What you need to know about UK car insurance
Car owners are required by UK law to insure their vehicles. Even if you do not always use the car, you will have to insure it for the whole year, including periods of “downtime”. You can also look at the catalog of car insurance for review. On the forum, you can find a topic about our review.
If you have completely stopped driving a car, then you need to issue a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) – that is, to officially declare that this car is not used on the roads of Britain. Only in this case the vehicle owner is exempt from the obligation to carry out auto insurance.
It is quite difficult for a consumer to understand a huge number of insurance offers from different companies. With such a variety of prices and services, how can you make an informed choice when buying an insurance policy?
British insurance companies themselves set the criteria for the possible risk of insured events. The cost of insurance policies varies and depends on a variety of factors, for example, the make of the car, engine size, place of residence and age of the owner, driving experience, previous insurance claims, penalty points in a driver’s license, profession, etc.
Types of auto insurance
In the UK, car insurance policies fall into three main categories:
Category # 1
The basic policy of compulsory insurance of motor third party liability (Third Party Insurance) provides the very minimum of protection. It will cover losses and/or compensation to road users who have suffered from the actions of the driver of the insured vehicle. Such a policy does not cover the costs of repairing or replacing the insured vehicle. If the car is stolen or burned down, the owner will not be able to receive a refund from the insurance company. Nevertheless, under such a policy, passengers in an insured car can count on compensation if their driver made a mistake and created an emergency. Prices for Third-Party policies are generally lower than other types of policies. In this regard, this type of car insurance is most suitable for owners of old and inexpensive cars, as well as for novice drivers, since for the latter the cost of an insurance policy is much higher than for experienced drivers.
Category # 2
Compulsory third party fire and theft insurance policies are similar to the previous category. The main difference is that in the event of theft or fire, the cost of the car will be paid by the insurance company to the insured person, but in case of an accident or other damage to the car, the cost of repairs will not be reimbursed.
Category #. 3
Fully Comprehensive Insurance provides comprehensive protection for the car owner. In the event of an accident, the insurance company will be obliged to pay compensation not only to all participants in the accident, but also to compensate for the damage caused to the owner of the insured car in almost any incident, be it an accident, theft, arson, vandalism, broken windshield or other nuisance. Exceptions to the rules are prescribed in the insurance conditions. Such a policy is usually more expensive, but if you carefully search and compare the offers of different insurance companies, you will find Fully Comprehensive policy is cheaper than the above policies.
What is Policy Excess?
The Policy Excess is the amount the driver will have to pay in the event of an insurance claim.
For example, if the damage was £ 1,000 and the insurance deduction was set at £ 300, then the insured car owner will receive a payout of £ 700 from his insurance company.
If, say, the repair was £ 700 and the insurance deduction was £ 500, then the car owner would have to pay their insurance company £ 500 for the repair.
The insurance deduction consists of two parts: compulsory, which is set by the insurance company, and voluntary, the amount of which can be chosen by the consumer himself when buying a policy. Typically, the higher the buyer assigns the voluntary deduction amount, the lower the cost of the insurance policy. But be careful, if the amount of the insurance deduction is too impressive, then in the event of an insured event, you risk not receiving anything or receive very little compensation for the damaged car.
Can I drive another family member’s car or a friend’s car?
Some Fully Comprehensive policies allow the insured person to drive someone else’s car, while others do not. This must be written in the insurance documents. There are policies that allow you to drive an insured vehicle outside the UK. Some policies do not allow this or allow it, but after the consumer pays an additional amount.
How to choose a policy?
There can be a large number of such differences, so before buying this or that policy, carefully read the full insurance terms and conditions. If after reading the documents something remains unclear, then it is best to contact the support service of the insurance company and clarify everything before the insurance policy is issued.
Unfortunately, from year to year the cost of car insurance is increasing, and for many car owners buying insurance is a heavy financial burden on the family budget. You can look calculator of car insurance here.
