Car insurance premiums are up by an average of 8% in the last 12 months, according to the latest figures from the Association of British Insurers. if you're renewing your car policy now, you're probably trying to figure out why it's so much more than last year – and what you can do about it.
The main cause of the higher prices is an increase to the Insurance Premium Tax last September. Many types of insurance suddenly got more expensive as a result.
But car premiums weren't helped by the growing number of personal injury claims, which led to the UK being named whiplash capital of the world last week by insurers Aviva.
How to get cheaper car insurance
So what can you do to battle the rising prices? Here are 19 ways to lower your premium.1. Add a second, low-risk, driver – though young or newly qualified drivers can put the price up. 2. Pay annually rather than monthly – the latter costs more as you're charged interest to pay by instalments. 3. Read the policy wording so you know what you're paying for – find things you can cut out to lower the premium.
4. Work out how many miles you're likely to drive in the year - don't over insure yourself. 5. Get a telematics "Black box" to prove you're a safe driver. 6. Don't speed – points on your licence will up what you pay. 7. Ask if there's a discount for having a no claims bonus. 8.Use a comparison site, best buy table or broker to shop around for a better quote.
9.Take an advanced driving test – you might get a discount.
11. Park in a garage or on a drive – your car will be more secure than on the street.
12. See if getting breakdown cover separately is cheaper – you might even have it included with your bank.
13. Try different job titles such as nurse, community nurse and staff nurse. Each could produce a different quote – though make sure they are accurate for what you do.
14. Do you need a courtesy car if your car is being repaired? If not, see if a policy without brings the price down.
15. See if there's cashback available if you switch provider.
16. Drive a popular car – this'll lower your premium as they're easier to repair.
17. Protect your no claims bonus by only claiming when you need to.
18. Fit an alarm or immobiliser- and make sure security devices are Thatcham approved.
19.Ask your existing insurer for a discount – they might match, or even beat, the best quote you find.
These won't all make a difference for you, but whatever you do to lower your premium, make sure you don't underinsure you or your car.
Do you have any tips to help drive down the cost of car insurance?
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.