Learning to drive is costly, but life after the driving test gets even more expensive.
Every new driver knows that they’re going to have to pay a fortune for their first year of car insurance. Although it is incredibly unfair, insurance providers see new drivers as inexperienced and more likely to be involved in an accident, so are cheeky and skyrocket premium prices. This means it is important to do some research to find out ways to lower car insurance in your first year.
How To Get Lower Car Insurance
After years of experience teaching pupils to drive, we’ve picked up a load of handy tips to help cut insurance costs, so we thought we would share our top ten!
Use The Right Job Title
The way in which you opt to word your job title can have a massive impact on the cost of your driving insurance, especially if it is your first year. Some examples are:
- If you describe yourself as ‘Kitchen Staff’ rather than a ‘Chef’, you can save on average £98
- “Music Teachers” pay £86 more than just “Teachers”
- “Office Managers” pay more than “Office Administrators”
- “Builders” pay more than “Brick Layers”
Essentially, if your job fits more than one job title, check your car insurance quote against all job titles and see the difference! Also, if you’re a full-time parent or are retired, check that box, rather than saying “unemployed” this could save you hundreds!
Add Another, Experienced Driver To Your Policy
It’s illegal to say that someone is the main driver is a car when they aren’t, but adding a named driver is legal, and it can save you money! With their permission, add an experienced driver who has a clean driving history and a good no-claims history.
The great thing about adding a second driver to your insurance is that if you do not want them to, they will never actually have to drive your car, they will just be on there to save money. It also means that in the case of an emergency, you’ll have another person who can legally drive your car if you are unable to.
Small Engine Size Car
Naturally, the higher the engine size you choose, the more your insurance will go up. There are many very lightweight vehicles now like the Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Fiat 500 that are only 1-litre engines and cheap to fuel. However, because they are very lightweight, their 0-60mph is actually faster than some 1.4 engine cars that are heavier.
Many drivers opt for purchasing the same vehicle that they learnt in simply because it is a lot easier to drive independently in a vehicle you’re familiar with. Luckily, due to how lightweight and reliable smaller engine cars are, many instructors go for these instead. For example, many of our driving instructors in Northampton such as Ian Carlton and Lee Parmenter teach in a Peugeot 308.
The moment you say you have a modification, a red flag can be raised. It may not affect the speed of your vehicle, but it may increase the cost of your insurance because they see your car as more attractive to thieves. Be sure to find out what modifications are acceptable. Alloy wheels often increase the insurance premium.
Black Box Driving Insurance
Deciding to get a black box fitted is the most guaranteed way of reducing your car insurance premiums. A black box monitors every aspect of your driving from your speed to smoothness and is tracked by your insurance provider. Providers see it as; if you know that they are monitoring your every move, you will be less likely to drive irresponsibly. Therefore, less likely to be involved in a collision that they will have to pay out for.
Cut Extras and Increase Your Excess
Extras such as breakdown and windscreen cover add to the premium of your car insurance. Lots of extras to your insurance policy can cost you money, but as well as this, they may be already covered by things like your RAC membership. Check that you’re not paying for these extras already, before getting adding them to your policy.
Also, check how much excess there is on your policy – this is the amount you agree to pay should you get into an accident and need to make a claim. The lower your excess, the higher your premium is, so increase your excess and your insurance will be cheaper. Work out the maximum you can afford to pay and set your excess to that, an extra £50 to the excess can make all the difference.
Keep Your Car In The Garage At Night
One question that is often asked is where will your car be kept. If your house has a garage, then it’s worth keeping it in there to keep the cost down a little bit. It means that your insurance provider can be reassured that your car is safe from theft when left unattended for a long period of time.
Get Insured In Advance
You can save £280 on average if you search for and get insured three weeks before your renewal date – rather than insuring yourself on the day. Always compare and switch your insurers, as figures have shown that almost 6million drivers accept their renewal fee without checking other insurers, costing them around £115 a year!
Low Mileage Insurance
It’s a numbers game, the longer you are on the road; statistically, your chances of having an accident should become higher too. If you don’t intend to do lots of road trips and don’t have to commute far to get to work or college, then we’d suggest opting for around 6,000 miles.
Always avoid running low on miles and having to top-up before the end of the year as it will cost you a fortune. Insurance companies are clever and up their prices for adding on additional miles. They know you’ll pay it because you need it to keep driving your car.