Well, before you decide to sell your car and use the proceeds to buy a bicycle or a pack of sled dogs to get to and from work, you need to take a few moments and just breathe. Believe it or not there are ways to cut down your car insurance rates that don’t involve binning your motor or driving without insurance.
Don’t let your insurer get away with murder
There’s something you need to know about car insurance companies: the vast majority of them reserve their best deals for new customers. This means deeply discounted rates for incoming drivers, which are offset by the higher rates charged to existing customers – a poor reward for loyalty, but there you have it.
What this means is that, in most cases, your existing insurer has no vested interest in providing you a competitive rate. The average insurance provider is banking on customer apathy to bankroll their operation, but you can buck the trend and sometimes you don’t even have to switch insurers to do this: oftentimes ringing your insurer up and telling them that you’re going to find a better deal elsewhere will cause them to offer you a better rate.
When it doubt, move on out
If you try to reason with your insurer and you aren’t getting anywhere, you may indeed need to jump ship for a better deal. There are countless providers out there, and they’re all interested in a potential new customer, so you’ll essentially have your pick of the litter if you go to a car insurance comparison site, and many of these insurers are so keen for your custom that they’ll let you preserve any no-claim discounts that you’ve accrued over the years.
However, don’t lose sight of the fact that you can afford to be choosy when it comes to your new provider – in fact make sure you’re not taking a much lower cost policy without checking that you’re getting the same level of cover as you have now. Not every ‘comprehensive’ policy is created equal, and just because you found a cut-rate quote doesn’t mean it’s the best value for money, especially if you’re giving off extras like breakdown cover in order to get the so-called ‘better’ rate!
If all else fails, tighten your belt
Finally, don’t lose hope if your insurer won’t budge on your price quote and you can’t seem to find a rival provider that’s willing to cut you a deal on a comparable level of cover, as there are still ways you can save money. The only problem is that some of these ways may involve tightening your belt a bit – and in the current economic landscape, that’s easier said than done!
One thing you can do is review your existing level of cover and eliminate facets that you don’t truly need or can’t afford. Of course, you need to do this with an eye towards short-term gains versus long-term ones; you can raise your voluntary excess to get a cheaper rate, for example, but then if you end up in a car accident you may end up out of pocket more than you would have been if you’d kept paying a higher rate, so be careful before committing to any policy changes – you don’t want to end up worse off than you were before you changed your policy details.