I opened my e-mail this morning and actually laughed out loud. Swiftcover had just sent me a renewal quote for my car insurance.
I am selling my car before I go to Uni, but I was interested to have a nose at how much they would offer now that I have a full year of No Claims Discount (I was always named on my parents' insurance previously).
Instead of the fairly awful £56 a month I was paying for the past year, I was quoted a massive £71 a month! HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!! They were kind enough to offer an automatic renewal too, so if I sat back and did nothing they would graciously add another 26% to my monthly payments!
Please beware of insurers! Almost all the younger people I've spoken to have found that insurers whack the prices up after a year and most of us have to change insurers annually for a better quote.
My Dad thought that perhaps the increased price was because of the recent EU ruling to stop insurers charging women lower premiums (which, by the way, is hilarious because age discrimination is still perfectly legal in insurance. Some of the younger people at my work are paying thousands a year just to insure their tiny cars.).
I decided to prove father wrong and went to a price comparison website. Instead of £71 a month, I was quoted £36 a month!! Literally half the price! On the other hand, my Dad always finds that going directly to a “we're not on price comparison websites” insurer works better for him, so maybe those companies have better deals for the more “mature” driver... :D
Another Way to Get a Better Deal
There is a lot of advice out there about how to lower your car insurance premiums (click here for the Money Saving Expert guide), so I won't profess to be an expert.
I do, however, know one way for you to save a bundle: pay annually. Most insurers add a massive chunk of interest onto your bill if you choose pay monthly. Some add over 30% APR. When I bought my car I needed it to get to work and earn back some money, so I didn't have the £600 to pay all in one go. That's probably the same for a lot of young people, but consider saving up to pay it all in one go next time. You could save yourself hundreds of pounds.
My cheap(er) insurance quote was £36.95 a month for 11 months, with a £114.03 deposit. This worked out to be a total of £520.48 for paying monthly. They also offered me a one-off annual payment of £447.64. Paying annually would save me £72.84!
Two Ways to Save
My (pretty basic) advice is therefore to never accept a renewal quote without checking out some alternatives, and pay annually rather than monthly if at all possible!
Have you ever had a laugh at your renewal quote? My insurer changes every year – no company loyalty here! :D