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Is there such a thing as cheap car insurance?

Some people do pay very very low insurance premiums, which they often find on cheap car insurance sites like prudentplus.com, but these are motorists who insurance companies consider to be of the lowest possible risk of making a claim. This means that they are usually experienced drivers, with many years of no claims, driving cars in a low insurance group, and with very few, or preferably no, motoring convictions.

It is simply unrealistic for a young inexperienced driver to expect to get similar quotations, particularly if that person drives anything other than a very small, modern car.

Which car insurance company is the cheapest?

That depends entirely on what kind of motorist you are. The companies that offer the very lowest premiums are the ones that expect to pay out the very least in claims, and so they often actively discourage the riskier drivers from becoming customers by charging them more than the average.

This means that just because a particular insurer offers the parents of a family the very lowest premiums it doesn't mean that that same company will offer their offspring similar deals – in fact the exact opposite!

This is why it is important to shop around for prices since which insurer is the cheapest for you varies enormously depending upon all the relevant factors, such as your age, car, driving experience, postcode et cetera.

Are price comparison sites any good?

They have certainly pushed down average premiums because of the increased competition between companies. Do bear in mind though that they almost invariably charge a commission to the insurers on their panel when someone buys a policy, or even makes an enquiry, through their website. This commission is of course on top of the premium that the insurer receives, and is paid for by you! They may offer a good service but it is very unlikely to be free. Most of them won't offer you quotes from companies that refuse to pay them a commission, even though they might offer cheaper prices, either.

Is the cheapest policy the best bargain?

Not necessarily. Different car insurers have different levels of service; some will handle your claim, if you have one, quickly and efficiently, and pay out promptly. Others will be difficult to contact, slow in replying, and quibble over every last penny! The cheapest companies also may well have the highest charges for extra services such as changing your address or transferring your policy to a different car.

This is why it is important, before you accept a quote, that you check online reviews on comanies such as Which or Trustpilot, about the company you are thinking of buying a policy from; they may make you think again.

Should I consider a third party insurance policy?

These used to be good value once, but that was a long time ago. The problem has been that people buying third-party or third party fire and theft policies have tended to have a higher level of accidents than motorists with fully comprehensive policies. This has meant that premiums have risen substantially, and it is not unusual for a third party policy to actually cost more than a comprehensive one, despite it offering far lower benefits.

If you are thinking of third party insurance you should also get a quote for comprehensive cover, so that you can compare what you are getting for your money.

Which young driver policy is the cheapest?

Telematic; i.e. 'Black Box'; policies have become very popular lately and they can offer lower premiums to people who would normally be considered high-risk by insurers. These are usually younger drivers or those with little experience.

A problem with the traditional way of working out premiums was that motorists were all put into different categories; it was naturally assumed for instance that since the average young driver had a far higher risk of making a claim than an older one, they all had to pay a higher premium.

Monitoring driving via a Telematic system is much fairer since good drivers benefit whilst bad ones are penalised, and may even have their policies cancelled completely if their driving habits are considered to be so unsafe.

Are car insurance premiums negotiable?

It is always worth a try! If you have had a renewal premium and you think it is too high you have nothing to lose by ringing your current insurer and asking them if they can lop a little off it; sometimes they will because they will not want to lose you if you have been a good customer.

It is unlikely that if you move to a new company they will reduce the premium they have offered you since these are often discounted already, in order to attract new business.

Should I pay yearly or monthly for my car insurance?

If you can afford it you should always pay in advance. If you decide to have extended payments then you are likely to have to pay interest or management charges, particularly if you are a younger driver, or have a poor, or no, credit rating.

Also, some insurers simply will not offer quotations to people who wish to pay monthly since there is always a risk that they will not complete all the agreed payments. These companies are often the ones that offer the best bargains so by not being able to get quotations from them you could lose out on a good deal.

Do women still get cheaper car insurance than men?

Younger women certainly pay less than younger men on average because they tend to drive smaller cars and have fewer accidents or convictions. Some insurers also offer reduced premiums to applicants in certain professions, such as teachers and nurses, who are more likely than not to be female.

How can I slash the cost of my insurance premiums?

Use a good price comparison site at least a month before you need the policy. Research shows that the lowest prices are offered to those who booked well in advance. Refuse to accept automatic renewals but compare quotes each time a policy is getting towards it's end. Drive carefully and safely in order to make sure that you avoid accidents or convictions, and consider paying for the odd little scrape yourself rather than making a claim.

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