Cheaper car insurance; everyone wants it and not a lot of people know how. Here is a few tips you, probably already know, but some of you might not.
I have only recently started driving, only a month ago and passed my test first time, I didn’t really know anything about cars, insurance or anything. I didn’t have anyone directly there when I was growing up to show me or teach me about cars. My mum never drove and my father wasn’t around, so when it came to learning how to drive it was all on me. Which was a BREEZE, even after a bad (still recovering) accident to my ankle, learning to drive wasn’t all that bad. There is advice lying in those stories but that’s for another blog, and another day.
Fast forward to passing my test, looking for a car and actually having the money, I was stumped when it came to car insurance. I only saw the generic; lower engine size cheaper insurance, more experience cheaper insurance, over 25 cheaper insurance, bull-poop that everyone was telling me. None of it actually helped me understand or know how to get cheaper insurance.
When it came to me getting insurance, I was looking at a Citroen c3 1.4 engine because I was comfortable with the car, it was small and great for first timers. Being over 25, I thought great all that will add to my insurance AND having my provisional for 7 years I thought happy days, I’m at least a step ahead of the insurance game.
Living in Belfast, and first time insurance I knew it wasn’t going to be amazing, but standing at the cheapest that was £3000 I did not expect that. I was shocked, confused, and overwhelmed. I looked for a direct answer to why I was paying for an extra kidney but no one could tell me. There was no direct solution BUT with all my findings and research and moaning and bitching, I managed to whittle it down to £2300 and learn some helpful things along the way which I will now share.
- First of, go to comparison websites. They are the quickest and easiest option to find out who has the better deals. ALWAYS click for the companies to contact you because chances are, they will phone you about your quote and offer you some form of deal or extras.
- Third Party, TPFT, Fully comp. Now, I wouldn’t recommend third party only. Mostly from what I found was; there wasn’t a lot of options and a lot of companies are steering clear. The prices where actually more expensive than Third party fire and theft because they expect first time drivers to go third party expecting it to be the cheapest but isn’t. And now fully comp is becoming more in reach. The difference I found personally for me (I cannot speak for anyone else) was it was only £200-300 difference between third party and fully comp, and the benefits are worth that little extra. But third party fire and theft vs fully comp was £600 -£700 difference. And you do get quite a good cover with TPFT. For my first car I didn’t want fully comp, I got a cheap (but good quality car) to get me A to B and to gain more experience in. If, GOD FORBID, I crashed or damaged it, I would want to write it off rather than disturb my No claims bonus. I didn’t want to pay extras onto a car I didn’t care if it got trashed. It’s not my dream car, its a tool to gain more experience and practice in so why not save the £600 and add it to next years insurance.
- Cliche but, Smaller engine and car, cheaper insurance. Now I know its been said but this one is true. I went from a Citroen c3 1.4 engine to a Clio campus 1.2 engine and saved money on the car and £700 on the insurance. It’s a 5door and really easy to drive, saves on petrol and doesn’t look too shabby. So even dropping down a 0.2 size will make a difference. Most learners learn in a 1-1.2 engine anyway, so it wont be something drastically different to what you are used to.
- Petrol vs Diesel. I DID NOT know this but, if you are city living (which I am) petrol cars are better and cheaper on your insurance. If you have a diesel car in the city your insurance could be up an extra £50 where petrol is more sufficient. But in country living diesel is better and cheaper for insurance. Diesel is for longer smoother journeys, so having that in a city where you potentially could be stopping and starting makes for more break downs and causes insurance to rise. So know where you live and make the decision what will be better for you, your car and your insurance.
