Whether you’re insuring your first car, or you’ve got 25 years of trouble-free motoring behind you, the price of your car insurance is a key factor in your decision whether to click the ‘buy’ button.
Like many others, you probably find yourself asking, “What are the key things that affect my insurance?” In practice, insurance companies base the price on the likelihood they’ll need to pay out a claim, using the information you provide when you ask for a car insurance quote. Here we’ll cover eight key things that impact the price you pay and, in some cases, what you can do to help keep this quote cost down.
1. Your driving record
Keeping your driving licence as clean as possible can help to keep the cost of your car insurance down. If you’ve got penalty points on your licence, or you’ve been banned in the past, this is likely to affect how much you pay for your car insurance. It may sound obvious, but when it comes to the cost of car insurance it’s always best to drive safely. Take notice of road signs, other road users and pedestrians and abide by the speed limit.
2. If you’re a younger driver
Statistically, younger drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident. This increases the chances of them making a claim, which then increases the cost of car insurance for young drivers. Whilst 25 is typically thought of as the pivotal age to determine young drivers, there’s no ‘magic age’ when the price of your car insurance will suddenly decrease. In reality, different insurance companies have different views based on the claims they pay.
If you’re a younger driver, the trick is to keep your driving licence and insurance history clean to build your no claims discount. Opting for telematics ‘black box’ insurance can also help as your insurer will be able to see how you’re driving in real time and reward your good driving with a potential discount. Of course, this can also work the other way! Combining these methods as you get older will help minimise the cost of your insurance.
3. Which car you drive
If you like high-performance or modified cars, it’s likely that your insurance is going to be higher than someone who drives a lower-end model or brand. The higher cost, increased likelihood of accident damage and associated repair costs for these types of cars drives up their insurance grouping and cost.
As long as you keep your licence clean and look after your no claims discount, the cost of insuring a high performance or modified car can come down considerably as you get older. So, if you’re set on a car like this only for it to be out of reach at the moment, be patient. Keep your driving and insurance record clean, and it may well become an option for you in time.
4. When you drive your car
If you drive your car to and from work, you’re more likely to be involved in an accident. With so many vehicles congesting the roads, often in a rush to get somewhere, minor bumper-to-bumper nudges are commonplace. That’s why insurance companies ask what you’ll be using your car for.
If you can avoid using your car to get to and from work and use public transport or, perhaps even cycle, you could save yourself some money on your insurance. You’ll probably also be having a positive impact on your health and the environment too!
5. Your total miles driven
Unfortunately, the more miles you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident. This is why insurance companies ask you how many miles you’ll do in a year and how many of these are for business use. Higher annual mileage will result in a higher insurance premium.
6. Your career
While you’re not going to change your career just to keep your car insurance premium down, it’s useful to know that your occupation plays a part in the amount you pay. Insurance companies use information about claims relating to people’s occupations to help them determine the risk of you making a claim. This directly impacts on the cost you pay.
Interesting a zoologist and an accountant are the least risky occupations according to most insurers.
7. Where you live
If you live in a higher crime area, your car is more likely to be stolen, damaged or broken into. Your insurer takes this into consideration when working out your insurance premium, with lower crime areas typically resulting in lower insurance premiums.
Maybe unsurprisingly, a 2018 Which report showed London to be the most expensive location to insure a car, with West London topping the charts! At the opposite end of the scale were locations like Galashiels in Scotland, Exeter in Devon and Truro in Cornwall.
If you’re thinking of moving house, it’s well worth checking the impact on your insurance premium to make sure you don’t get a nasty surprise!
8. Where you park your car overnight
This may be one area where you can have an instant impact on the cost of your car insurance. If your garage is a dumping ground for things you don’t use or need, give it a thorough clean out. Recycle what you can, sell the rest and make space for your pride and joy.
In practice, insurers always look at historical claims when working out how much to charge for your insurance. For some, this may mean that they’ve paid more in claims for cars left in a garage overnight than for those left on a driveway. There’s no single rule that works every time, but it’ll often be better to park on a driveway or in a garage rather than a public road.
With so many car insurance companies to choose between, here at Brightside we can help you find the insurance you need at a price that suits your pocket. Give us a call on 0333 222 4540 or get an online car insurance quote with us today.
It’s important to accurately disclose information when applying for your car insurance. If you don’t, your insurance may not pay out in the event of a claim.