The key thing here is to shop around and compare different providers. You might also consider volunteering to pay a higher excess (but always make sure you can actually afford to pay it should you have an accident), or get black box insurance, which is when a telematics device is fitted to your car to monitor your driving. This kind of insurance is popular with young drivers and, while no one likes to feel like a teenager with a curfew, the savings you can make if you stick to the rules of the road might be worth it.

Key questions before you choose your insurer

Ask yourself these questions about a potential insurer to help you decide whether it’s right for you:

How do I make a claim?

Is the claims process clearly explained? If the insurer offers several ways for you to get in touch, this will make life easier if you need to make a claim.

How do I contact the insurer and can I speak to someone 24/7 to make a claim?

It’s worth checking you can always contact the insurer if the worst happens. All our reviews will detail this.

Can I amend my policy?

Insurers differ in what they charge your for amending details such as your address or job title. It’s worth checking how flexible an insurer is on this before you sign up.

Which are the best and worst cars to insure?

Generally, the more expensive a car is, the more it’s likely to cost to insure it. If you’re thinking high performance and sports cars will be expensive to insure, then you’d be right as they tend to cost more to buy and are unfortunately more appealing to thieves.

Every new car in the UK is given an insurance group rating, which helps insurers understand which cars will cost more to insure and which cars will cost less. Sports cars and high performance models have some of the highest group ratings out there. On the other end of the rating scale are the smaller and safer cars – these usually cost less to buy and repair, which is likely to result in lower premiums.

If you have your heart set on a particular car, do your research before making the purchase to assess whether you can afford the insurance premiums that will follow.

How to find the best car insurance company

Firstly, ensure you’re getting the cover you need. When shopping for car insurance, one of the first factors you’re likely to consider is how much it costs. But remember that choosing the cheapest policy won’t necessarily give you the cover benefits you need – it’s important to compare what you get with the policy.

Secondly, the real test of car insurance is what happens when you need to make a claim. That’s why it’s important to consider both the level of cover and the level of service. It’s no good having a courtesy car included in your cover if, in your hour of need, it’s not available or turns out to be a poor substitute for your own car. The information in this guide about our top insurers is a good starting point.

Lastly, of course no one wants to pay over the odds for their cover, so it’s always important to review your premium each year and compare car insurance from different providers. Consider switching as you’re likely to save – some people save hundreds of pounds. If you do want to stick with your insurer, you can try haggling, as that’s common and usually effective.

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