Let’s try to get the price:
So, first, let’s try to find a car to request. Well, not wisdom slyly, I climbed onto the website of my dealer, and found this handsome man here:
Seat Leon, new, no run (although it was recorded as used). What is good, the car has already been registered and the license plate is visible in the photo. Let try to get cheap car insurance:
Next, go to some comparison site for example https://www.confused.com.
After entering the number, the site itself immediately identified the car. Make, model, engine, equipment – all this was entered automatically.
Yes, all of these issues affect the cost of insurance. Especially anti-theft systems. Although factory fitted is still desirable.
Click “next” and fill in the driver’s data:
Marital status – how much it affects in itself is difficult to say. But insurance is cheaper if the second driver is exactly the wife or partner (civil partner – common-law wife (cohabitant) according to our ***) and not just some left woman (colleague, sister, relative).
Address – the cost of insurance depends on your place of residence. In different areas of the same city – in different ways. Here they are greatly helped by the English postcode system (I think there will be a separate article on this), which is highly localized on the ground.
Employment. Well, first of all, it indicates how long you have been on the island. Next comes the profession and field of activity. Oddly enough, but this is also important. This obviously implies that members of certain professions are more prone to quiet driving than others. The most accurate are surgeons, architects and a couple more. I am a factory worker, which means, in their opinion, more susceptible to physical fatigue ****.
Driver’s license. As you can see, I have full English “rights” for mechanics with little experience.
The household. Yes, the farm has two cars including this one. There are no children under 16 (they are able to distract the driver – danger). And I’m not a homeowner. Otherwise, they would have tried to offer to insure both the car and housing in the same company – often you can snatch a good discount.
Convictions and accidents. Well, everything is simple. I have not had any accidents or appeals to the insurance company for the last 5 years, there were no car convictions and fines during that period, there were no non-car convictions.
We will not add additional drivers yet.
Insurance start. The policy can take effect on any day you specify within 28 days in advance. It is especially convenient when extending insurance on an existing car – the policy can be bought in advance so that it will take effect as soon as the previous one ends.
Policy type. Written above. Here I will just add the fact that sometimes a simpler policy can cost more than a more sophisticated one.
Machine use. In most cases, everything is simple – social & comuting. those. you only use the car for commuting and going to the store, clinic, entertainment, etc. But there are others. Social only – if you use the car only for personal business and don’t go to work. Business use – this option is used if you also drive this car on business from work. Well, Commercial is already when the machine itself is used as a working tool.
Storage. Well, here it is clear, if the car is constantly on the street, then it is more expensive than in a closed parking lot.
Expected mileage. Well, or your average annual mileage. The main thing is to find a middle ground – too little and they will think that you do not have enough real experience, too much … That is the same they will think of something. But at the same time, you shouldn’t lie.
Exess. How much are you willing to voluntarily give insurance in the event of an accident, in addition to what they ask themselves. The more you bet, the cheaper the annual payments. But you shouldn’t overdo it either. Especially if the car is not new.
And the last thing – are you ready to put a “black box” to reduce the cost of insurance. This is such a device. It measures some parameters of movement (primarily acceleration / deceleration) and determines how dangerous you are on the road. It seems to be that it still does not write speed, and therefore it gives a certain amount of privacy and in no way knocks on the police for exceeding 🙂
a couple more seconds and we will find out the result 🙂
These are all prices specifically for ME. Given the number of factors mentioned above, prices are very individual. I know people who insure more expensive cars two at a time cheaper.
But, in order not to be unfounded, the policy is third party only. With exactly the same data:
- – a vehicle with a gross weight of up to 3500 kg and a passenger capacity of no more than 8 passengers + driver (and the ability to pull a trailer with a gross weight of up to 750 kg))
** – in case of an accident, participants exchange their insurance data. As a result, the victim’s insurance company collects part of the funds from the culprit’s insurance company. And that, in turn, takes away the NCD from the culprit and increases the cost of his insurance. For a small amount per year (usually no more than £ 45), NCD can be insured, and then you will not lose this discount in the event of an accident due to someone else’s fault.
