The best car insurance gives you the right cover at the right price and is there in your hour of need. We’ve given comprehensive policies a policy score for the level of cover they provide, and surveyed customers to give a customer satisfaction rating. We’ve also picked out policies that excel in specific categories like multi-car or for young drivers.
Summary: Best car insurance companies in the UK 2021, by category
- LV=: Best for cheaper rates
- Direct Line: Best for customer service
- Admiral: Best for multi-car
- Saga: Best for over-50s
- Veygo: Best for temporary insurance
- Hastings Direct: Best for young drivers
- Swinton: Best for convicted drivers
- Churchill: Best for black box cover
Best car insurance for cheaper rates
The cheapest car insurance company for one driver might not be cheapest for another, because insurers price risk in different ways (risk is calculated using your driving history and personal details). That said, some providers tend to offer good rates. Insurance prices have generally fallen during the pandemic as people have driven less, and it’s always worth shopping around.How to get the cheapest car insurance
Finder’s pick: LV= comprehensive
- We ran quotes for a range of different age groups and found that LV= tended to offer competitive insurance quotes across the board.
- LV= offers a range of car insurance policies for standard, classic and electric cars.
- LV= offers discounts for multiple vehicles (up to 20% per extra vehicle).
Need to know: There’s an admin fee for changing the vehicle or a named driver on your policy.
Read our review of LV= car insurance.
Best multi-car insurance
Many households in the UK own more than one car. The good news is that there are also many insurance companies who offer a discount for insuring multiple cars with them. Some will even let you throw a motorcycle or van into the mix.
Finder’s pick: Admiral comprehensive
- MultiCar customers could save £240 (10% of customers who provided a best alternative price saved £240, according to Admiral).
- Admiral has one policy for all cars, with one renewal date.
- Each car has its own no-claims bonus, and you can have different levels of cover for different cars on the same policy.
Need to know: Claims helplines aren’t open 24/7.
Read our review of Admiral car insurance.
Best car insurance for over-50s
All providers offer insurance to older drivers – and non-specialists can offer great rates – but over-50s car insurance policies offer tailored extras, and age limits tend to be more flexible. Age Co has no upper age limit and offers a Message Relay service, where a friend or family member to be contacted if you have an accident.
Finder’s pick: Saga comprehensive
We chose Saga car insurance as our top pick because:
- Saga offers specialist cover for over-50s and customers get unlimited European cover.
- Drivers over 50 get discounts for insuring additional cars registered to the same address.
- Saga car insurance has no upper age limit.
Need to know: Cancelling a policy can incur an admin fee of up to £50.
Read our review of Saga car insurance.
Best temporary 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.
Finder’s pick: Tempcover car insurance
- Tempcover offers great flexibility in the policy duration (1 hour – 28 days).
- Making a claim won’t affect a no-claims discount built up on an annual policy.
- Cover can be enhanced with extra protection.
Need to know: You have to pay upfront for your policy.
Read our review of Tempcover car insurance.
Best car insurance for young 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 who offer deals that won’t break the bank, and some may even offer discounted premiums.
Marmalade insurance deserves a mention here. The company scored 4 stars in our customer satisfaction survey, with 87% of customers saying they would recommend it. Marmalade’s black box policy is not the most comprehensive, but it is a strong option, especially if you value good customer service.
Finder’s pick: Hastings Direct car insurance
- Hastings Direct has multi-car and telematics (black box) cover options, and cover’s available to new and young drivers.
- This insurer offers a range of affordable policies for drivers aged 17-25.
- The claims team is available 24/7.
Need to know: The Hastings Direct website isn’t easy to navigate.
Read our review of Hastings Direct car insurance.
Best car insurance company for convicted drivers
If you have a driving conviction, such as speeding or drink driving, getting car insurance can be a struggle. This disclosure calculator, run by Unlock and Home Protect can help you gauge whether a past conviction is now “spent”.
Finder’s pick: Swinton car insurance
- Swinton has a dedicated section on the website for convicted drivers.
- It offers 3 levels of comprehensive cover.
- The claims helpline is open 24/7.
Need to know: There’s no option to have just third-party only.
Read our review of Swinton car insurance.
Best car insurance for customer service
Finder’s pick: Direct Line car insurance
We chose Direct line car insurance as our top pick because:
- Direct Line won Finder’s 2021 Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction Awards, scoring 4.5 stars out of 5 for overall satisfaction.
- There’s no charge for mid-term amendments.
- Direct Line offers exclusive deals for existing customers.
Need to know: The claims line isn’t 24/7, but there is an out-of-hours emergency helpline.
Read our review of Direct Line car insurance.
