Buying car insurance is a pain. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time buying car insurance, or your fiftieth. It’s still a pain in the ass. Therefore, here’s a handy guide to help you in future attempts at purchasing car insurance…
It’s annoying, but it can save you a lot of money. Sites like Compare the
Meerkat Market, Confused.com and Go Compare are trying to save you money. Let them help you!
Most insurance comparison sites – and some companies – offer gimmicks of some kind. Ignore them. You really don’t need a toy meerkat, do you?
Beware of Pushy Sales People
One thing I’ve learnt since owning a car is that salespeople that work in anything to do with cars are pushy. Car salespeople, car insurance salespeople…they’re all trying to get as much money out of you as possible. Salespeople get commission. Some need to make a certain amount in order to get commission. Therefore they’re going to milk you as dry as they possibly can. Don’t let them. Play the game with them. If they’re pushy, be pushy back. Stamp your foot. Be assertive, and if they’re taking things too far, tell them that you’re going to take your business elsewhere if they carry on. Make sure to not get aggressive, however. Assertiveness gets you through doors, aggressiveness gets you banned from them.
Voluntary vs. Compulsory Excess
Compulsory Excess: The amount that you have to pay after an accident.
Voluntary Excess: The extra amount that you agree to pay if you get into an accident. The higher it is, the cheaper your car insurance will be.
Check Your Excess
Some insurance policies are cheaper because your excess is higher. I thought I’d found a great deal when I was shopping around, but it turned out that my excess was nearly £1000. Could I afford to pay that if something happened to my car? No. I’d rather pay an extra £5 for a policy with a much lower excess.
Watch Out For the Catch
Certain things that you wouldn’t except to influence your car insurance very much, do, like your post code or whether you park your car in a residential car park, on a driveway or on the road. A couple of months ago there was controversy because certain insurers were refusing to insure people because the street in which they lived (or had moved to) was classed as high-risk. Parking your car on a driveway also makes your insurance premium more expensive than if you park it in a residential car park. Mine went up £10 because I no longer park it in student halls, but on the driveway at home. It’s a small thing, but it can make quite the difference.
No claims are how many years you’ve gone without claiming on your insurance. The more you have, the cheaper your car insurance will be. You have the option to protect them, but if you only have a couple of years, it may not be worth it, as it will bump your car insurance up, sometimes by £50 or more.
Whilst car insurance companies are no longer allowed to discriminate by gender, they still can by age, meaning that your fifty year old mother will have considerably cheaper car insurance than you. It’s not just age, however: it’s experience. Newer drivers have higher insurance premiums because they’re less experienced (it doesn’t matter how long you had lessons for; it’s when you’re really out there that matters). Most older drivers have been driving for years, meaning that what they pay is far less.
Your Parents Can Help
Having a pass plus means nothing, but having both of my parents on my car insurance makes a considerable difference. Now that I’ve been driving longer it doesn’t make as much of a difference as it did when I first got my car four years ago, but it still makes it about £50 cheaper. If your parents have been driving a long time and have a hefty amount of no claims behind them, it might be worth putting them on there, even if you don’t intend to let them drive your car.