When it comes to choosing a car insurance policy there are multiple things that you should take into consideration including the different types of policy, the policy cost and how much cover you would need. In this article, we look at the different types of car insurance available, what car insurance you may need and the best way to buy car insurance.
What is car insurance?
Car insurance is an insurance policy designed to cover the financial loss if your vehicle, property, or another vehicle or property is damaged. Car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK for vehicles driven on UK roads or in public places with the minimum requirement being third party car insurance.
There are three main types of car insurance policy and the type of insurance you need can vary depending on your personal circumstances. These include fully comprehensive, third party fire and theft and third party. We explain the differences between the types in our article, 'What are the different types of car insurance?'
Additional extras such as legal and breakdown cover, replacement key cover and windscreen protection can be added to a car insurance policy, often for an additional fee, so do consider whether they are needed before agreeing to pay the additional cost.
What car insurance do I need?
The type of car insurance policy that is best for you varies depending on your personal situation and budget. In most cases, fully comprehensive car insurance is the best option as it offers the most cover and surprisingly it isn't always the most expensive car insurance policy. According to data from Compare the Market in June 2023 the average quote for a fully comprehensive car insurance policy was £743 compared to £1,158 for third party, fire and theft and £1,668 for third party car insurance.
It is important that you read any policy documents carefully when looking for car insurance and remember that the cheapest option isn't necessarily the best.
What is the best car insurance for learner drivers?
If you are learning to drive and have access to your own vehicle then you will need provisional driver's insurance on that vehicle until you pass your driving test. If you are currently taking lessons and not learning in your own vehicle or practising outside of lessons, it is likely that you will be covered by the driving school you are learning to drive with.
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What is the best car insurance for young drivers?
If you are a young driver then you should try and get the most comprehensive cover for your budget. This is because younger drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident and as a result, car insurance for younger drivers tends to be more expensive. In 2016, the Department for Transport recorded that 17-24 year olds were 5 times more likely to be involved in an accident compared to those aged between 66-70 years old.
Fully comprehensive car insurance covers your own vehicle for damage due to an accident, as well as vandalism and theft. It also provides cover for damage to any other vehicles and property should you have an accident. Despite being the most comprehensive policy fully comp is not always the most expensive cover so ensure you compare the cost of all policy types before buying insurance.
If you are a young driver looking to take out a car insurance policy, you may also wish to consider telematics insurance or sometimes known as 'black box' insurance. This is where a device is fitted to your car that tracks your driving and if you drive safely, you could see a reduction in your car insurance premium. For more information read our article 'Cheapest car insurance for new drivers - which is best?'
What is the best car insurance for older drivers?
Older drivers often benefit from cheaper car insurance premiums as they are seen as lower risk by insurers, however, as you reach the age of 75 and beyond you may see that your car insurance policy cost starts to creep up in price. This is because as you age, insurers see you as a higher risk and therefore more likely to be involved in an accident. It is possible to purchase an over 50's car insurance policy that is specifically designed to insure older drivers.
What is the best car insurance for short periods of time?
Temporary car insurance is designed to cover you for short periods of time, sometimes as little as an hour or perhaps even up to a few months, depending on the insurer. Temporary car insurance is a good idea if you are sharing the driving on a journey or are away for a short period of time and need to borrow a car. Temporary car insurance is usually bought as fully comprehensive cover but some insurers may be able to offer third party or third party, fire and theft cover.
How to buy car insurance
If you need to purchase or renew your car insurance policy, the best way to find the cheapest deal is via a comparison site. Comparison sites are one of the easiest ways to compare multiple policies at once but they are not always whole of market so you may be missing out on deals from some providers who are not on comparison sites.
We have partnered with Quotezone* so that you can search and compare cheap quotes from over 110 UK car insurance providers. Ensure that you are comparing like-for-like providers when you are looking at car insurance quotes to ensure that you are getting a fair comparison. Find our top tips on getting cheap car insurance in our article, 'How to get cheap car insurance'.
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