Our guide to getting the best cost for your car insurance

Girl on carWhen the time comes for you to renew your car insurance, you could choose to just accept your insurer's renewal quote without a second thought.

However, this could be a big mistake - as This is Money reports that this will likely be much higher than an alternative premium available elsewhere. Yes, you might have to leave your current insurer as you search for the best policy... or, if you are careful and circumstances dictate, you might not. Below are tips for getting appealingly priced insurance.


Cut costs... but in a sensible way
At this stage, it is worth pointing out that "best cost" is not necessarily the same as "cheapest cost". After all, when considering a policy, it remains vital to look closely at the small print rather than just accept the deal on the basis of price. Your chosen policy should enable you to make the kind of claims that, given your current situation, you could find yourself having to make at one point or another. Overly compromising on the level of cover could ultimately be counter-productive.

Therefore, it is the best value, rather than strictly cheapest, car insurance policy that you should opt for. Indeed, now more than ever, it is vital that you are getting as much return for your money as possible when it comes to car insurance. Premiums for this insurance are rising by 10% - about £50 - following reforms to compensation payouts, while insurance premium tax will rise by 12% in June, adding a further £10 to motorists' bills. So, how can you help relieve the burden?

Never taken out car insurance before?
If you are looking for car insurance for the very first time, then you are, in a sense, fortunate. Insurers tend to offer their best deals only to new customers, Which? observes; loyal policyholders, on the other hand, can be subjected to hikes in their premiums. However, a downside of being new to car insurance is that you could, due to inexperience, easily fail to spot many pitfalls. This heightens the need for you to absorb informed advice from trustworthy sources such as this article.

When comparing policies, make sure that they are like-for-like. Some policies could look good value until you realise that they don't offer the same extent of cover as certain other policies you have been weighing up. Also, choose a policy on which only one regular driver will be named. If, at a later point, a friend or relative needs to drive that car for a few days, they could take out short term car insurance from the insurance broker Call Wiser. That person could thus especially cost-effectively meet the legal requirement for them to have vehicle insurance when driving on UK roads.

Don't be afraid to haggle when you are prompted to renew
If you are in the position of holding a car insurance policy already, there are still opportunities for you to rein back your costs when it is time for you to renew it. Well, more to the point, it would be the time for you to consider renewing it. This is because you wouldn't be obliged to simply accept the renewal quote without hesitation. You could haggle for a better quote or change insurer entirely.

Don't be despondent about your probable chances of success with haggling. In November 2016, a survey of over 4,000 Which? members found about half revealing that they had, during the past year, attempted haggling over their car insurance's cost. Furthermore, 79% reported having been offered, by their insurer, a more favourable deal or another incentive not to stray. If you remain unsure how to start haggling, Which? has provided a tried-and-tested script for doing so.

Firstly, you would express the desire to learn why your renewal price has gone up. After the response, you would explain that, having shopped around, you have found a cheaper quote for the same amount of cover. Detail this quote and ask the insurer if they are willing to better it. If they aren't, you could demand to know the best quote they are prepared to offer to keep you. The call handler, at this point, should offer an incentive for you to decide against going elsewhere.

The attraction of choosing a black box policy
You might see it otherwise referred to as a telematics policy; however, whatever you call it, it could bring you significantly cheaper car insurance - especially if you are young. With this policy, a device called a black box will be installed in your car, where it will monitor your driving habits. Should it detect that you are a sensible and safe driver, you will be rewarded - typically with cheaper cover.
One case study is that of Laura Keely - who, as This is Money has reported, agreed to the installation of a black box in her Vauxhall Corsa's dashboard. While she had previously paid £1,800 for a broad policy, her premiums fell by 44% to a mere £1,000.

A few more, little things to keep in mind
There are some other little tactics that can help you save even more money. Often, these include resisting modifying your car; even small modifications, like new alloys, can spark premium rises. Nonetheless, a safety-boosting modification, such as an alarm, could actually trim premiums. Paying cover annually - to avoid high monthly interest - can also trim the expense of a policy.

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