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How to buy car insurance at the cheapest prices

Can you buy very cheap car insurance? Are you looking to save money on the next policy renewal? Most motorists pay too high a premium, but there are ways of saving a lot of money, without buying substandard cover. Comparing prices from the car insurance market's leading insurers isn't enough; to get the lowest prices there are a few more things you can do, to get even smaller quotes. Find out what the insurance companies don't want you to know about!

Remember that insuring cars is a competitive business
Insurers want you to stay with them. After they have spent money on expensive advertising they don't want you to leave them for a cheaper company so they try to lock you into automatic renewals. If you refuse to let them do this you will be free to haggle, and very often just ringing your current insurer, and telling them that you intend to compare prices, can result in a substantial reduction in your premium. If they won't give you a discount (and most will) then it's time to shop around.

Once you've found a more reasonably priced policy the new insurer will try to push up your premium by selling you extras such as legal representation or a free courtesy car in the event of an accident. These are often poor value for money and should usually be refused. Insurance sales staff can offer price reductions to tempt you to buy these but remember that when your next renewal date arrives you will be charged full price for them. In this way, that bargain priced policy can become an expensive one very quickly.

Beware the 'protected no claims discount' trick
To push up the price of an otherwise low cost policy insurers offer a guaranteed NCB in the event of a claim. Most people think that, if they do have an accident, their premiums won't increase. They are wrong.

A no-claims bonus is a percentage that is taken off the basic premium. If that NCB is protected then it will still stay the same; an existing 35% reduction is stll 35%, 60% off is still 60%. However the basic premium is going to increase substantially. In other words, rather than the total premium staying the same after your little bump, it will still increase by an awful lot. Don't fall for it.

Should you tell your insurer about every minor bump you have?
Strictly speaking, yes. The insurer is concerned with the likelihood of you having an accident in the future. If you have had a minor collision but paid for the damage yourself, then (in the eyes of the insurers) you are still more likely to have more mishaps. What they don't know about, they can't worry about, but it is usually a condition of every policy that you are completely upfront about every crash, minor or otherwise, that you have been involved in. So, again, should you let them know? It's up to you.

Do price comparison sites offer the lowest premiums?
Most vehicle insurers and brokers have special offers from time to time, and sometimes these are quite generous. The problem is that there is no way of telling when they will be available. This is a good reason to use a price comparison engine, because it will get you quotes from a very large number of insurers which should include their latest offers.

However, how impartial are they? Remember that most larger comparison sites are owned by insurers who have their own products to promote. Are their results really impartial? Do they necessarily show the cheapest price available? Remember that none of them compare policies from every single insurer in Britain, and many (most) only display offers from those that pay them a commission. Someone, after all, has to pay for those lavish TV adverts. So, sometimes you will get a better price from a small broker (if you can find one) or a well known comparison engine you feel you can trust to find you the very cheapest car insurance.
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