How to get cheap car insurance

Compare ways to save on your car insurance without cutting corners.

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Car insurance is an essential investment for every driver, offering important financial protection in the event of accidents, fire, theft and more. It can seem pricey, but it’s still cheaper than paying out of pocket for damage when an accident happens. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can get a good rate on cheap, bare-bones coverage or full coverage at a great price. Compare deals and discounts to save more on your policy.

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There are many factors that will affect the cost of your car insurance but it’s important to remember that you’re legally obliged to reveal all details to the insurer and be as truthful as you can. Failing to do so could result in your policy being invalid and your insurer refusing to pay out for your claim.

What’s the cheapest type of policy?

You might think third party cover will be the cheapest type of insurance cover because it provides the least protection. But remember, this isn’t always the case and some drivers will end up paying far more for far less cover.
For example, if you’re a more experienced, older driver, living in a safe area with a sensible and safe car, your premium is likely to be relatively cheap. On the other hand, if you’re an inexperienced, young driver living in a big city with a high-performance, modified car, the cost of your cover is likely to be much higher.

Even if you find the more expensive option for you is comprehensive cover, you should keep in mind the bill you would be left with if you caused an accident. You’d have to foot the bill for your own repair or replacement costs if you only took out a third party or third party fire and theft policy.

It’s worth comparing quotes for different types of cover as you might get more for your money and save money in the long run.

What cover can I consider removing?

You could consider dropping certain added extras from your policy to get big savings on the cheapest car insurance rates. Make sure this option works for you before cutting any of the following extras:

  • Courtesy car cover
  • Break down cover
  • Driving abroad cover
  • Courtesy car cover
  • Windscreen cover
  • Replacement key cover

How do I get the cheapest car insurance?

Price is important, but it’s not everything. The best move is to find the coverage you want first, and then try to reduce your premiums from there. Compare the top 10 ways to save on your car insurance to find out if you could lower your premiums.

  1. Only pay for the coverage you need. Resist adding optional extras unless you’ve decided you need them.
  2. Trade in for a cheaper car. The next time you’re shopping for a new car, look for lower insurance rates on safer cars or cheaper cars.
  3. Try a higher excess. Consider raising your excess, which is the amount you have to pay when making a claim before you get reimbursed. A higher excess means lower premiums.
  4. Nominate your drivers. You should see lower premiums by insuring your policy in the oldest or safest driver’s name and nominating drivers with higher risk.
  5. Be a safe driver. Take a defensive driving course to get a safe driver discount and some new skills, and keep your claims history and tickets to a minimum.
  6. Park in a safe location. Cars kept in locked garages are cheaper to insure than those parked on the street. Consider installing antitheft or security features for lower premiums.
  7. Look for discounts. It always pays to keep an eye out for discounts, including buying car insurance online, bundling policies together, driving an electric car and qualifying for a no claims discount.
  8. Drive less. If you don’t drive much, you may want to see if you can apply for the low mileage discount option.
  9. Choose market value. You’ll save money if you insure your car for market value instead of agreed value. You’ll want this if your car is not a classic, modified or a high-end car.
  10. Maintain your car. Have your car serviced on a regular basis. Your car insurance policy probably won’t cover you for damage caused by old age and improper maintenance, which could lead to problems when making a claim.

The biggest way to save? Compare all your options, including asking for a better deal from your current insurance company. Take advantage of this by switching car insurance instead of renewing, or asking for a new customer price from your current insurer. Then see how each policy stacks up against the competition in price and quality.

Find the cheapest insurance for you

The cheapest policy for one driver might not be the same for another. Every driver will get a unique quote based on their driving history, the vehicle they drive, their age, amongst other factors.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers under 25

If you’re a driver under the age of 25, and you’re looking for cheap car insurance, you may have trouble. Younger and less experienced drivers pay more for car insurance than older drivers. Insurance companies see people who are under 25 as a greater risk, and charge more for premiums.

Cheapest car insurance for low mileage drivers

If you’re someone who, despite having plenty of experience, doesn’t drive often, you could qualify for a low-mileage discount and reduce your premiums.

Cheapest cars to insure

Among the ways to lower your insurance rate is to pick a car that is less expensive to cover. There are many factors that car insurance companies consider, the biggest one being the kind of car you drive.

Insurers use a group rating system of 1-50 when assessing how much a car will cost to insure. The lower the rating, the cheaper that car is to insure.

