There are many actions you can take so that insurance providers consider you less risky and to reduce your premiums for over 50 car insurance.
Here are our 12 Top Tips for cheap car insurance. Some you’ll be doing already, others you can put into action straight away. There are also behaviours worth adopting over time both to stay safe and reduce the amount you pay to car insurance companies. Some are ‘quick fixes’ while others are more long-term tips that can help you control your premiums:
“ The golden rule here is to be entirely accurate and honest in your application. Any inaccuracies could invalidate your policy and mean that you won’t get paid out when you make a claim. ”
Read on to find out GrownUpMoney’s tips on reducing your insurance premium, getting cheaper car insurance, and finding the best over 50s car insurance for you.
1. Build, protect and highlight your no claims discount
Your no claims discount (NCD) can earn you savings of up to 90% on the basic premium, so a safe driving record is one of the biggest wins available, providing you with some of the cheapest over 50 car insurance. Be sure to mention it when you apply!
Consider protecting your no claims discount – doing this will normally add 5-10% to your premium. It’s worthwhile if you think you’re more likely to claim, but remember that not all car insurance companies will allow you to transfer your protected NCD if you switch to them after making a claim.
2. Tell your car insurer if you’re married
You’ll be considered lower risk by car insurers if you’re married, so make sure you inform them on your application, or update them if you get married. On the other hand, if you divorce or become widowed, you may find your insurance costs creeping up, so ensure you shop around if this is the case.
Most specialist car insurance providers, including many providing car insurance for the over fifties, will reduce your premiums if you get married, so ensure you’re getting the best price if your status changes.
3. Tell your insurer if you retire
Remember that if you retire, particularly if you worked in a perceived ‘high risk’ career, your premiums are likely to go down. Make sure you tell your insurer if you retire, and shop around before a better price for car insurance over 50 once you’ve retired.
4. Be aware of high interest rates on monthly payments
Paying by monthly instalments can cost you more over the long term. Often insurers are just loaning you the cost of the annual policy and charge high interest rates via the monthly instalments you pay (the highest we’ve seen is 39% APR).
Make sure you’re aware of the difference in cost between monthly and annual payments before you commit. It’s not always the case though as a few providers still allow you to pay in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Another alternative is to use a low interest credit card to pay for your policy, which should have a lower APR than the insurance company’s. Just make sure you’re fully informed, with no nasty car insurance related surprises.
5. Increase your excess
Increasing your excess is a sure way to reduce the premium you’ll pay, especially when getting car insurance designed for over 50s. The online forms will normally allow you to tweak the excess level to see how much this can reduce your premium. You may want to take a chance on a higher excess – if you’re comfortable that you can afford to pay it in the event of a claim. It may be cheaper to pay for smaller repairs yourself, rather than make a claim which will increase your premium levels over the long term by a greater amount than the pay out from the small claim.
6. Get quotes up to 90 days before your renewal date
Some insurers’ quotes remain valid for 90 days. It’s worth getting a quote 3 months before your renewal date to avoid price rises, or to lock in the quote from a special offer that’s about to expire. It’s another savvy way to make sure you’re getting the cheapest over 50 car insurance possible.
7. Ask your existing insurer if they can match or beat your best quote
It’s often cheaper for a company to keep an existing customer than to get a new one, and they may budget over £50 to attract each new customer, so take advantage and see if you can make this work for you. There’s no harm in asking your existing insurer if they can match the best quote you’ve got, and if they agree it will also save you the time and paperwork of switching.
8. Choose 3rd party cover only if it’s cheaper and you’re comfortable with the risk
If your car is no longer very valuable, or you don’t have a No Claims Bonus, it’s worth getting a quote for 3rd party only car insurance. This can cost less but of course if you have an accident that’s your fault, you won’t be able to claim for repairs to your car. If your car is old or valuable, make sure you opt for classic car insurance, or specialist cover suited to the price of your vehicle. While it pays to be smart with cash, you’ll feel better in the long run if you don’t have to worry about your pride and joy too.
9. Limit your mileage where possible
If you can limit your mileage to under 12,000 miles per year this should reduce your premiums. Certainly avoid overestimating your mileage on your application form. If you love taking your car on holiday, factor that in too as you’ll be driving longer distances, meaning more miles.
10. Get an advanced driving qualification
You could shave as much as 30% off your car insurance premium by taking a Pass Plus course. The Pass Plus training takes at least six hours and costs in the region of £100-£150 depending on the individual instructor’s fee. You’re assessed throughout the training rather than by a test at the end.
11. What works for a friend won’t always work for you
Don’t assume that because a particular car insurer offered your friend a low cost quote, that company will also be cost effective for you. The opposite may be the case as different car insurers may have a different approach to your specific risk profile. Ensure you compare quotes from multiple insurers to get the best price. When it comes to over 50 car insurance, UK providers are all different, so its worth doing your research even after a recommendation.
However, it is worth gathering opinions on customer service. Online review sites can also be useful but bear in mind that people are much more likely to go online to complain about an insurance company, rather than sing the praises of a company that has met their expectations. If you take the reviews with a pinch of salt, you could be well on your way to finding popular cheap car insurance for over 50s that would work for you.
12. Think carefully before adding drivers to your policy… however
Adding drivers will affect the premium – if you’re over 50 and enjoying lower premiums and add a younger person in their 20s to the policy it could end up costing you a lot more. If necessary add people temporarily whenever they use the car. Don’t give in to your children hinting they’d love to drive your car!
However the situation changes for drivers later in life. If you’re over 80 years of age, adding your son or daughter for example as an additional driver is very likely to reduce your premiums. The saving could be significant and well worth checking out rather than simply paying the ever higher premiums insurers demand when you reach this age group.