The historically high cost of petrol and diesel and the price new and second-hand cars increasing mean that people are looking to save money on motoring. For most of us, running a car is a necessity rather than a luxury so limiting the expense is getting more and more important as it swallows up more of our wages.
There are ways and means to reduce the amount of money you spend running a vehicle. A personal finance comparison website says that there are potential big savings to be made on insurance and has detailed the best ways to cut the cost of insurance.
Insurance is one of the major expenses associated with motoring, especially for young people who have not long qualified who pay through the nose. With this in mind, Quotezone.co.uk has 10 pieces of insurance-related advice that could help household finances go a little 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 it’s deemed safer and less of a risk by insurance providers.
- It should go without saying that safer driving results in cheaper premiums. But did you know just how much penalty points can bump up insurance premiums? On average, three points can add 5% to premiums, but it shoots up to 25% for 6 points and remember that increase is likely to influence premiums for 4 years until the offence is spent. So, if a driver normally pays say £250 for an annual car insurance policy, with 6 penalty points that could be as much as £62.50 a year extra, potentially for 4 years, making it an extra £250. If drivers do have points, it can help to use a bespoke product such as convicted driver insurance, which can help them find the right insurance provider for their risk profile.
- On that note, normally the bigger the no claims bonus, the lower the premium. And it’s not just car insurance, recent research shows bikers can make big savings So, it’s important not to break your string of consecutive claims-free years accidentally, by say switching the car to a partners name. The driver must be the registered owner of the car and noted as the main driver, for a period of consecutive years, for the no claims bonus to add up.
- If the driver has points on their licence or very little in the way of a no claims bonus, it might be worth considering a telematics insurance policy. This allows them to demonstrate their driving skills, giving insurers data on which to base their premium. If they’re a careful driver, this will help bring the premium down.
- Modifications – branding, spoilers and alloy wheels – might help promote a business or make the car look good, but insurers see them as higher risk, more chance of getting stolen and more expensive to replace, therefore premiums could be higher as a result. Also, not declaring them accurately on the policy could void the cover.
- Size matters when it comes to engines – the less powerful the engine the cheaper the insurance is likely to be. If drivers are looking for a new car, it’s wise to check what insurance group that particular make and model falls into.
- Alarms and immobilisers usually come as standard but adding safety extras such as a tracker or a dash cam, can sometimes help to bring insurance premiums down – and they can be bought quite cheaply.
- If you’re switching to an electric car, look out for government grants for home charging points and review our data on what various cities pay for charging. Drivers might also discover their city has actually introduced fees for diesel and petrol cars, such as London, Birmingham and Manchester.
- Never let a policy auto-renew – even though new laws introduced in January 2022 mean insurance providers have to offer all customers the same deals, 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 the year before 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 inform the insurance company throughout the year with significant changes, as claims can be declined if the driver is seen to be misleading the insurance provider.
Greg Wilson, founder of Quotezone.co.uk, said: “Families are under more financial pressure than any time in recent memory, but there are a few simple changes that could help reduce unnecessary costs – especially where cars are concerned.
“I think most people are searching for ways to save and they might not know some of these simple facts and tips that could reduce 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’s worth reviewing household finances so people can find long-term tweaks and changes to their expenses, to help tighten the belt and safeguard for the future.”
Quotezone.co.uk helps around 3 million users every year, with over 400 insurance brands across 60 different car insurance products as well as cover for bicycles, motorbikes and home insurance.