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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently asked questions
Multi-car policies are a great way to save money on your car insurance if you have more than one car you need to insure. Insurance companies offer discounts if you’re looking to insure multiple vehicles. You can usually insure up to five cars with this type of policy.
No. Because of the risk profile of many people who take out a lower level of cover – such as third party or third party, fire and theft – getting comprehensive cover can work out cheaper. So it’s always worth checking.
When your car insurance comes up for renewal, it’s always worth shopping around. Even if you want to stick with the same insurer, it pays to get some other quotes and haggle. It’s also worth considering switching as you could well find better cover for the same price, or better service, or both.
Firstly, it’s important to work out exactly what you want from your car insurance by deciding on the level of cover. Shop around and compare your options from the insurers willing to cover you and your car. Price will likely be a big factor for you but it shouldn’t be the only detail you look at. Check out the policy benefits as well as the price. Keep in mind that the cheapest policies don’t always work out to be best when something goes wrong.
You may also want to consider multi-car insurance if you own more than one car, which could see a discount added to your premium.
Car insurance companies are authorised and regulated by the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The way an insurance company conducts its business and how it treats its customers is regulated.
An insurer cannot be authorised to operate without the approval of the FCA, which is then shared with the PRA.
There are several ways in which you can cut the cost of your premium without limiting your cover. Consider some of the following:
Enhance your car’s security with an alarm and think about where you park your car at night. Keeping your car on your driveway or locked up in your garage should mean lower premiums.
Reducing your mileage could lower your costs as you’ll physically be on the roads less.
Increasing your excess should reduce your premium but be sure you can cover the costs if you make your excess very high as an insurer won’t cover any claims that cost less than this amount.
If you can, try to pay for your insurance upfront for the year, as paying monthly could see interest being added to your premium.
If you’re a safe and careful driver, telematics insurance, which records your driving and braking habits could lower your premium.
If you know you’re classed as a high-risk driver because of your age or driving history, adding an older and experienced driver onto your cover could bring the premium down.
Insurers may offer you a discount for participating in advanced driving skills courses. Not only should premiums reduce but you may even become a safer driver.
If you can, select a safe and small car to driver rather than a sporty high-performance model.
Finally, always shop around and compare your options.
How much cover you require will very much depend on your own circumstances. If you drive an old banger that has seen better days and you drive it infrequently, it might not make sense to choose a comprehensive policy. Alternatively, if you’re the proud owner of a brand new sports car that you commute to work in, you may want to opt for a comprehensive policy to ensure you’re not left out of pocket should anything go wrong with your car. Consider answering these questions about you and your car to help you decide what level of cover is appropriate for you:
How much is my car worth?
How old is my car?
What do I use my car for – business or pleasure?
How often do I drive my car?
Where is my car parked at night?
Am I a high-risk driver because of my age or driving experience?
What you need out of a car insurance policy may be very different to what someone else needs. With this in mind, do you research to look at what a policy actually offers compared to other similar policies out there on the market. While comprehensive policies may share several cover features, such as accidental damage and a courtesy car, there will be other features that differ and may actually cost you more if a particular insurer classes the protection as an optional extra. Think about the optional extras that are on offer to enhance your cover and check to see if there are other insurers that include what you need as part of their standard policies. If you think you do need one or more of the optional extras, weigh up the extra cost with the peace of mind it might give you. Do you really need breakdown cover, European cover or enhanced legal protection? Extra protection will come at an extra cost so only add cover that you really want.
Ronny Lavie is a deputy editor at Finder, specialising in insurance content. She has almost a decade of experience writing about financial topics, including five months spent as the interim managing editor for the Fintech Times newspaper. Ronny has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from London Middlesex University and is currently working on her first book.
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