Car Insurance in England
With so many providers of car insurance in England, choosing the best one could be quite difficult and even overwhelming at times. However, you should never rush the decision process as this can potentially lead to a lot of headaches, and you will most likely regret for not doing a research. Choosing the right amount of insurance coverage is really important, but what good will it be if the providers you've signed a contract with is not able cover your claims? Finding a reliable provider is essential and obtaining critical information about auto insurance companies will help you make an informed decision about car insurance in England while giving you peace of mind and security.
Car Insurance in England
When choosing a reliable provider of car insurance in England make sure the company is financially stable. This is extremely important and will help you determine whether it has the ability to cover your claims or not. The majority of popular and large insurance companies are a safe choice, however, if you are considering a lesser-known and smaller company, you should always check its financial status. It gives you that extra information and can save you a lot of headaches in the future. Some of the most reliable sources of such information are the websites of Standard & Poors, Fitch and Moody's.
Car Insurance in England
Consumer Complaints Are Always an Indication for Alarm!
When looking for car insurance in England, be sure to always check the consumer complaint ratios for the companies you've set your sight on. This can give you invaluable information whether others are content with the service these providers offer or not. There are always unhappy clients, but the majority is not content with the service, then you really should get that company out of your list.
Compare the Quotes Companies Offer:
Car Insurance in England: once you've narrowed your list of possible providers you should compare the quotes they offer in order to choose just the one that suits you. Carefully consider the amount of coverage you need, how much you are willing to pay and what the provider offers. The easiest way is to do an online research. Most providers of car insurance in England have information available at their websites, so this is always convenient. Even if they don't offer any detailed information, that doesn't mean there is something suspicious or wrong with the provider. You can always pick up the phone and call them to find out more about their quotes. Take into consideration the discounts offered by providers and the selection of services a quote come with.
Car Insurance in England:
Five-minute guide to saving money on car insurance - Express.co.uk
More than eight out of 10 over-65s called for the car insurance industry to be clearer about extras
Older motorists are particularly keen to put a brake on these costs, with more than eight out of 10 over-65s calling for the car insurance industry to be clearer about extra fees.
For car insurance in England, some brokers will charge a fat fee if you need to adjust minor policy details, such as your address or adding a named driver, while others impose hefty penalties if you cancel your policy partway through.
Almost two out of five consumers say they would have looked for a better deal had these fees been clearer, according to new research from Age UK Car Insurance, produced exclusively for the Sunday Express.
With the average annual premium for comprehensive cover now £561, according to the AA, it pays to do all you can to drive down the cost.
Car Insurance in England:
So what are these hidden charges and how do you steer clear of them?
Motoring your way to the right car insurance indeal is tricky as different insurers set an obstacle course of different charges.
For amending policy details, John Lewis and the Co-operative charge a £15 fee, Tesco Bank £20, and RIAS and Saga £25.
If you cancel partway through, John Lewis and Tesco charge £40, RIAS £35, Direct Line £47.70 and More Than £55.
Many other insurers charge fees, which are rarely highlighted on their websites but buried somewhere in your policy documents.
Director of Age UK Car Insurance, Doug Strachan, has called on insurers to be more transparent over costs to make comparisons easier.
“Motorists should not be penalised for wanting to switch to a better deal, updating policy details or paying monthly.”
Matt Oliver, car insurance spokesman at GoCompare.com, says: “If you know your circumstances are likely to change soon after your policy starts, for example, if you are planning to move house or want to add a named driver, warn your insurer in advance and it may waive the fee.
”Many policies also include legal expenses cover, which pays your costs up to at least £50,000 if you have to take action following a motor accident that was not your fault.
This is usually an extra £25 to £40 a year and Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySupermarket.com, says: “If buying online, you can simply untick the appropriate box if you do not want it.”
Simon Lole, managing director of Peter Lole Insurance Brokers, says you should also check whether your renewal offer includes extras such as personal accident or motor breakdown cover.
For amending policy details, John Lewis and the Co-operative charge a £15 fee
“Find out the cost and decide whether you really need them. Also, check other extras, such as courtesy car cover and lost or stolen key cover.”
If you choose to pay your premium monthly instead of upfront you are likely to face hefty interest charges.
For instance Co-operative charges an APR of 18.50 per cent, Zurich 21.50 per cent and John Lewis 23.50 per cent.
Age UK is one of the few that does not. Lole suggests taking out a zero per cent credit card and to pay with that instead.
Ian Hughes, chief executive of Consumer Intelligence, says some insurers charge a fee to buy over the phone, while others will charge if you do not renew.
Tesco Bank charges £20 to amend details, while RIAS and Saga £25
“This is how insurers make their money. You should compare prices direct as well as using comparison websites.