Best black box insurance
Black box cover is when a telematics device is installed in your car to track your driving. If you drive well, your premiums reduce. Consistently breaking the rules and restrictions of the policy will end up costing you in higher premiums.
Finder’s pick: Churchill car insurance
- Telematics cover, called DriveSure, is available for drivers aged 17-25.
- You’re guaranteed a discount on your first year for using the black box technology.
- You can view your driving score on the DriveSure app.
Need to know: No 24/7 claims line (but an emergency helpline is available).
Read our review of Churchill car insurance.
Top 10 car insurance companies in 2021, by policy score
|Rank||Company||Comprehensive policy score|
For all results, including customer satisfaction ratings, skip to our full table.
How to find the best car insurance company for you
Car insurance premiums are highly personalised – a tweak to your job role, or the amount of excess you’re happy to pay can make a big difference to your premiums. We explain more in our guide how premiums are calculated. The key is the get the right cover level, plus good service at the cheapest price. This is why we survey customers. All our best picks are at least 3-star rated for service.
- Compare policies. Different insurers can offer the same level of cover for very different prices. Shop around and compare car insurance quotes with as many providers as you can to make sure you’re getting the best deal for you. Comprehensive cover can sometimes work out cheaper than third party, so compare all options.
- If your quotes are too high, consider a higher excess. An excess is the amount you would contribute to any claim before your insurer will pay out. If you voluntarily increase your excess, your insurance company see you as less likely to make a claim, which will help to bring down the cost of your premium (but always make sure you can actually afford to pay it should you have an accident).
- Consider different options, such as pay-as-you-go cover. Some providers, like By Miles, offer pay-as-you-go cover. This is good for people who don’t drive very often and don’t want to pay for annual cover.
- Review your provider’s quote every year. When renewal time rolls around, it’s crucial to shop around a few weeks before your policy starts. 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.
Full table: Car insurance customer satisfaction and policy scores
|Ranking||Logo||Provider||Overall satisfaction||Customers who’d recommend||Comprehensive policy score|
|4||M&S||Not yet rated||N/A||81.47%|
|8||RIAS||Not yet rated||N/A||79.24%|
|11=||Co op||Not yet rated||N/A||76.89%|
|11=||Post Office||Not yet rated||N/A||76.89%|
|13||RAC||Not yet rated||N/A||76.27%|
|17||Quotemehappy||Not yet rated||N/A||75.32%|
|19=||Elephant||Not yet rated||N/A||75%|
|19=||Budget Insurance||Not yet rated||N/A||75%|
|21||Policy Expert||Not yet rated||N/A||74.21%|
|22||Marshmallow||Not yet rated||N/A||73.52%|
|24||1st Central||Not yet rated||N/A||73.33%|
|25=||Sainsbury||Not yet rated||N/A||71.96%|
|27||eSure||Not yet rated||N/A||70.62%|
|28||Bell||Not yet rated||N/A||70.09%|
|29||Debenhams||Not yet rated||N/A||69.93%|
|30||GoSkippy||Not yet rated||N/A||67.84%|
|31||Policy wise||Not yet rated||N/A||66.6%|
The algorithms that insurers use to calculate their premiums are a dark art and are all different, so it will always pay to get a range of quotes from different providers each year. Then consider the extra benefits a policy might offer you, and check our ratings to see what customers think of any brand you haven’t tried but are considering.
Frequently asked questions
Customer satisfaction ratings methodology
In December 2020, we ran a customer satisfaction survey on insurance providers. We had 1,513 responses about car insurance providers.
The survey asked respondents how satisfied they were with their current insurance company (on a scale from one to five, and also whether they would recommend the brand to a friend or not). We turned the results into star ratings and shortlisted the top-performing brands for our awards. When there was a draw, we used the recommendation score (that is, the percentage of customers who said they would recommend the brand to a friend) as a tie-breaker.
Full details of our star ratings for this sector are on the insurance ratings methodology page.
More guides on Finder
Ethereum (ETH) price prediction 2021
What affects the value of Ethereum (ETH) and how might the price of ETH fluctuate in the year ahead? Find out in this comprehensive guide.
Toyota Hilux insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Toyota Hilux falls under and how much it costs to insure.
Citroen Saxo insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Citroen Saxo falls under and how much it costs to insure.
Suzuki SX4 insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Suzuki SX4 falls under and how much it costs to insure.
American car insurance
Read our comprehensive guide on American car insurance and how much it costs to buy cover.
Smart Forfour insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Smart Forfour falls under and how much it costs to insure.
Nissan Navara insurance group
Find out which insurance group the Nissan Navara falls under and how much it costs to insure.