To compare car insurance, you’ll need to collect numerous quotes from different providers by using a comparison site and/or by getting quotes directly from insurance providers. As there is no one best car insurance comparison, you may want to check quotes from multiple comparison sites. Once you have quotes in hand, you’ll need to compare them to choose which is best for you. How do you do that? Below we discuss how to ensure you get the best coverage at the cheapest rate.
How to compare car insurance rates
Picking a car insurance policy is about more than just your rate, although clearly, that is very important. To compare car insurance rates, have to hand the following about each of the offers you’re considering:
- List of included features
- List of optional features (and their costs)
Consider which additional features are important to you and get a sense of your total costs if you were to add them to each policy. Once you have your total costs in mind, it’s time to look at the excess. A lower excess should translate into a cheaper premium, but sometimes it’s worth choosing a more expensive plan if there’s a large difference in the excess. Consider that you need to cover the excess if you have to claim. Don’t choose a policy excess that you would be unable or unhappy to pay.
Finally, it’s worth looking at customer service differences. What are the opening hours? Can you reach customer service by phone, or online only? And how about customer reviews? Have a look at Trustpilot and Reviews.io to get a sense.
Where can I compare car insurance rates?
The quickest way to compare car insurance rates for your vehicle is to head to a comparison site. There is an abundance of sites offering car insurance comparison in the UK, including MoneySupermarket, Money, Compare the Market, Go Compare, Confused, QuoteZone, and newcomer NimbleFins, among others.
You may even want to check prices at more than one comparison site. Why? Because the panel of insurance providers differs from one site to the next. You don’t need to check them all – that would be a tedious process – but checking two or three should give you a good representation of the market.
You may also want to check with some of the insurers that do not appear on comparison sites, such as Direct Line.
What type of cover is best for car insurance?
Comprehensive car insurance is best because it is the top tier of cover. Lesser tiers (third party only, otherwise known as TPO, and third party, fire, and theft, otherwise known as TPFT) do not cover any damage to or loss of your vehicle resulting from a road traffic accident.
To cover your vehicle against collision damage, you need a comprehensive policy. This is why comprehensive is the best type of cover for car insurance.
Key features of car insurance
Beyond the core coverage offered by a car insurance policy (which depends on whether you’ve bought comprehensive, TPFT, or TPO) there are several features to look for in a policy. Here are some key features to look for in car insurance:
Breakdown cover: Roadside assistance if you have a mechanical or electrical breakdown and your car cannot be driven. Levels of cover vary and providers usually offer different tiers of cover. Some may also include cover for travel in Europe.
Legal expenses: Access to legal advice and help covering losses if you end up in court following an accident that was not your fault. Losses can include expenses you incur such as your excess, medical costs, lost earnings, travel costs, and more.
Key cover: Replacement keys and fobs if yours are lost, damaged, or stolen. As with all insurance, key cover can vary noticeably from one insurer to the next. For instance, a policy might only cover theft if you can prove the thief knows the identity of the car and where it is kept. Other policies might not cover loss or damage, only theft.
Personal accident: Covers named drivers and passengers in your vehicle if they’re injured or killed while in your car, or getting in or out. It doesn’t cover small injuries – personal accident clauses usually have specific pay-outs for death or serious injuries like loss of an eye or limb.
More expensive, premium plans might offer some or all of these features as standard, but in many cases, you’d need to buy them as add-ons. Not all insurers or plans give the option to buy add-ons, however, so if a particular feature is important to you be sure you can get it from your insurer and policy before buying.
Another point to note about car insurance add-ons is that they are often non-refundable if you cancel your car insurance early. For example, consider the situation where you buy car insurance for £450 upfront and pay £50 for breakdown cover, but then you cancel your policy two months later. You should get a large portion of the £450 back (up to 10 months of cover worth) depending on the terms of your policy, but you are unlikely to get a refund on the £50 breakdown cover. (Plus you’d probably pay a cancellation fee.)