Top Tips for Cheaper Car Insurance

One of our more popular pages on ValueIreland.com was our Top Tips on getting cheaper car insurance. Associated with this was a write up on my own experience in shopping around for car insurance when my policy was up for renewal.

Here are a few tips for you to follow next time you’re renewing your own car insurance.

Don’t automatically renew with the same insurance company. Consumer inertia is something all rip off merchants depend on. Insurers are supposed to provide renewal quotes a certain amount of time before the policy expires so that policyholders can shop around for competitive quotes. Use this time wisely.

Shop around, getting quotes from at least three different companies and brokers. There are no more than 10-15 insurance companies operating in Ireland at any one time – it’s not going to be overly time consuming to get a quote from them all.

Don’t be afraid to use the internet. We’re told that costs are lower from companies operating on the internet – particularly those with only an internet presence. Beware of the small print here more than usual. At least check all the sites before buying in case any of them have any special offers. Check out the offers carefully to make sure you’re getting the insurance you actually need.

Check your annual mileage. Insurers assume you drive a certain number of miles per year. Check what their assumption is, and if it’s less, tell them.

Extra drivers on your policy? If they are not necessary all the time, it can be cheaper to only insure extra drivers when they will actually use the car.

Increasing your excess can reduce your premiums in the UK. Ask your Irish insurance broker or company when requesting a quote if this is possible.

Do you really need fully comprehensive? This is the most expensive type of car insurance available. It is normally recommended that brand new cars be covered by comprehensive insurance – but as always, you should consider your needs fully.

Fitting immobilisers and alarms, and using a garage, can reduce premiums. Those living in larger cities will normally have a loading imposed. Some companies will also impose a loading if the car is not kept in a garage at night.

Do you belong to a professional body? For example are you a member of the Institution of Engineers, the Law Society or Chartered Accountants? It may be worthwhile to call your professional organisation to see if they have arranged any special offers with an insurance provider. This could also be true for any other types of organisations such as Unions or other affinity groups.

Check your policy and make sure you are not paying for features you don’t need. For example, many policies automatically add on and charge extra for overseas cover. Or some policies may provide breakdown cover as part of the policy – is this necessary if you are already a member of the AA?

Premium payments up front, or spread over the year? Paying over the year may incur extra costs of financing so paying up front would save you such extra costs. Or alternatively, many drivers cannot afford to pay the entire premium at once and elect to pay in installments. Sometimes it can be cheaper to borrow the money from a bank or credit union as some companies have been known to charge finance charges of up to 20% on the installments.

Don’t Lie. Telling a couple of little white lies on when looking for a quotation might seem like a good idea at the time and save you a few quid, but if it ever comes to making a claim, such a decision could come back to haunt you and cost you more in the long run.

Penalty Points. Some companies will acually provide a discount if you have 0 or 2 penalty points on your licence. Check this out when getting your quotation – as per the tip above, it’s not something you should hide.

Buy more than one policy. If you find a company that has the car insurance that suits you at a price that you like, ask them about discounts if you were to give them your home, travel or health insurance business also. Don’t buy these other policies on impulse though, just for the discount – make sure those other policies give you the value and coverage you need.

Two Car Family. Slightly similar to the tip above, you may get a discount if your quotation covers both cars in your family, rather than just your own.

Changing your car? If you’re thinking about changing your car, it could be useful to bear in mind the potential insurance costs of any new car you’re going to buy. Generally a smaller engined car, more in the “family” size range, free from any modifications, will cost you less in insurance costs.

Brokers vs Direct – A ValueIreland.com reader sent us this tip where they received a quote from an insurance broker for an insurance policy with a particular insurance company. Our reader rang the company directly and got a quote for the same policy going direct rather than via the broker, and found that they could get the policy at a significant discount than from the broker. Something to check out if you normally use a broker.

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12 Responses to Top Tips for Cheaper Car Insurance

  1. David October 13, 2008 at 10:12 #

    Thank you for providing a cool information regarding “Cheaper Car Insurance”…

    Cheap Car Insurance

  2. Brendan @NoNonsense November 12, 2008 at 09:20 #

    Nice set of advice. You talk about using the internet to shop around and while it has certainly got easier it can still take you a significant amount of time to even get quotes from 2-3 companies. We did a lot of talking to customers and this was the biggest hurdle for customers in shopping around. Personally I cannot understand why it should be made so difficult… it is in everyone’s interest to give customers a price quickly – if you’re not in the ballpark then there’s no value in wasting their time or using your own resources in asking them dozens of questions. Love the site, so keep up the good work.

    (BTW, that link on your experiences of shopping around doesn’t seem to be working)

  3. valueireland November 15, 2008 at 01:37 #

    @Brendan – thanks for the comment and kind remarks. Link has been updated.

  4. Julianne February 26, 2009 at 14:34 #

    Can anyone tell me if 123.ie are a reputable company, I got a quote which was a lot lower than my usual insurance company and I just wanted to make sure if I do change that they are good to deal with etc

  5. valueireland March 1, 2009 at 20:51 #

    @Julianne – I’ve used 123.ie in the past and haven’t had any problems. Make sure that the insurance coverage you’re being quoted for is exactly the same as your existing cover though.

  6. barry March 5, 2009 at 11:43 #

    Two things, I’ve used 123 for house insurance and, as you will see from my comments on the house insurance part of this they shuffle the deck a bit.
    Second, for laptops for example, be VERY careful, some companies don’t (or didn’t when I asked) cover them at all and others only cover it if your actually in the car with it!!! Others only cover it if it locked in the boot and the boot has to be ‘un–viewable’ i.e. not a hatchback or break.

  7. TREV March 7, 2009 at 21:03 #

    HAVE JUST GOT QUOTE FOR MY MOTHER WITH 4WOMEN.IE WHICH IS HALF THE PRICE OF OTHER QUOTES.ARE THEY A SAFE FIRM TO DEAL WITH

  8. valueireland March 7, 2009 at 21:25 #

    @barry – many thanks for your comments. I’ll include your comments in an update of the top tips. Much appreciated.

    @TREV – I’ve tried to have a look at this 4women.ie, but it’s just giving me a holding page. Are you sure the website is correct?

  9. Andrew March 22, 2009 at 13:34 #

    Hi my girl friend and I have moved from the UK to Galway and I will be bringing my UK car over this week, do you know of any companies that insure for both the UK/Ireland as we will be traveling back and forth?

  10. Mick July 17, 2009 at 12:25 #

    when looking for car insurance I think 123.ie offer grerat value for money and excellent customer service. I use them for most insurance needs today.

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