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Are you looking for the very cheapest car insurance?


Can you really buy low priced car insurance? Are you looking to save money on your policy renewal?

Most motorists pay too high a premium, whether they are young drivers, learners, or very experience ones, but there are ways of saving a lot of money, without buying substandard cover.

Comparing prices from the car insurance market's leading insurers isn't enough; to get really cheap insurance there are a few more things you can do, to get even lower quotes.

Find out what the insurance companies don't want you to know about!



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Remember that car insurance is a competitive business

Insurers want you to stay with them. After they have spent money on expensive advertising they don't want you to leave them for a cheaper company so they try to lock you into automatic renewals. If you refuse to let them do this you will be free to haggle, and quite often just ringing your current insurer, and telling them that you intend to compare prices, can result in a substantial reduction in your premium. If they won't give you a discount (and most will) then it's time to shop around.

Once you've found a more reasonably priced policy the new insurer will try to push up your premium by selling you extras such as legal representation or a free courtesy car in the event of an accident. These are often poor value for money and should usually be refused. Insurance sales staff can offer price reductions to tempt you to buy these but remember that when your next renewal date arrives you will be charged full price for them. In this way, that bargain priced policy can become an expensive one extremely quickly.

Do also bear in mind that one day you may be involved in an accident and have to make a claim against your policy. Some insurers are better than others at paying up quickly, with the least fuss. Before you actually buy that policy it may be a good idea to type the name of the insurance company into your favourite search engine and see what other people say about them.


Beware the 'protected no claims discount' trick
To push up the price of an otherwise low cost policy many insurers offer a guaranteed no-claims bonus in the event of a claim. Most people think that if they pay for this, and then they do have an accident, their premiums won't increase. They are wrong.

A no-claims bonus is a percentage that is taken off the basic premium. If that NCB is protected then it will still stay the same; an existing 35% reduction is stll 35%, 60% off is still 60%. However the basic premium is going to increase substantially. In other words, rather than the total premium staying the same after your little bump, it will still increase, possibly by an awful lot. Don't fall for it.

If you tell your insurer about every little bump, your premium may shoot up

Strictly speaking, you should tell them about every little accident. This is true even if there was no damage caused, even if you paid for it yourself, even if another driver admitted liability and paid for any damage to your car. The reason is: the insurer is concerned with the likelihood of you having an accident in the future. If you have had a minor collision but paid for the damage yourself, then (in the eyes of the insurers) you are still more likely to have more mishaps. What they don't know about, they can't worry about, but it is usually a condition of every policy that you are completely upfront about every crash, minor or otherwise, that you have been involved in. So, again, you should let them know. Will you? It's up to you.



Price comparison sites don't always offer the best bargains

Most vehicle insurers and brokers have special offers from time to time, and sometimes these are quite generous. The problem is that there is no way of telling when they will be available. This is a good reason to use a price comparison engine, because it will get you quotes from a very large number of insurers which should include their latest offers.

However, how impartial are they? Remember that most larger comparison sites are owned by insurers who have their own products to promote. Are their results really impartial? Do they necessarily show the cheapest price available? Remember that none of them compare policies from every single insurer in Britain, and many (most) only display offers from those that pay them a commission. Someone, after all, has to pay for those lavish TV adverts. So, sometimes you will get a better price from a small broker (if you can find one) particularly if you have had a number of accidents or convictions, you have medical issues to take into account, you drive a rare or valuable car, or you differ from the normal motorist in any other way.


What type of cover should you buy?

There are three main types of car insurance:

Third-party only provides just the absolute basic minimum cover required by law. This means that if you are involved in an accident which was your fault the insurance company would pay out for any damages to property belonging to other people, or any injuries that they sustain. It would not however pay for any damage to your own vehicle or property.

Whilst third-party cover used to be the cheapest option, and very popular, insurers found that the level of claims they had from customers with this type of cover was far higher than for comprehensively insured people. As a result premiums have risen substantially and many companies will not offer these policies at all. They usually represent very poor value for money.

An advantage of this type of policy however is that there is usually no excess to pay in the event of a claim against you. For most comprehensive policies this could add up to hundreds of pounds that you would have to pay out of your own pocket.

You may wish to consider this low level of cover if your own car is not worth a great deal and you don't wish to be bothered with having to make any payments yourself in the event of an accident.

Third party fire and theft increases the cover somewhat; if your car is stolen or destroyed by fire (but not damaged in an accident) the insurer will usually pay for necessary repairs or replacement. There is, however, usually an excess that you would have to pay in respect of this, but you would still not be expected to pay anything towards third-party claims.

Fully comprehensive policies offer the highest level of protection to you. If your car is damaged in an accident it will normally be repaired or replaced by the insurer. There is, however, almost invariably a fairly substantial excess payment that you have to make in the event of any claim against you. However, most policies allow you to drive other vehicles other than the one that you have insured from time to time, although it is important to check your policy to confirm this, and to make sure that there are no restrictions.

These policies also usually include replacement of damaged windscreens (again, usually subject to an excess payment) and optional benefits such as courtesy cars whilst your own is off the road following an accident, roadside assistance if you break down or perhaps legal cover if you need the assistance of a solicitor for a problem connected to your motoring.



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