To legally drive a car in the UK, you must have car insurance. The government is constantly checking insurance policy records and driver databases to ensure there are no discrepancies or faults. Unless you have a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN), your vehicle must be taxed and insured. It is estimated that over 6,500 drivers are prosecuted every month due to them being insured. You may be fined for these offences, and if you repeat them your vehicle may be seized and destroyed. Read on to know the ins and outs of car insurance.

How is the cost of car insurance calculated?

Many factors are determined to calculate the price of your insurance plan.

  • Your age
  • Your job
  • Your driving record
  • Your address
  • Your car’s security
  • Your car’s mileage and driving habits.

Insurance cover is all based about risk, so the more likely you are to be involved in an accident, the higher your cover will be. Age is a vital sign of risk, while only 7% of license holders are under 25, a quarter of them are involved accidents with a fatality or serious injury. Another factor is area, if you live in a densely populated are with lots of traffic you are likely to pay a premium for car insurance. Same goes for if you live in an area with high risk of vehicle theft.

What types of car insurance are there?

There are three main types of car insurance: third party insurance, third party, fire and theft insurance and comprehensive car insurance.

Third party- This is the most basic and minimum legal requirement. It covers any damage sustained by a 3rd party, their vehicle or their property if you are ay fault.

Third party, fire and theft- This is the same as third party, but also covers you if your car catches fire or is stolen.

Comprehensive insurance- This is the highest level, and covers you for all of the above and insures you and your car against injury or damage even if you are at fault.

How long does car insurance last?

Most insurance companies policies last for 12 months, and after that you have to renew them. If you want to pay the year’s cost upfront that is also an option, but you can also pay in monthly instalments. Bear in mind you will pay interest and more altogether. You can also find short-term insurance, which can last as little as 1-2 days. This can be handy if you are borrowing someones car for a short period of time. Always make sure your car is insured, otherwise you will be breaking the law.

How can I get cheap car insurance?

There are many ways to cut costs on your car insurance, some are…

  • Don’t auto-renew. Auto-renewing keeps the ball in the insurer’s half, so make sure to shop around when the time comes to renew
  • Limit your claims. If you are able to pay for damage yourself, do so as this will keep you less risky in insurer’s eyes and therefore keep your no-claims bonus intact.
  • Improve your security. Consider parking your car in a garage or driveway, this will lower the cost of insurance as it is in a place that limits the chance of theft.

Where do I apply for car insurance?

You can apply through the insurance company itself, or a broker or an online comparison site. Companies will only tell you about their deals, so you will not be able to assess whether it is a good deal or not. Some brokers only give policies from selected companies. Online comparison sites scan the vast array of policies on the web to find the best deal according to your needs.

This is a comprehensive guide to car insurance, now you know how to and where to find a good deal. If you enjoyed reading this, remember to read our other blogs too. Thanks for reading