Direct Line and Aviva can offer great deals but are not on these sites.”
Car Insurance in England Tip:
Check more than one price comparison site as some have exclusive offers that may give you a better deal.
Zurich charges an APR of 21.50 per cent, while John Lewis is up to 23.50 per cent
However, Mark Rigby, head operating officer at Insurance Revolution, says you should beware of “hook rates” that lure you in.
“When you are directed to the insurer you may find the price is higher than originally advertised.”
He says you should check the cost of any commission if you buy through a broker.
“Typically this is 10 to 20 per cent of your premium. Anything above that is excessive. Some charge as much as 50 per cent."
For many buyers, the cost of car insurance in England is one of the biggest factors when it comes to buying a new car.
The best way to work out if a car is going to be cheap to insure is to look at what insurance group it lies in. These range from one to 50 and are based on several criteria.
How much a car is likely to cost to repair if an accident occurs is one of the biggest factors, as well as how easy it is for mechanics to fix it – cars trickier to repair will take more time and incur higher bills. The value of the car feeds back into this, as it gives insurers a decent marker as to how much replacement parts will cost and an indication of how much they'll have to pay out in the event of a write-off.
Having a more secure car means lower insurance costs too – immobilisers are big here, alongside the other security features fitted by the manufacturer. Insurers prefer garaged cars to those parked on the street overnight for obvious reasons. Performance is the final big factor – faster and more powerful cars will inevitably cost more.
The cost of insurance will differ depending on personal circumstances, experience and of course your level of no claims bonus, so placing an emphasis on the car you choose to buy – by selecting one in a lower insurance group – is a universally applicable method for getting cheaper car insurance.
There are also certain modifiers that will curtail your costs. For instance, doing an approved advanced driving course such as Pass Plus or one of the many from the Institute of Advanced Motorists can cut premiums, although they do cost money.
However, one of the most well-known ways is fitting a so-called "black box" to your car.
Car Insurance in England Smart Tip:
Setting up a telematics policy, commonly known as "black box insurance", is one way young drivers in particular can slash the cost of car insurance. Typically, you'll pay a fixed premium to drive a pre-determined number of miles a year, although some deals are flexible and the mileage can be topped up if necessary.
The boxes measure the likes of acceleration, speed and steering so insurers can gauge how you drive. Safe driving means you'll receive discounts, while reckless inputs and speeding will push up your premium.
The telematics aspect of the box means that many can detect when an accident has occurred and send out an alert. Some also act as trackers if your car is stolen.
There are one or two potential downsides, however. For instance, the box cannot detect when someone else is driving, meaning anyone you share your car with could push up your premiums. Venturing over the number of pre-agreed miles without rejigging your policy can also be costly.
Most of the UK's cheapest cars to insure are A-segment and B-segment hatchbacks, but there are plenty of them to choose from.
Car Insurance in England:
Here's a selection the critics pick out as cheap to insure.
Entry level versions of Volkswagen's city car can be some of the cheapest to insure, thanks to their group one rating.
It's small, measuring just 11.5ft long, making it roughly the same length as a Fiat 500, although Auto Express says the Up! Is "much more spacious". It's also more sophisticated than its size suggests, with solid driving characteristics.
Being a Volkswagen, its premium-edged quality does make it an expensive option for a small car, starting at £8,945 for the 1.0-litre 59bhp entry level in insurance group one.
Being B-segment, the Corsa is a slightly larger vehicle than the city car norm making up most of the cheaper cars to insure. Entry level 'Sting' and 'Life' models sneak into insurance group two when specced with the 1.2 engine and start from a reasonable £9,495.
It's not the pick of the bunch though. Despite being more expensive to insure, any car using the new three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbo is the choice of critics. The recent facelift and price cut has lifted the Corsa's appeal, but it's still behind the Ford Fiesta in most things, value aside.
Car magazine says the Corsa gets plenty of kit for the money but it in some ways it "feels overwhelmingly average in most regards". It's the choice of those looking for a bigger car with lower costs.
Priced from just £5,995, the Sandero is the cheapest new car on sale in Britain. It may have been the butt of several jokes on Top Gear, but the motoring press is endeared.
In entry level trim, it's a bare machine. But it can be specced to a respectable degree and still undercuts the price of its competitors.
"Even if buyers upgrade their Sandero supermini to the less obviously poverty-stricken Ambiance trim, they'll still benefit from group two insurance", says Auto Express.
An interesting small car. "If you're looking for something very different to the norm, the Renault Twingo should fit the bill", says CarBuyer.
The Twingo is rear-enginned and rear-wheel drive, its motor sitting underneath the boot floor. That allows for clever packaging to open up interior space, while the turning circle is tiny because the front wheels have so much more space to work with. It's a compelling choice for a city car. Starting from £9,495, the entry level Twingo sits in insurance group two.
