Car insurance is one of our biggest financial gripes. It’s one that often creeps up on us, and it needs renewing again before we know it… it’s not surprising, then, that lots of people are asking how they can save money on this pesky, and often hidden, expense. So, how can you keep the costs down on your car insurance this winter?
Here, we’ll think about a few options…
- Get a Winter Service
- Use Deicer Rather Than Running The Engine
- Add Other People to Your Policy
- Shop Around for Good Deals
- Increase Your Voluntary Excess
- Don’t be Afraid to Use Tech
- Consider Getting a New Car
- Ask yourself: Do I Need a Car At All?
- More Money Saving Tips
Tip one: maintain your car with a winter service to avoid unpaid insurance claims. Need an example? If you have bald tyres and you end up skidding and crashing, your insurer might not pay out. Obviously, this is a situation that you don’t want. Make sure your car is in a good enough state for the winter weather to avoid landing yourself with a giant (and unnecessary) bill.
Many places, such as Halfords, offer a free winter check. This isn’t a full service – but will make sure your radiator, tyres, screenwash, wipers, and bulbs are all in working order. It’s a good place to start – otherwise, an accident this winter could make your next insurance premium rocket!
Yes, the simplest tips sometimes really are the best ones. In the winter months, using a deicer instead of running the engine to melt can reduce the wear and tear on your vehicle. It reduces the amount of time you have the heating on in the car, too. Remember to wear gloves when you’re getting rid of that ice!
Use a proper deicer, too. Warm water, for example, might melt the ice… but could also crack windows due to the sudden change in temperature! Scrape as much ice off as you can with a proper scraper (they’re easy to find at the pound shop) and use a spritz of deicer to get rid of the most stubborn bits.
Streamline the different levels of insurance you have for members of your household, to see if you can save money on your insurance this way. Oldest gone to uni and unlikely to be using it? They probably don’t need to stay insured.
You could consider multi-car policies, too. See if you can get a deal that incorporates the vehicles of your family members into one policy. This is a sure-fire way to knock some money off your car insurance this winter.
Yes, we know we always tell you to do this. But that’s because it really is the best possible way to get a good deal! Putting some time into your research rather than going with the first (or second, or even third) deal that you see is more than likely to reap rewards, even if it feels like it takes a while to get there. We promise!
Don’t be afraid to get on the phone to insurers, either. Speaking to someone directly, especially if you can compare quotes with other insurers, might just end up getting you a better deal than you could find online.
Also, remember that full cover is often cheaper than third party, so don’t be swayed by potentially lower prices with the latter. It might not end up working out cheaper in the longer term.
Increase your voluntary excess to save on Car Insurance This Winter
If you increase your voluntary excess, you can reduce the amount that you will need to pay overall. Of course, you need to be able to afford to pay the excess in the result of an accident, so this plan might not be for everyone. Time to get the calculator out!
A voluntary excess is the amount you agree to pay if you have an accident. You can set this at £0, but then your premium could be much higher. Setting it at an affordable level – money you could access in a savings account or even put temporarily on a credit card – such as £150 could shave hundreds of pounds off the premium.
Car tech can be a life (ok, wallet) saver if you do end up having to deal with the aftermath of an incident. You could consider black box insurance, which monitors your driving habits. Safer drivers get lower premiums!
Consider, too, installing a dashcam. This would allow you to prove the chain of events in the case of an accident, which can increase your chances of receiving a payout.
If you’re struggling with the cost of your insurance, switching to a different model might bring your premium down. Changing your car to one that you can get cheaper insurance on can lead to other savings too: it’s likely to be a cheaper car in general, and it might also let you pay a lower rate of road tax. Don’t dismiss this outright if you’re struggling. As we know, all of these things add up.
Use sites like Autotrader to see what you could sell or trade your current car for – you might be able to find a cheaper, smaller car so you won’t need to hand over any extra cash for your car changeover. In fact, spare change could go towards your new insurance costs, too!
The answer to this might very well be – yes, of course I need a car! There are some circumstances, though, that might mean owning a car is not the most cost-effective or straightforward choice after all. Here are just a few circumstances that might make you think twice about car ownership after all…
If you’re in a couple
Living with a partner? Why not consider sharing a car instead of owning one each? If you spend most of your time together anyway and don’t use the car for work, getting rid of one of your cars and adding yourself or your partner as a named driver on the one you keep could cut your insurance bill significantly.
If you’re working from home indefinitely
Lots of us are likely to be working from home for the foreseeable future. If that’s the case for you, and you’re no longer using your car for work every day, you could consider whether you actually need to keep it. Could you switch to a bike for local journeys, and just get a ZipCar for the odd occasion when you need wheels? Something to consider…
Have you got any tips for lowering the amount that you could pay for your car insurance this winter? We’d love to hear your tips. Let us know over on the forums.
Car insurance isn’t the only place you can make savings this winter. We’re all strapped for cash right now – so read these articles next for some more money-saving inspiration!