10 Tips on How to Get Cheaper Car Insurance in 2023

In the wake of the recent surge in car insurance premiums, drivers across the UK are actively seeking savvy solutions to cut down on their car insurance costs. With a daunting projection of a 34% rise in average policy costs this year, mainly attributed to soaring repair charges and parts delays, securing affordable car insurance has become an urgent priority for many motorists.

In this latest article from the experts at Colin Appleyard, we delve into ten practical tips for getting the best price on your car insurance, helping you trim those premiums and regain control of your finances on the road.

10 hacks to getting cheaper car insurance

Here’s our top 10 hacks for helping to secure the best price on your car insurance.

1. Shop around - no excuses

Seems obvious, but getting cheaper car insurance starts with one simple rule - shop around. Don't settle for your current insurer just because it's familiar. Different insurance providers cater to different customer profiles, and their rates can vary significantly. Use online comparison websites, consult with insurance brokers, and gather quotes from various insurers. For example, you might find that a direct insurer offers a more competitive rate for your specific car and driving history compared to your current provider.

When using comparison websites, it's essential to provide accurate and up-to-date information about your driving history, vehicle details, and coverage needs. This will ensure you receive the most relevant and accurate quotes. It's also a good idea to review the policy details and customer reviews before making a decision.

Remember that, whilst comparison websites can be extremely helpful, they might not display quotes from all insurers. Some insurance providers prefer to sell policies directly, so it's also worth checking with individual insurers to see if they offer better deals that might not be listed on comparison sites.​

When it comes to comparison websites, there are several reputable companies in the UK that can help you quickly and efficiently compare quotes from multiple insurance providers. Here are some well-known comparison sites that you can use to aid your search for cheaper car insurance:

  • Compare the Market (comparethemarket.com): One of the most popular comparison websites in the UK, Compare the Market allows users to compare car insurance quotes from a wide range of insurers. They often have exclusive deals and offers that can save you money.
  • GoCompare (gocompare.com): GoCompare is another widely recognised comparison site that offers a user-friendly platform to compare car insurance quotes, providing a comprehensive list of options with varying levels of coverage.
  • Confused.com: Renowned for its catchy advertising, Confused.com is a trusted comparison website that offers quick and easy comparisons for car insurance, ensuring users access multiple quotes in minutes.
  • MoneySuperMarket (moneysupermarket.com): MoneySuperMarket is a well-established site that not only compares car insurance but also provides information on various other financial products. It allows users to customise their preferences for more personalised results.
  • Uswitch (uswitch.com): Uswitch provides a hassle-free comparison service for car insurance, allowing users to filter results based on coverage requirements, excess amounts, and more.

2. Increase your excess, lower your premium

Let's talk about excess. Opting for a higher excess - the amount you agree to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in - can lead to a much lower premium. By opting for a higher excess, you demonstrate to insurers that you are willing to take on more of the financial burden in the event of an accident - which can result in cheaper insurance over the policy term. However, it’s important to ensure the excess amount is affordable and doesn't put you in financial distress if you do need to make a claim.

Here's how you can make the most of this strategy in a sensible way:

Assess Your Finances: Before deciding on a higher excess, thoroughly evaluate your financial situation. Consider how much you could comfortably afford to pay out-of-pocket if you had to make a claim. Avoid setting the excess too high that it becomes a financial burden during an emergency.

Crunch the Numbers: To determine the potential savings, request quotes from insurers with different excess levels. Compare the premiums at varying excess amounts to understand how much you can save by raising it. You might be surprised at the significant difference a slightly higher excess can make in reducing your annual premium costs.

Weigh the Risks: While increasing your excess can save you money on premiums, it's essential to weigh the potential risks. Evaluate your driving habits, the likelihood of making a claim, and your car's value. If you drive frequently or in areas with higher accident rates, a lower excess might be more appropriate to minimise financial strain in case of an accident.

Consider Voluntary and Compulsory Excess: It's essential to understand the difference between voluntary and compulsory excess. Compulsory excess is set by the insurer and cannot be changed, while voluntary excess is the amount you agree to contribute voluntarily. Focus on increasing the voluntary excess while ensuring the compulsory excess remains reasonable.

Avoid Over-Committing: While raising your excess can lead to substantial savings, avoid committing to an excessively high amount. If the excess is beyond your financial capacity, you may find it challenging to pay in the event of an accident, defeating the purpose of having insurance in the first place.

3. Trim the unnecessary coverage

Take a close look at your policy and trim unnecessary coverage. For older vehicles with lower market value, comprehensive insurance might not be cost-effective.

Consider opting for third-party, fire, and theft cover instead. It provides essential protection while being more budget-friendly. By making this switch, you could potentially save hundreds of pounds each year.

4. Embrace safe driving habits

You're not James Bond, so there's no need to drive like him. Safe driving habits pay off big time. Many UK insurers offer discounts to cautious drivers through telematics or black box schemes. These devices monitor your driving behaviour, such as speed, braking, and cornering. By demonstrating responsible driving, you could earn significant discounts, sometimes up to 30% on your premiums.​

5. Don't overlook discount opportunities

Don't ignore discounts; this could be your golden ticket to savings. Enquire about any available discounts that align with your circumstances.

For instance, some insurers offer a discount if you install approved security devices like a Thatcham-approved alarm or immobiliser. Additionally, if you're a member of certain organisations or professional bodies, you may qualify for affinity group discounts as many car insurance providers offer exclusive discounts for NHS workers.

6. Maintain a strong credit score

Your credit score matters beyond securing loans; it also impacts your insurance premiums. Keep your financial house in order, pay your bills on time, and manage your finances responsibly.

As your credit score improves, your premiums will dwindle. A good credit score could help you secure a better deal with some insurers who consider credit history in their calculations.

7. Drive less, pay less

Less time on the road can mean more money in your wallet. Consider carpooling, using public transportation where it makes sense to, or even walking for some journeys. 

For drivers who cover fewer miles, some insurers offer pay-per-mile insurance, delivering extra savings. This type of insurance is especially beneficial for individuals who only use their car occasionally or have a short daily commute.

8. Choose a sensible vehicle

That flashy sports car might turn heads, but it'll hit your pocket hard. Insurance premiums are influenced by your car's make, model, and age.

Sports cars, luxury vehicles, and high-performance cars usually come with higher insurance costs due to their higher repair expenses and theft risk. Be savvy and opt for a sensible vehicle that suits both your needs and your budget. For example, a family hatchback or a small city car typically comes with more affordable insurance premiums.

9. Stay loyal but stay alert

Loyalty to your insurer can come with rewards. Stick with a provider for a while, and you might be eligible for loyalty discounts. However, don't be blindly loyal; review your policy annually and compare prices to ensure you're still getting the best deal. 

Contact your current insurer and inquire about any loyalty discounts they offer. Simultaneously, get quotes from other insurers to check if you can find a better deal elsewhere.

10. Consider bundling

Combining policies can lead to significant savings. Bundle your car insurance with home or renters insurance, and watch the premiums shrink before your eyes. Many insurers offer discounts for customers who purchase multiple policies from them.

For instance, if you have both car and home insurance with the same provider, you might be eligible for a multi-policy discount, reducing your overall insurance costs.

Final takeaway

As motorists face the challenge of rising car insurance costs, don't let your budget veer off track. Use these ten tips today to navigate the insurance maze and secure the best deal possible. Shop around, be practical, and make savvy choices to obtain cheaper car insurance without sacrificing coverage. With the right approach, you'll confidently hit the roads, claim those savings, and drive smart!