- Job description. The wording of your job title will change the price as well. Being specific like; Music teacher vs teacher will change the price. If you have a job title that will mean more traveling, in the eyes of insurance, it will rise. Chef vs kitchen staff, things like that are worth a look into finding you the better deals. Also, my personal dilemma, self employed vs unemployed. Now, I am basically a self employed author, I write, I stay at home and I make my own money by selling my books, simple. But in the eyes of insurance, self employed author pays an extra £100 on her insurance than an unemployed house person. Just throwing it out there, I don’t make nearly enough to be paying taxes (yet!a girl can dream of fame and fortunes), I am literally just starting out so I would say, I am more on the unemployed side than self employed at the minute. But in insurance, a self employed author would be more of an insurance risk, so even little things like that WILL change your insurance. So think wisely, and think what will work better for your insurance; being proud and having a self employed title, or just putting unemployed and saving £100.
- Dash cam and Tracker: Every car (well most) will have it standard lock system and factory securities installed, know what they are before applying for insurance and know the correct ones to put, but adding a dash cam and tracker to your car (and even upgrading your alarm system) should bring down your insurance. Now, here’s the tricky part, you need to decide if the price splashing out on these things vs the price you save on insurance if you do; is it worth it?
- Address: Where you live changes everything too. Me, I live right beside a motorway, roundabout and two main streets (so as insurance goes) I live by hazards, and in theory, am more likely to be in an accident therefore insurance will rise. Now, there is nothing you can really do about where you live but I think it is good to know that these factors will change your insurance too. Also, if there has been a recent car bombing (because I live in Belfast) or car fires (because I live in Belfast) or even car thefts (BECAUSE I LIVE IN BELFAST). It only takes one time, around the same time you apply for insurance, to push it up for awhile. And unfortunately, at the same time I applied for mine, a bunch of cars where set on fire in the city centre, so things like that will affect it too. So, if something big like that has happened recently around your area, you might be better waiting a few weeks before applying for insurance because it could save you £££
- On someone else’s insurance. If you are lucky enough to have a parent drive or someone you live with drive, you will definitely benefit from getting added onto their insurance. Someone more experienced will have lower insurance and their good credit gives you less to pay. Basically they are saying “I trust this person is a good driver and I am a good driver so give us that MUTHAFUCKA discount” and they do. As long as the person is accident free and got good experience. Do not get added to someones insurance who has had 4 DUI’s and ran over the neighbors dog, I doubt it’ll be looking good. Also, do not lie and say you live somewhere with someone you don’t to get cheaper insurance, THIS IS FRAUD. And you will go to jail, well this is the UK, you will probably get a £5 fine. Just don’t do it.
- Lastly, Paying yearly vs Paying monthly. Paying annually is a PAIN IN THE BALLS, but you definitely get more variety and more options. I had several willing to take £2300-£2700 for my insurance, but as soon as I hit that monthly button my cheapest option was £2900 which I actually would of paid back £3200 with the interest. Now, spreading the cost is good, and more convenient because who has £2500 at the spare? And if you do, can I have some? I will give you witty humour in favour of the money? But saving a little a month when it comes to renewing your insurance may help, you save on paying the interest and save paying annually. So lucky for me, I saved another £500 on just paying annually. BUT IN SAYING THAT, if you have been quoted cheaper on an annual figure, it doesn’t hurt to phone them directly and ask them if they do monthly payments. Remember: it’s always helpful to phone and see what extras you can get added and what deals you can cut.
I know car insurance can be a pain, especially if you have no one there to help you and guide you, but I hope these tips help. Also, sometimes you can only get it so low before you need to bite the bullet and accept a shitty situation. For me, my provisional years went out the window because I wasn’t on any insurance, so they don’t count. And being over 25 didn’t really make much difference because I was a new driver and new to insurance. If you really want to help yourself, get onto your parents insurance as soon as you have your provisional. IT WILL HELP IN THE LONG RUN. And if you can’t and do it alone like I did then follow the tips above to help you get the best possible deal, and the best suitable car for you.
And if you’re lucky enough to have enough money to not care about saving pennies then share it with us BITCH! I hope this has helped, and congratulations on your new venture as a driver.
Until next time, mwah xox