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Guide to Motor Insurance

What you can do to get the cheapest motor insurance premiums

Motor insurance is a difficult product to compare, it isn't possible for insurers to advertise their prices directly because everyone pays a different price for it, even if they are insured for the same motor vehicle. Making sure you understand the factors that affect what you pay for motor insurance is very important before you start shopping around, as you want to get the cheapest motor insurance premiums possible.

Insurers calculate their motor insurance premiums taking into account the following things:

Your.... What this means..... Reduce your premiums by...
Age Young or inexperienced drivers are seen as high risk. A compulsory excess is often charged to young drivers. Looking for rapid or accelerated bonus schemes to build up no claims bonus entitlements quickly. Doing the Pass Plus training scheme for new drivers, designed by the Driving Standards Agency.
Gender Male drivers are seen as higher risk. Female drivers take fewer risks, don't drive as fast and have less serious accidents, so are classed as low risk. Using insurers who just specialise in covering female drivers avoids subsiding higher risk customers in the marketplace.
Vehicle type and value The age, model and engine size of your car is one of the main criteria used in calculating a premium. Having a smaller, low powered car, or using a specialist insurer for your classic car, high performance or kit car
Annual mileage Low mileage, i.e. less than 6,000 miles per year means lower premiums. Extra drivers or changing jobs can affect your annual mileage. Keeping an accurate record of your annual mileage by checking consecutive M.O.T. certificates to get a benchmark of your mileage. Look out for restricted mileage clauses
Number and history of drivers Any driver policies are expensive. Named driver policies are cheaper. Previous accidents and driving convictions will increase your premiums. Only insuring those drivers who regularly use your vehicle. Maintaining a good driving record.
Medical history An important issue when determining how much you will pay, for example whether you wear glasses or not or have had a stroke or heart attack Looking after your health!
Voluntary excess The 'excess' is the amount you agree to pay towards settling a claim. If it's determined not to be your fault, the excess is refunded to you. Agreeing to pay a higher excess amount.
Vehicle's security If your vehicle is fitted with an alarm, immobiliser or tracker system it is less likely to be stolen. If you live in a high crime area your premiums will be higher. Keeping your vehicle in a locked garage, or in off street parking. Fitting a security device.

Being aware of how you and your vehicle are classed by insurers will help you determine where to start looking for motor insurance quotes, however if you fall into the largest category of people looking for motor insurance, i.e. you:

  • have a reasonably good driving history
  • own modern UK standard specification vehicle
  • want to use it for normal day to day activities

Then mainstream motor insurers advertising on the high street, in magazines, newspapers, on the radio, on TV and online are a good place to start.

Download the Motor Insurance PDF Guide here - see our other free PDF guides here

Guide Contents

What is motor insurance cover?
Why should I consider a more comprehensive motor insurance policy?
What are the different policy types of UK motor insurance?
Motorcycle insurance
What you can do to get the cheapest motor insurance premiums
Low cost motor insurance premiums by shopping around
Applying for a motor insurance policy
Motor Insurance Information - FAQ
Where can I go to get more motor insurance advice

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