If there’s one thing that car insurance companies like, it’s an older driver – although their preferences are guided purely by statistics: older drivers have fewer accidents, and the ones they have also tend to be less serious.
That means there are plenty of companies vying for your business. Which makes it even more puzzling why so many people never shop around for the best deals.
How much you will be quoted will depend on a whole series of factors as well as your age, of course – including your driving experience; no claims record; annual mileage; the value, type and model of the car; whether your licence is clean or carrying points for speeding or other offences; where the car will be parked at night; and your address – is yours considered to be a low or high crime area?
However, getting the best deal on car insurance isn’t always just getting the best price, and when you’re looking around for the right policy for you, do make sure you are comparing like with like. How big is the excess, for instance? And do they include free windscreen cover?
Building in extras such as a guaranteed courtesy car will add to the costs, but if you do have to keep on the road while the car is in dock, it can really bump up the costs. Equally, some will offer very good deals on roadside support – enabling you to cut loose your current provider.
Some offer much better deals on driving overseas, so if that represents an important part of your annual travel, do factor that in. Then there is the cost of adding a driver to your policy (helpful if you occasionally need someone else to ferry you about). Legal protection is also another handy “nice to have” if you do have a bump – helping you to sort out the wrangles that can often ensue.
Some providers will build these into the cost, others add them on – so take into account all the features that you really do need when making your decision.
If you’re looking to really trim your costs, consider:
- Opting for a third party, fire and theft policy rather than fully comprehensive – especially if your car is not particularly valuable.
- Offering to pay a higher level of excess.
- Pay in one lump rather than in instalment (unless there is no extra cost of course!)
- Install a “black box” which monitors your driving.
- Some insurers will reduce premiums if you have passed an advanced driving test.
Too old to get insurance?
Of course, advancing years can start to have the reverse effect on your premiums when you get into later life with some insurers. Several, however, are prepared to take drivers up to any age. Do remember, though, that if you do have one of a number of medical conditions that could affect your driving, this information does need to be shared with the DVLA. It could also cause problems making a claim if you have not disclosed a medical condition when taking out a policy.