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Guide to Motor Insurance

Low Cost motor insurance premiums by shopping around

Mainstream motor insurance is widely available from:

  • Most banks & building societies
  • Supermarket chains such as Tesco, Asda, Marks & Spencer
  • The Post Office
  • Independent car insurance brokers
  • Finance companies
  • Motor insurance companies

If you are female or under 25 years old look out for offers or special deals aimed specifically at you. For example, if you are a young biker, some insurance brokers will offer you low cost motor insurance as they have already negotiated deals with some insurance companies, i.e. promised to deliver a lot of customers to companies who offer good deals.

Another way to lower motor insurance premiums is to look for a specialist insurer who caters to your specific needs and vehicle type, especially if you:

  • own a high performance car or sports car
  • have a classic car
  • import or own a non-standard vehicle or kit car
  • have a bad driving record or convictions
  • use your vehicle(s) for commercial purposes
  • want to insure a motorcycle, van or camper van

Specialist insurers and brokers are available to provide tailor made policies for motorcycles, riders and other non-standard drivers and vehicles to cover their specific insurance requirements. Specialist insurers understand the need to segment these types of vehicles into as many insurance groups as possible, it isn't as simple as standard motor insurance where drivers are segmented into young and old, or small, mid-size or large capacity vehicles.

For example, unlike new cars which depreciate in value annually, classic cars are insured for a fixed sum which must be agreed by both owner and insurance provider, and usually involves a visit from a professional valuer. Also, young drivers who may have been competing on scramblers or in rally cars from a young age, can have a lot more expertise and experience than older drivers, but shouldn't have to pay higher premiums just because of their age.

Using a specialist insurance provider or broker enables you to obtain:

  • protection for specific needs and risks associated with your vehicles
  • assistance from experts who understand motorbike riders, high performance or classic vehicles
  • cover for everything the vehicle might be used for, such as track events, attending rallies and club functions.

When shopping for motor insurance around bear in mind there are regional differences for what you may pay for motor insurance. Amongst other things, costs are influenced up and down by:

  • densely populated areas such as London
  • low crime rate areas such as Scotland
  • higher risk areas such as Ireland where compensation is about 8 or 9 times more and legal fees and costs can be three to four times higher.

Other things to look out for when comparing offers are:

  • Monthly premiums, paid by direct debit which are easier to afford than one off annual payments.
  • Going back to your current insurers with your lowest quote which they're likely to try to match or even beat.
  • If an insurer gave you a high quote last year, go back to them this year, they could be running a special deal that suits you.
  • If your insurer doesn't have a 24 hour claim line, there's unlikely to be a good reason, so don't go with them.
  • Check your insurer is a member of the Financial Services Association (FSA).
Make sure you know what cover you are getting for your premiums, low premiums may mean a compulsory excess, or less windscreen cover....

Most motor insurance companies have online sites which have an online quote application form and detailed information about their policies. This can be the quickest way to shop around. If you don't know which insurer you want to use, just doing a search from your home page, for example typing in exactly what you're looking for, i.e. "car insurance", or "young driver insurance" will bring up several links for you to investigate.

You can also take advantage of several independent comparison sites which compare different types of motor insurance options, and present like for like quotes. It's advisable to compare at least three quotes of the same type of insurance to make sure you get a good deal. We've included links below to some independent comparison sites to help start your search: Compare prices and features of over 100 car insurance companies. Compare prices and policies from over 110 leading car insurance companies

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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