What is car insurance?
Car insurance can provide you with cover if you’re involved in a car accident. It’s also a legal requirement if you own or drive a car, unless you declare the vehicle off-road (SORN) and keep it on private property.
If you’re caught without insurance you could be fined £300 and given six penalty points. If you end up in court, you might be given an unlimited fine and disqualified from driving.
What does car insurance cover?
If your car is involved in an accident, car insurance could provide cover if you injure yourself or other people, or damage property or another vehicle. Car insurance could also cover you if your car is damaged by fire, attempted theft, or if it’s stolen.
Not all policies offer the same cover, so always read the small print and make sure you’re happy with any exclusions or limitations.
What types of car insurance are there?
There are three types of car insurance policy to choose from: third party only; third party, fire and theft; and comprehensive.
Third party only this is the minimum level of cover you need to drive on UK roads. It only covers the cost of compensating other people for injury or damage caused by you. It doesn’t provide you with any financial help for injury or repairs to your vehicle.
Third party, fire and theft this covers the cost of damage or injury to third parties but it could also give you compensation if your car is damaged due to fire or theft or if it is stolen.
Comprehensive as the name suggests, this includes all the cover of a third party fire and theft policy, but could also protect you as a driver and may pay out for damage to your car. It could also include compensation for a number of things such as: medical treatment, legal expenses and accidental damage.
It’s also worth knowing that the typical car insurance policy lasts for 12 months and will need to be renewed each year. Your insurance might automatically renew when it’s about to expire, so remember to come back to comparethemarket.com to get the deal that’s right for you.
What car insurance is the best?
The best car insurance for you will depend on several factors, including: your age, occupation, driving experience, the car you drive and how you use your car.
For example, don’t assume that a third party policy is the best-value option simply because it offers the minimum level of cover.
The easiest way to find car insurance that best suits you, is to start a quote with us today.
What details do I need to get a car insurance quote?
To get a car insurance quote you’ll need to include details about your car, how you use your car, your personal details, the number of years of no claims discount you have, your driving history and whether you’d like to add any additional drivers to your policy.
Details of your car Your car registration number is helpful, but not essential. If you don’t have it, you’ll need the car’s make, model and age. Just be aware that you won’t be able to buy an insurance policy without the registration number.
How you use your car Tell us whether you use your car for pleasure and/or commuting to work, or for business purposes too.
Your details Your name, how old you are, where you live and the type of job you do.
No claims discount (NCD) Tell us the number of years of no claims discount you have (you’ll need proof of this from your current insurance provider if you’re switching to a different one).
Your driving history Details of any accidents, insurance claims and driving convictions you’ve had in the past five years. It’s important to be honest, otherwise you could invalidate your car insurance policy.
Additional drivers The details of any additional drivers you want to add to the policy.
How can I get cheap car insurance?
You could save money on your car insurance by
1 Choosing your car wisely Some cars are cheaper to insure than others.
2 Increasing your voluntary excess But make sure you can still afford to pay the combined compulsory and voluntary excess should you have an accident.
3 Improving your car’s security Whether that’s off-road parking or installing an approved car alarm.
4 Adding an experienced named driver to your policy But never put that person as the main driver if that isn’t the case. You could be guilty of fronting – a type of insurance fraud that can invalidate your policy, at the very least.
5 Avoiding modifications Upgrading your car by adding modifications could make it more attractive to thieves and your premium could rise accordingly.
6 Limiting your mileage Restricting the amount of time you’re on the road could reduce your risk of having an accident and therefore lower your premium.
7 Building up a no claims discount The more years you drive without making a claim on your car insurance, the greater your no claims discount could be.
8 Avoiding unnecessary optional extras Some insurance providers offer extras, such as breakdown cover. If you don’t need them, don’t add them to the policy.
9 Consider a telematics policy Black box insurance isn’t just for younger drivers. If you have a telematics policy and you drive well, whatever your age, you could lower the cost of your premium. What’s more, some telematics devices could even contact the emergency services if you have an accident.
Check out our Top tips for cheap car insurance for more information.
How much does car insurance cost?
The average car insurance premium costs £734, according to data from our Premium drivers report for the first quarter of 2018. The cheapest car insurance policy costs, on average, £611.
Ultimately, car insurance costs vary due to your own personal circumstances. The average car insurance premium has decreased by £24 since the fourth quarter of 2017.
But that’s not the only way to measure whether or not you’re getting a good deal. At comparethemarket.com, we use something called the ‘insurance savings variable’. The variable is the difference between the ‘cheapest’ and the ‘average’ premium available and it can give you an idea of how much you could save. In short, the bigger the percentage, the bigger the potential savings – so make sure you do your homework and always compare prices. Have a look at our Premium Drivers report to see where we’re up to at the moment.
Average premium across all ages
Q1 2018 - £734
Q4 2017 - £758
Q3 2017 - £740
Q2 2017 - £731
Q1 2017 - £729
Q4 2016 - £714
Q3 2016 - £697
Q2 2016 - £679
Q1 2016 - £682
Is it cheaper to pay car insurance annually or monthly?
Paying for your car insurance annually, in a lump sum, is usually cheaper than paying monthly. A monthly payment plan could mean you pay more for your car insurance as you might be charged interest on the instalments.
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