How much can I save on car insurance with discounts?

Just about every car insurance provider offers discounts, and you could save big with driver and vehicle discounts if you qualify.

  • Defensive driver. Take and pass a defensive driving course to get a discount with some providers.
  • Anti-theft device. A car alarm will deter would-be thieves, which lessens the insurer’s risk. Today, these alarms come standard on most cars. But don’t forget about other anti-theft devices, like a steering wheel lock bar, an electronic immobiliser or a vehicle tracking system.
  • Multiple policies. Bundling your policies can bring big savings. If you and a member of your household both have car insurance, make sure you get both cars on the same policy. You can get even greater savings by bundling other insurance policies like homeowner’s and life insurance.
  • Safety devices. A car with safety features or above average safety ratings can save you money.
  • Paid in full. If you are financially able to pay your full premium upfront instead of in monthly payments, you are likely to get a discount.
  • Homeowner. If you own a home, you can save on insurance, even without bundling it. Insurance providers assume homeowners are more financially stable and are, thus, less of a risk.

When it makes sense to buy the cheapest car insurance

Getting only the most basic level of car insurance could give you really cheap car insurance rates, but it could cost you much more money in the long run if you’re involved in an accident. If the cost to fix the damage to your car exceeds your max coverage amount, you’ll be left to make up the difference. That’s why it’s not always advisable to buy the absolute cheapest car insurance you can find.

However, there are certain situations where you might want to consider getting minimum coverage. As your financial situation changes, be sure to review your cover.

  • You don’t plan on putting many miles on your car. Does your car sit in the garage most of the time? The less you drive the less risk there is that you might get in an accident. This is a time when minimum coverage might be a good choice.
  • Your car isn’t worth much. Are you driving around in an old car that would cost more to fix than to replace? More than third party cover probably isn’t worth it in this situation.
  • You have little to no income. If you’re living payslip to payslip and need your car to simply get to work, the savings that third party cover provides might be worth it.

Cheap car insurance traps

  • Automatic renewal. This might be easy, but it’s not cheap. Insurers offer better deals to new customers than they do to existing ones, so don’t blindly renew your policy each year. Always check quotes from multiple providers, including your current one. If your insurer quotes you a lower new customer price than you’re currently paying, try asking for a discount. Premiums are always changing, so getting the cheapest car insurance means always looking at other options.
  • Not knowing how your coverage works. Check the fine print on your policy before signing up, and ask yourself if you know exactly what’s covered, what’s an optional extra and what’s not covered.
  • Making too many claims. Before you make a claim, remember that your claims history will influence the future cost of your premiums, and you may have a high deductible to pay. If the accident wasn’t too severe, the excess alone might cost more than the damage and it might not be worth being hit with increased premiums.
  • Too good to be true. Price is obviously an important factor when shopping for cheap car insurance, but don’t just choose a policy based on price alone. Compare the features, benefits and limits of several policies on the market. If you find much cheaper car insurance from one insurer, look for the catch.
  • Sky-high excess. You can save money by selecting a higher excess in return for cheaper premiums, but if your excess is too high it may make it too expensive for you to ever make a claim. A good excess is high but affordable.
  • Letting others drive your car. If you have a policy that lets you nominate specific drivers or drivers above a certain age, don’t let an excluded driver take the wheel. They are usually not covered at all in the event of an incident.

Bottom line

If you want inexpensive car insurance, you’ll need to compare the options available from a range of insurers. From third party cover to fully comprehensive cover, there are a wealth of policies and providers to choose from. The right policy at the right price is out there — you’ve just got to go and find it. Compare your options to find cheap car insurance that’s right for you.

Please take reasonable care to answer all the questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. If you don't answer the questions correctly, your policy may be cancelled, or your claim rejected or not fully paid. The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you.
*51% of consumers could save £200. Quote aggregator Seopa split the insurers on its comparison systems into different categories. It then selected quotes from the most popular providers as well as quotes from other providers which returned a price. It then selected providers, weighting them according to UK insurance market share (data from the Association of British Insurers), choosing the cheapest of either the most popular providers or other providers ("the cheapest selected quote"). Seopa then compared the cheapest quote on its system against this "cheapest selected" quote. The company then took the savings figure which 51% or over could have saved, using that formula. The savings you could achieve will depend on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.
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