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Reduce your risk, reduce your cost

Every application for car insurance is different. Each insurer’s price depend on two things, first the underwriters assessment of your particular risk focus and then the pricing model which dictates what type of customers the insurer wants to attract.

Therefore by reducing an insurer’s perception of your risk you can reduce the price you’ll pay. There are of course many factors you either can’t change or can’t change easily … age, gender, where you live and driving history. Yet there are things you can have control over:

Park and drive carefully

Theft and accidental damage add a bulk to insurance costs. If you leave your car in a garage or driveway it’s a big deterrent to theft and means accidental damage is less likely, resulting in a 3% - 7% drop in insurance costs.

And of course the more points on your licence the higher the cost. While speeding points remain on your licence for four years insurers check for convictions during the last five before they are removed from your record.

One speeding conviction may only affect the price of cover by around 5% but any more’ll bump up the price, with two offences costing around 20% more. Being caught with a mobile phone is more serious and can double your quote!

Add a second person to an under-25s / high risk drivers insurance

Insuring someone aged under 25 can cost a fortune. Yet by adding a second driver with a good record to the insurance, even if they won't use the car often, it can smooth out the average risk and sometimes reduce the premium. It won't always work, but it’s worth playing with quotes to check.

However at no point should you add your name as the main driver on a younger driver’s policy instead of them. This is known in the industry as fronting and is fraud. When you come to claim, this will often be checked out and your insurance will be invalidated.

Pick a car

The combination of car, engine size and value all impact car insurance cost. It’s worth considering this when you buy; a big super-powerful 4 by 4 for a 17 year old would cost enough to make Bill Gates balk.

Fit a security device

Any extra security will help, fitting an alarm or immobilizer (especially one approved by Thatcham) will reduce the bill substantially.

Don’t modify your car

The more changes you make to your car, barring security ones, the more you’ll be charged. Always make sure you inform your insurer of any modifications to your car, whether you made them or not, or it may invalidate your policy. A modification is anything that is not part of the standard vehicle specification including factory fitted optional extras, such as alloy wheels.

Reduce your mileage

The less you drive, the cheaper your insurance will be. Where possible try and reduce your mileage. This may sound trite, but actually the real key is incorporating the extra insurance cost when you make long journeys not just the cost of petrol compared to taking the bus or train (also read Cheap Trains article). If you drive your vehicle on business, always declare this rather than just include the business miles as personal, or the policy may be void.

Inform your insurer of any changes in circumstances

This is crucial as it reduces potential problems in the event of a claim; even if it’s just your address. Trying to get insurance after you've had a policy cancelled due to a fraudulent claim is very difficult, very expensive and will follow you for the rest of your life.

A change in circumstances includes moving jobs, as insurers beleive this can affect your risk. Scandalously, the unemployed often (though not always) pay higher rates for their car insurance, so do inform your provider if you're out of work but also check to see if it’s worth cancelling and moving elsewhere, as you don’t need to be at renewal to change insurer.


If you’ve read these tips and thought, “it’s be quite easy to lie about this”, then of course you’re right. Yet lying on your insurance form is fraud. It can lead to your insurance being invalidated and in the worst case a criminal prosecution for driving without insurance. Don’t do it.