Fasten your seat belt as car insurance prices bump up

Motorists might find the cost of petrol eye-watering but filling up at the pumps could soon look like a bargain compared with buying car insurance
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The average premium now costs £971.40, up 15.3 per cent last year, according to the latest AA insurance index. Few motorists will be surprised that the Office of Fair Trading is investigating the UK’s £10 billion car insurance industry.

And this year, the picture looks even worse — especially for the young. Kevin Chidwick, one of the bosses of Admiral, which insures 11 per cent of all the cars on Britain’s roads, this week reveals how a new European ruling is set to pile on the agony for drivers: men cannot be charged more for policies, even though they are more likely to have a serious crash. This means “young ladies will have to pay more for their car insurance and young men are unlikely to pay less.”

Here’s how to cut your bill:

1. Never accept your renewal quote. It’s almost always possible to slash the bill by shopping around. You can always see if your current insurer will match the deal you find later on.
2. Visit three comparison sites to cover the majority of the market:,, and are comprehensive. Contact Aviva and Direct Line too as they are big providers but do not include their details on major comparison sites.
3. Try inputting different data in response to some of the questions. You have to be honest in order to ensure that your policy is legal, but some job categories - although sounding very similar - will trigger discounts. Author and writer, for example, or doctor and surgeon.
4. One big route to savings - especially for those who are insuring their children or other young drivers - is to add a lower-risk driver to the policy. They do not have to live at the same address, or be related, and should never be put on the policy as the main driver (unless they are) - but just adding a parent or other low-risk driver with no penalty points to a policy can provide huge discounts. When I added my dad - who is in his 60s with an Institute of Advanced Motoring certificate - to my policy, I saved more than £100, even though he rarely uses my car.
5. Another idea for young drivers is to sign up to a tracker scheme such as those run by Coverbox and the AA. Here, motorists’ style of driving is monitored and safer drivers benefit from money back from their original policy price.
6. When you have tracked down the cheapest possible quote, check whether any cashback is available via a site like or The latter, for example, offers £65 for new More Than policies or £80 back from a policy with Aviva. Before buying, you may want to phone your current insurer to see if it will match the price.
7. For homes with high-net worth contents, it’s worth contacting an insurance broker to see if they can help: find a list at or its phoneline is 0870 950 1790.

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