As every car owner knows, it’s the little costs that add up. While the initial payment for the car itself may not be too bad, once you’ve factored in tax, insurance and general maintenance, you can often end up spending far more than you would have liked.
There is, however, a way in which you can bring the cost of your car down, saving yourself plenty of cash and making the vehicle more economical in the long run: your insurance.
Car insurance is an area where many owners can make some clever savings with just a few changes to their policy. While many people are aware of the value of price comparison websites and shopping around for the best deal, less well known are the tips and tricks that can make your car cheaper to insure – many of which can be done quickly and with minimal fuss.
Firstly, try and find insurance specifically for yourself and your car. Many companies will offer vehicle insurance for a specific certain age range and type of car. This insurance will often be cheaper, especially if you have a car that is considered ‘high risk’ or are in a group that is typically costly to insure.
Showing the insurance company that you’re willing to go the extra mile to keep your car safe is another way of cutting costs. Storing the car in a garage (or off-road, if possible), adding an alarm and an immobiliser are all ways of getting a lower quote, since the chances of the car being stolen will be significantly reduced. Similarly, look for a car that won’t attract thieves: brand new, top of the range cars are more likely to be targeted, while slightly older models may be left alone.
Everyone knows that a few years of no claims will get you a discount, but many insurance companies will reward drivers prepared to take extra courses to sharpen up their skills. The Pass Plus course, designed by the Driving Standard Agency, is a great way of refreshing your driving and increasing road safety awareness.
Most insurance companies will offer discounts to anyone who has taken their Pass Plus, although the biggest savings will be for teen drivers and beginners, whom are generally considered to be in the ‘high risk’ category.
Many insurance companies will also offer discounts to those who don’t use their cars that often, and in general the lower your annual mileage, the less your policy will cost. For long-term gains try using your car as little as possible, by car-pooling, taking public transport or even walking. Not only will you save on insurance, your petrol costs and general maintenance bills will also shrink and you’ll get to feel smug about how good you’re being to the environment.
You should also consider increasing your voluntary excess. Your excess is the sum of money you’ll pay towards any insurance claims to your provider. The higher your excess, the less you’ll need to rely on your insurer to cover any costs.
Not only will this make you a lower-risk client, it’ll also mean that you won’t need to make a claim for a minor repair or low-cost problem. However, be wary of upping your excess too much. Only ever choose a sum that you’ll be able to comfortably pay should the worst happen.
Whatever insurance policy you go for, finding the right one for you can result in massive savings and a more tailored individual policy for your needs. Running a car is expensive, but every saving you make counts and the extra cash can be spent on more important matters (having the car cleaned professionally, investing in added safety features, etc.).
Start researching today and see how much you can save.