Written by Michael Foote, Insurance and Finance ExpertMichael Foote is the founder of Quote Goat and has over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors. Since launching Quote Goat he has appeared on TV as well as many of the largest online publications including Forbes, The Telegraph and The Metro. Prior to Quote Goat, he worked in finance in the city for a number of firms including HSBC.
Car insurance is considered by drivers one of the most surprisingly costly parts of owning a car. Sometimes, it seems like there’s nothing you can do but curse the provider, accept their math blindly and just pay. But you have a lot more control over your insurance costs than you might think. Beyond driving a different car, here are the ways you can make sure you’re paying a fair price and not being taken for a ride by your insurance provider.
Telling someone to “drive less” rarely seems like good advice. However, curbing any unnecessary driving by walking more than you drive and even cycling on your commute can make a big impact on how much you’re paying in insurance rates. It might not seem fair, but it makes sense that insurance providers take this into account. After all, the more you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident and make a claim. There’s no standard number of miles which all insurance companies use as a cut-off point. So, it’s best to get in touch with your provider and ask them directly where that cut-off is for them and make sure you drive within it from now on.
Your bits and bobs
Every time part of the car is damaged or you make a replacement, you could be making a difference to your insurance providers. For instance, if your tires aren’t fit by a professional team like Wiltshire Tyres, if they’re not rotated and cared for, your car is less roadworthy. On the other hand, there are some modifications that will cause your costs to rocket no matter how road worthy it is in reality. Fitting a turbo engine, for instance, is a big blaring red light for insurance providers. Even safety features like upgrading your brakes can cause the insurance to rise because it denotes that you might be driving in a way which increases your risk.
One of the biggest impacts is felt in a way that has nothing to do with your car at all. When you buy insurance, you are entering an agreement that assumes you will be able to pay it reliably. Your credit score and history are how all kinds of financial providers, insurance providers included, measure how reliable you are to do that. If you have a bad credit score, then providers consider you unreliable and want to get more money from you sooner so they don’t make as big a loss if you decide to stop paying. Such an assumption doesn’t seem fair but it makes sense for the providers.
Of course, it always pays to take a closer look at the deal you have. For instance, if you have an older car that you wouldn’t want to be fixed after an accident, then get any repair cover taken off the insurance for now. If it’s unlikely to ever get stolen because you have secured parking, then theft coverage from comprehensive insurance might be fit to be chopped, too.