Drivers push up excess levels to reduce car insurance rates

Drivers have been pushing up their excess levels in a bid to reduce their car insurance rates, according to research recently conducted by a provider of discount car insurance quotes.

AXA’s motor car insurance division, who conducted the research, found a larger number of motorists without the ability to repair damage sustained by their cars than ever before, as excess levels have grown to unaffordable levels. Last year alone saw this figure increase by 61 per cent, leaving Brits with cars that were potentially unsafe to drive or with damage that will cause a swift deterioration due to lack of preventative maintenance.

Nearly one out of every three drivers did not have enough savings readily available to cover the cost of their excess if it became a requirement, AXA said.  At 48 per cent, nearly half the population of the UK has less than £500 in savings, while one out of every three Brits had less than £200, the insurer found.

The majority of motorists are aware that a portion of their excess is voluntary, with 62 per cent of survey respondents indicating that they have the choice to push this excess up in price in order to reduce their insurance premiums.  However, too many will increase their voluntary excess to unaffordable levels, with AXA experiencing an increase of 10 per cent to average voluntary excess increases over the past two years; an additional 17 per cent of drivers indicated that they were not aware of the difference between compulsory and voluntary excesses.

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