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This post is going to be quite a simple one.
I’ve recently been through that dreaded time of the year we all have to experience with our finances: car insurance renewal.
Not only is it one of the most painful processes to go through for me, it also falls exactly on my birthday; ‘happy birthday to me‘ as hundreds of pounds disappear from my account.
Anyway, and contrary to this intro, this year proved to be the least laborious and most cost-effective renewal I’ve had so far in my 6+ years of owning my own car.
I’m not one of those people to bother spending hours surfing the comparison sites each year just for an extra 20 quid off the previous one.
I think there’s a lot of worth in doing this, especially if you have a high premium or are a young driver with few or even no, no claims. But for experienced drivers who are already down to just a few hundred quid for the year for the fully comp. package, I can’t justify the time it takes to traverse the many websites, and spend hours on the phone battling the voice robots – and I’m including the humans robots in that too.
Nevertheless, there always tends to be some easy wiggle room if you know who to ask and what to say.
I always go for the full insurance package.
Fully comprehensive, motor legal, breakdown, blah blah blah…the whole 9 yards.
I also never go for anything else other than £0 voluntary excess. I don’t see the point in paying for insurance when I’d end up having to pay out anyway if an emergency were to strike. God forbid something happens, I want my insurance taking all the stress and worry – at least financially – out of my hands.
Full disclaimer, last year as a 26 year old with 5 years no claims, this cost me £400 and some change.
A good deal? Meh, I think so. It was less than the year before so that’s better than any of my other bills.
However, still classed as a ‘young driver’ and living within a middle class area, I assumed there would be little room for bringing that much lower.
But alas! I saved a smidge more than a coffees worth over 50 quid.
Simple tricks so you can do the same?
Holy christ, how this isn’t just commonplace for everyone looking to renew their insurance is beyond me.
Every year, about 3 weeks before my renewal, I get a letter through with a new quote.
What do I do? I just call them and ask what I can do to lower the quote. It was already lower than the previous year, but it never hurts to ask.
I’m never aggressive, I never evoke my inner Boyce, grease back my hair and embrace for a haggling battle…I just ask.
“That’s a decent quote, but I want to know how I can get this lower. Is there anything you can do your end that I’m not seeing on your website?”
This doesn’t always work. But 7/10 times you’ll get a little bit extra off.
Most of us are driving less. This should be the first thing you consider when renewing.
If you’re working from home now just lower your expected mileage. Most of our driving probably comes form the commute. Now that the commute has been seriously reduced, can you get that down and bring the premium down with it?
Obviously this needs to be as accurate as possible. But if you’re anything like me you usually over-estimate, so there’s sure to be even more room for adjustment now you’re not heading into the office everyday.
My mum was still on as a second named driver. No idea why; she hasn’t driven my car in 6 years.
It’s a nice to have just in case, but as long as someone reliable that’s close to you is on it on the off-chance you need it, then there’s no point piling on the second name drivers for the sake of it.
Taking off my mum chopped a nice little wedge off of the value (sorry mum).
Turn off automatic renewal
This one won’t necessarily get you money off, but it’ll prevent you being charged before you have a chance to look for a cheaper renewal quote.
Once you’ve found a quote you’re happy with for the next 12 months, ask them to turn off automatic renewal.
This forces them to have to contact you with a new price weeks before your next renewal date giving you time to consider and compare prices for a better one for the following year.
It also stops you accidentally strolling into another 12 month commitment where they’ve sneakily given you a worse deal because you were oblivious and were unable to challenge it.
So make sure you turn off automatic renewal next time you renew your insurance.
So those are just a few really simple things to consider before you go trudging through the awful comparison website process.
Don’t get me wrong, those sites are great and have allowed consumers to question every insurer and really make them compete for your custom.
But I. JUST. CAN’T. BE. ARSED.
I can’t be arsed to type my details in every time and then inevitably receive marketing emails from them for the next 12 months.
So give the above a go. They’re not revolutionary, but might save you a few quid, and more importantly, hours of your time that could be better spent with your family or chums.