The historically high cost of gasoline and diesel and the rising price of new and used cars mean that people are looking to save money on motoring. For most of us, driving a car is a necessity rather than a luxury, so limiting spending is becoming increasingly important as it sucks up more of our paychecks.
There are ways and means to reduce the amount of money you spend on running a vehicle. A personal finance comparison website says there are big potential savings to be made on insurance and has detailed the best ways to lower the cost of insurance.
Insurance is one of the main expenses associated with motoring, especially for young people who are not long qualified and pay through the nose. With this in mind, Quotezone.co.uk has 10 insurance-related tips that could help take household finances a step further:
- Parking vehicles in garages and even driveways can result in cheaper insurance than parking on the road. Typical savings can be as high as £140 for parking on a private driveway, as insurance providers consider it safer and less risky.
- It goes without saying that safer driving results in cheaper premiums. But did you know how many penalty points insurance premiums can increase? On average, three points can add 5% to premiums, but it shoots up to 25% for 6 points and remember the increase is likely to influence premiums for 4 years until the violation is spent. So if a driver normally pays say £250 for an annual car insurance policy, with 6 penalty points that could come to £62.50 per additional year, potentially over 4 years, making it £250 additional. If drivers have points, it can be helpful to use a tailored product, such as convicted driver insurance, which can help them find the right insurance provider for their risk profile.
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- In that sense, normally the higher the bonus without claims, the lower the premium. And it’s not just car insurance, recent research shows that motorcyclists can make big savings. Therefore, it is important not to accidentally break your series of consecutive years without claims, for example, by changing the car to a partner’s name. The driver must be the registered owner of the car and listed as the primary driver, for a period of consecutive years, for the no-claims bonus to accrue.
- If the driver has points on their license or very few in the form of a no-claims bonus, it might be worth considering a telematics insurance policy. This allows them to prove their driving skills, giving insurers data on which to base their premium. If you are a careful driver, this will help reduce your premium.
- Modifications (branding, spoilers, and alloy wheels) can help promote a business or make the car look good, but they are seen by insurers as a higher risk, more likely to be stolen, and more expensive to replace, therefore premiums could be higher as a result. Also, not stating them accurately in the policy could void coverage.
- Size matters when it comes to motors: the less powerful the motor, the cheaper the insurance. If drivers are looking for a new car, it is wise to check which insurance group that particular make and model falls under.
- Alarms and immobilizers usually come standard, but adding security extras like a tracker or dash cam can sometimes help lower insurance premiums, and they can be purchased quite cheaply.
- If you’re making the switch to an electric car, look for government subsidies for home charging points and check out our data on what various cities pay for charging. Drivers may also find that their city has introduced fees for diesel and petrol cars, like London, Birmingham and Manchester.
- Never allow a policy to automatically renew, although new laws introduced in January 2022 mean insurance providers have to offer all customers the same offers, not just incentives for new customers, it’s still sensible to use a comparison site and compare prices.
- Mileage is important, check how many miles the car did last year and be as accurate as possible, the lower the mileage often the lower the premium. However, make sure the estimate is as accurate as possible and keep the insurance company informed throughout the year of significant changes, as claims may be denied if the driver is deemed to be misleading the insurance provider.
Greg Wilson, founder of Quotezone.co.uk, said: “Families are under more financial pressure than at any time in recent time, but there are some simple changes that could help cut unnecessary costs, especially when it comes to cars.
“I think most people are looking for ways to save and may not be aware of some of these simple facts and tips that could lower their insurance premiums and in some cases save hundreds of pounds a year.
“The cost of living crisis is not likely to be resolved any time soon, so it is worth reviewing family finances so that people can find long-term adjustments and changes in their spending, to help tighten their belts and protect themselves for the future”.
Quotezone.co.uk helps around 3 million users each year, with over 400 insurance brands across 60 different car insurance products, as well as cover for bikes, motorcycles and home insurance.