"Renault has taken the bold step of trying something different with the new Twingo and it's worked," says Top Gear.
One of the perks of the Toyota Yaris, says uSwitch, is that it is a small car which is cheap to run and insure and available with a hybrid powertrain option.
The hybrid uses a 1.5-litre engine with 73bhp, tied to an electric motor with an additional 59bhp of power. Starting from insurance group 8, it occupies a higher level than many of the other cars on this list, but at £14,995, it represents one of the cheapest ways to get into hybrid motoring.
Of course, conventionally powered versions are available, too, with lower insurance groups and cheaper price tags. The cheapest Yaris to insure is the Icon with a 68bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine, which fits into insurance group 2 and is priced from £12,915. In Active trim, that drops to £10,995.
However, as a car, the Yaris may not be the best choice on the market. Auto Express says it is spacious and reliable but lacks the sparkle of many of its rivals while the likes of the Vauxhall Corsa have cheaper starting prices.
The third generation Skoda Fabia is a decent choice and is "spacious, comfortable, and good value for money", says Auto Express. Prices may be more expensive than the last model, but the standard equipment offered is much better.
Starting at £10,750, the entry level Fabia gets a 1.0-litre three-cylinder with 60bhp, but there's more powerful options available – a 1.2-litre TSI comes in two states of tune, 90bhp and 110bhp options.
There are also two diesels, but Auto Express recommends sticking to petrol power.
Hyundai's i10 city car sneaks into insurance group 1 when equipped with its 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine option. Prices start at £8,995 and for that, you'll be getting a small car with genuine everyday quality.
CarBuyer named it their car of the year in 2015, saying that the i10 ticks all the city car boxes and is one of the best small cars on the market. It particularly praised its design, well laid out and roomy interior and low running costs, adding that it should be a very reliable car, too.
Standard equipment isn't huge on the entry level models, but range-topping Premium SE trim models come loaded with spec.
The Mii is Seat's version of the Volkswagen Up – it’s a city car platform VW shares across three of its brands – but is more stylish and comes it at a cheaper price level.
Starting at £8,440, it's around £500 less than the Up but uses identical mechanics. It takes design cues from some of Seat's bigger models, such as the Leon and Ibiza, and is available as a three or five door.
Every car bar the Mii in Sport trim sits in insurance group 1 and none of them costs more than £20 to tax – and the Ecomotive version is tax exempt, emitting just 95g/km CO2.
The Citigo is the third car based on the VW Up and is the cheapest to buy.
Again, underneath the cars are identical and make use of the same range of engines – the Citigo kicking off with an entry level 1.0-litre motor with 59bhp, placing it in insurance group 1. There's also a version producing 95g/km CO2, for tax-free motoring.
The Citigo is identical to the Up and Mii, but CarBuyer says it's their favourite, thanks to its cost. With prices starting from £8,275, the car is £700 cheaper than the Up, making it brilliant value compared to its more premium-badged sibling.
The Telegraph reckons that cars like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Golf are no good for younger drivers and attract hefty premiums. Cheaper options include cars like the Kia Picanto.
In their review of the Picanto, Auto Express point out that it’s a good value small car, with plenty of kit. It's offered with Kia's seven year warranty, but in many ways the car has fallen behind its rivals, particularly in the way it drives.
There are two engine choices, but cars fitted with the smaller 65bhp 1.0-litre sneak into insurance group 2 for lower premiums than the group 5 and up 1.25-litre versions of the car. These cars are cheap to run, offering a claimed 67.3mpg. With CO2 emissions officially pegged at 99g/km, the 1.0-litre car is road tax free.
Compared to the previous generation Picanto, this newer model is sportier looking, with a livelier exterior design. Inside, you'll find a neatly laid out interior, with MP3 compatibility, electric windows and a trip computer as standard in all models. Prices start at £8,345.
The Fabia is a spacious, comfortable, well priced supermini with excellent build quality thanks to its Volkswagen underpinnings. The current model can come equipped with an insurance-busting powertrain.
The 1.0-litre MPI in the entry level model is a petrol engine with 59bhp, delivering a claimed 60mpg and CO2 emissions of 106g/km for a £20 annual road-tax bill. It sits in insurance group 2.
If the performance of the entry level car is too low – it takes just under sixteen seconds to reach 62mph – a slightly sprightlier version of the same engine is available with 74bhp, while further up the range, the 1.2-litre TSI petrol with its two output choices remains a reasonable proposition, with outputs of 89bhp and 118bhp – although, of course, these engines stray into higher insurance groups.
Prices for the Fabia start from £10,750 – a rise comparative to its older models, but the newer cars are a step up in quality.
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