Renewing your car cover and finding cheap car insurance quotes can feel like a chore. But the good news is that comparison sites like mustard.co.uk make searching for deals simple, quick and easy. But is there really such a thing as ‘cheap’ car insurance and do cheaper deals offer value for money?
What types of car insurance are there?
There are three types or ‘levels’ of car insurance to choose from. What you’re covered for will depend on the level:
- Third party only (TPO) – pays for injury and damage you cause to other people and their property. This is the lowest level of cover you can have by law but remember, these policies don’t cover your costs if your car is damaged.
- Third party, fire and theft (TPFT)– as well as third party cover, you’ll be compensated if your car is stolen or damaged by fire.
- Comprehensive – includes third party only and will also pay to repair or replace your car if you’re involved in an accident, even if it’s considered your fault.
Most insurers will also offer a range of extra features which can be added on for a small increase in your premium, for example:
- Breakdown and recovery
- Legal expenses
- Windscreen and glass replacement
- Misfuelling cover
- Cover for driving in Europe
- Personal accident cover
Which is the cheapest type of car insurance?
It’s almost impossible to single out one type of car insurance as the ‘cheapest’. It’s also worth knowing that car insurance costs don’t align with the levels of cover. For instance, third party only isn’t always the cheapest option and comprehensive isn’t always the most expensive.
This is because premium prices aren’t just about the level of cover you choose. Instead, insurers will also consider your personal circumstances, the car you drive and what you use your car for (for example, leisure, commuting or business).
Insurers use this information to calculate your risk profile which is essentially what the likelihood of you making a claim is. So, the higher the risk of a claim being made, the more you can expect to pay.
As a general guide, here’s what affects the cost of car insurance:
- Your age – young drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident, as a result, under 25s pay significantly more for car cover compared to other age groups.
- Your address – living in an area with a high crime rate can mean you end up paying more for cover as the risk of theft or vandalism is greater.
- Your job – as far as some insurers are concerned, certain jobs are linked to riskier behaviours, which then has an impact on your premium. For example, a professional sportsperson can expect to pay more than a teacher or nurse.
- The car you drive – broadly speaking, the more expensive, powerful or desirable your car, the higher your premium is likely to be.
- What you use your car for – if you use your car to commute or for business, your premium is probably going to be higher compared to someone who uses their car less often for purely social or domestic reasons (like visiting friends and family).
- Where you keep your car overnight – security is important to insurers so keeping your car safe can lead to a slightly lower premium.
- The number of miles you do – more miles means more exposure to risk which increases the chances of a claim and the cost of your premium.
Can I get cheap car insurance?
Cheap car insurance deals do exist and depending on what your expectations are, they can offer value for money. Nevertheless, when it comes to car cover, it’s important that the policy you choose gives you peace of mind. To help you make an informed decision, here’s what’s worth considering:
- All types of policy – remember that third party only isn’t always the cheapest option. Insurers have found that third party policyholders make more claims and premiums often reflect that.
- Exclusions or conditions – exclusions are events not covered by your policy, almost all policies have them but they can vary. Cheap policies may have more exclusions or conditions compared to pricier packages.
- Policy features – expensive policies might already include a number of features that you might otherwise have to pay extra for, making them better value for money overall.
You can also help keep your costs down by paying for your policy annually instead of in monthly instalments which often includes interest. You may also want to invest in extra car security like an immobiliser or an alarm.
But if you really want to make savings, comparing policies is one of the best ways to do that. At mustard.co.uk, you can compare dozens of providers online from the comfort of home, or you can speak to an expert on 0330 022 8825.
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