Cars can be expensive — fact. Unfortunately, the cost doesn’t stop when you’ve bought your vehicle, either. There are many extra charges that you are likely to face when you’re a car owner, such as MOT charges, road tax and fuel allowance for trips including your daily commute. There are also some hidden costs you must consider in case your vehicle unpredictably breaks down. However, one of the biggest expenses you’ll come across may be your annual insurance just to drive in the first place. While 2018 saw Britain’s uninsured drivers drop by a third, with 79,713 offenders caught on our roads last year, the fact that this number is still high is causing our premiums for those who do insure their vehicles to increase.

For many people, this means that a one-off yearly payment is just too big of an amount, so they must break it down into monthly payments. But, are you aware of all the ways you can potentially reduce your insurance outlay? Here, we look at the biggest contributing factors.

Shop around

It’s clear that considering all your options is important. Like any service, you should do your research. Many insurance companies will attempt to ‘better’ the offer on the table by a different provider, so be sure to know what you want and don’t just settle with the first, or your current provider.  However, remember that cheaper isn’t always better. Check what is included before agreeing to a cheaper cover.  

Include a black box monitor

Your annual insurance may be lowered by some insurers if you fit a small box in your car that can help them track your driving methods. This will include aspects such as braking and speed via GPS, as well as taking into account the time of day you drive. This method, also known as telematics insurance, is effective for young and inexperienced drivers, those who have a low annual mileage, or older drivers who want to prove that they’re safe behind the wheel.

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Reduce coverage on older cars

Some of us are tempted to always choose comprehensive cover for our vehicle. However, be aware that choosing this coverage for particularly old vehicles may not be cost effective. For example, if you buy a used car and your insurance values the vehicle at £1,000 then you’re involved in a crash, there’s a possibility that your insurer will just write your vehicle off. Therefore, if your insurance is costing approximately £500 for comprehensive cover, it may not make financial sense to purchase it.  Comprehensive cover is most cost effective for those with new cars, or cars that have held their value.

Increase your excess

How much your insurer is likely to pay out if you claim is what deciphers your excess costs. By choosing to pay a higher voluntary excess, you will lower the cost of what the insurer will have to pay towards the claim. Therefore, this can lower your overall insurance. However, you must ensure that you choose an excess you will be able to afford and make sure the excess doesn’t exceed the overall value of your vehicle.

Have a solid credit score

No claims bonuses are a great help when it comes to reducing your insurance costs. But, were you aware that your overall credit score can also have a huge impact on your car insurance? That’s because insurers take in the impression that if you’re responsible in your personal life and with other financial situations, you are less likely to file a claim.

Add other named drivers

Naming other drivers on your insurance may seem a seem way to bring down your costs, but that’s the case for many quotes. This is because it helps the insurer tie more people into their service. This works well for younger drivers who would usually be charged an extortionate amount. Being named on their parents’ insurance can help reduce their outlay significantly.

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Of course, if you’re a driver, it’s a necessity to be insured. However, you don’t have to pay over the odds to do so. Following the above guidelines can help you reduce your overall payments — leaving you with extra money to spend elsewhere.