When people think of Advanced Driving, people tend to think of flat cap, slipper wearing old fogies. Either that, or the benefits to your pocket in terms of reduced car insurance. Many individuals have persued cheaper car insurance for obvious reasons. Various road safety organisations comment that “advanced driving ‘may’ reduce your insurance premium, based on the fact that you are more likely to keep your no claims bonus for longer”. Technically this is true. Your ability as an advanced driver means you are less likely to prang your pride and joy, hence, keep your no claims discount for longer.
Personal experience has taught us that it is possible to get cheaper car insurance due to being an advanced driver, but you must “ask for it”. Dont assume they will just give it to you.
- Be prepared to ring around. Use freephone or local calls, a couple of hours on a saturday morning should be enough to generate a short list of potential candidates. Alternatively websites like our car insurance section for cheap car insurance quotes to get an idea of costs before you drill down and can be used for
- If you use the web, narrow down your quotes to say the top 5. Then call them up and tell them you are an Advanced Driver to see what discounts they will give on top of their original quote. More often than not, various websites do not have the option of quoting for advanced drivers.
- If you ring around first, get the quote first, then tell them you are advanced driver to see what discount there is. This gives you the opportunity to find out if they accept it and also what the difference is. DO NOT TELL THEM YOU ARE AN ADVANCED DRIVER BEFORE THEY QUOTE. Most customer service representatives on the insurance company switch boards wont have a clue what Advanced Driving is and will usually just say there is no discount or it’s already included in your quote and wont bother about it. You might find discounts as high as 25% in terms of an adjusted quote if you tell them after they originally quote you, it also forces the issue to ensure it is included.
The one TRUE way to Cheaper Insurance
There is only “one” true way to get cheaper insurance. Shop around. Dont be affraid of spending quite some time on the phone ringing around. Get every freephone number you can find! A small amount of time phoning around could save you a small fortune. The variability on car insurance quotes range hugely. It could be as much as £1000 between the cheapest and most expensive. Dont assume the big boys are the cheapest. As a rule of thumb I have found that.
- if you have a standard, low performance car, no modifications, do average mileage (10,000 to 12,000 a year or so) and are 25 or over then the big boys will probably be cheaper for you.
- If you have any mods at all, drive anything larger than a 1.6, are high mileage (20k a year or more), or are under 25, then check out the brokers (Adrian Flux, Footman James etc). You will find their prices are more dependent on the discounts they got due to last years sales.
Of course this is only rule of thumb based on our experience and there are always exceptions to the rule.
Other Tips to Getting Cheaper Car Insurance
- Opt to pay a higher excess in the event of an insurance claim. Usually this will reduce your overall quote.
- If you have recently passed your driving test, investigate whether it would be cost-effective to complete the Pass Plus training programme to qualify for car insurance discounts. Alternatively become an Advanced Driver (it’s cheaper than Pass Plus, the standard is much higher and more insurance companies are now recognising it).
- Investigate buying car insurance online as some companies offer a worthwhile discount for policies purchased in this way.
- If your vehicle is not fitted with an approved immobiliser, compare car insurance quotes with and without one fitted. It may be cost-effective to have one installed.
- Limit the number of miles you drive each year, and tell insurance companies your typical annual mileage when getting quotes. The UK Average is around 15,000 miles per year now. Anything over 20,000 miles per year is class as high mileage and it would be useful to find an “unlimited mileage policy” they tend to work out much cheaper.
- Use an insurance broker if you can’t spare the time to ‘phone or shop around to get quotations yourself.
- Restrict the drivers on your car insurance policy. In particular, minimise the number of young drivers under twenty-five or people with convictions.
- If you live with your Partner, Wife etc. investigate adding them to your policy, or if you are a young driver. Look into adding your parents as “second driver” to your policy, this will often reduce your premium.
- Drive a cheap car with a small engine (1 litre, certainly less than 1.4 for cheapest quotes).
- Start building and protecting a ‘no claims’ bonus as soon as possible. In the long run, this will have a significant impact on your ability to get cheap car insurance. Becoming an Advanced Driver will help you keep your No Claims Bonus.
- Don’t modify or customise your car. If you do, check out specialist car magazines for information on insurance companies that specialise in modified car insurance.
- If your car was very cheap, it may be cost-effective to have third-party, fire and theft insurance instead of fully comprehensive cover. Compare quotes.
- Park your car in a locked garage or other, secure, off-street location overnight.
- If you belong to a trade union or professional society check whether it has negotiated cheap car insurance policies for its members. If it has, include the associated insurer in the list of companies from whom you seek quotes.