Tips for motorists looking for affordable insurance
Tip # 1
Do not assume that the basic car insurance policy (Third Party) will automatically be the cheapest, as insurance does not cover the risk of damage to your own car. It also happens that a full auto insurance policy (Fully Comprehensive) will come out cheaper. Therefore, do not limit yourself to looking only for basic insurance, they are more suitable for drivers of old cheap cars.
Tip # 2
If you try to write your occupation differently in the insurance questionnaire, you can reduce the cost of insurance. Use as many synonyms as possible, as well as more generic names for professions, for example, a shop assistant can write sales assistant, sales person, vendor or seller; workers can use the words factory worker or industrial worker. Builders can try options like construction worker, builder, joiner, bricklayer, etc. If you choose the right variant of the name of the profession, then the amount of the insurance policy can significantly decrease. The most important thing is not to invent a profession that does not correspond to reality, otherwise you risk that the policy will be invalidated.
Tip # 3
Try adding a co-driver to your insurance policy, preferably with a long driving experience and no penalty points. This can significantly reduce the cost of the policy. The main thing is not to declare an additional driver as the main driver, otherwise it will be considered a fraud, and there will be a risk of policy cancellation.
Tip # 4
Avoid modifications to your vehicle. Fitting alloy wheels, spoilers, manufacturer-installed engine modifications, tinting, etc. will probably improve the vehicle’s appearance and driveability, but will likely increase the cost of insurance. If the changes were nevertheless made, then when filling out the form, it is important to declare them, otherwise, you risk canceling the insurance.
Tip # 5
The cost of the insurance policy can be reduced by choosing a higher policy excess. But be careful, setting the deduction too high, in case of an insured event with your car, it will be unprofitable to collect money from the insurance company, since if the amount of deduction is too large, the amount of payment will be minimal. The main thing is to find a balance, think about the maximum amount you are ready to lose if an accident occurs through your fault.
Tip # 6
Register on the electoral roll. For many insurance companies, verifying your name on the voter list is an essential step in verifying your identity, if you are “on the list” the insurance company will most likely offer you better insurance terms.
Tip # 7
Take an advanced driving course. Many insurance companies significantly reduce the cost of insurance for holders of such certificates.
Tip # 8
Consider offers from insurance companies that install special devices (Telematic or Black Box devices) that track your driving style.
Tip # 9
Search for insurance on aggregator sites that compare hundreds of different offers from insurance companies: confused.com, gocompare.com, comparethemarket.com, etc. You will need to fill out a questionnaire, and the site will automatically compare many options for you and choose the cheapest insurance.
Tip # 10
Large insurance companies like Aviva, Direct Line, Zurich do not appear on price comparison sites, so it is always best to check their sites separately as they may have better deals.
Tip # 11
If you find a better deal than your preferred insurance company offers, it’s worth bargaining for. For example, if the cost of re-insurance has increased, then you can call the customer service department and say that you are thinking of leaving them because of the high cost and that you found a lower cost in another company. Very often, insurance companies reduce the price in such cases in order to retain the client.
Tip # 12
Use cashback sites: Topcashback.co.uk and quidco.com. Through them, you can return part of the amount paid. When you have already found out which company can offer you the most favorable conditions, go to the website of this company through the cashback platform, and you can get a partial refund of the paid insurance amount.
Tip # 13
If there is a financial opportunity – pay for the policy for a year in advance in one payment. It will be cheaper than paying monthly. An alternative option is to apply for an interest-free credit card in advance, pay for the policy with this card and gradually pay with the bank that issued the interest-free loan. The main thing is not to forget and not be late with regular payments by credit card, otherwise, the penalties will outweigh the savings.
Please note that this article does not constitute specific legal advice and is only advisory in nature. You can get precise information in each specific case only at an individual consultation.