My jaw hit the floor when my renewal quote from Elephant.co.uk came in at £792. My wife and I are in our early(ish) 30's, drive a Renault Megane Hatchback 1.6, which we drive sparingly (I don't commute by car). The quote seemed pretty steep given that we also have a 3 years no claims bonus and I pay annually (which saves £43 on average compared to paying monthly).
At the same time I received an annual breakdown cover renewal notice from the AA for £150. So if like a lot of people I had simply let my policies auto-renew I would have spent £942.
But with about 20mins work I managed to get car insurance and breakdown cover for a total of £415. A total saving of £527.
Below I take you through how I did it.
Step 1 - Called the AA and haggled.
The AA and the RAC are battlling out for your custom. But they are also banking on customer inertia to make even more money when you auto-renew. But if I cancelled my AA policy and took out the same package with the RAC it would cost £101. So a quick call to point this out to the AA and low and behold the AA were prepared to renew my policy at a price of £101. A potential saving of nearly £50.
Step 2 - Shopped around online for car insurance
I fired up one of the many price comparison websites out there and input my policy details and was presented with a swathe of alternatives ranging in price from £350 to over £1,200. Now the first thing to point out is that not all policies are equal and buying the cheapest is not necessarily the best option. When you use a comparison site make sure you check all the policy details either match what you currently have or what you now require. For example, look at excess levels and personal injury insurance cover amounts.
Step 3 -Reassessed my needs
After step 2 I had my eye on a policy worth around £420. But then I went over the finer details of my cover. I reassesed the annual mileage I actually do (rather than estimate) and the true value of my car. This shaved another £40 off.
Step 4 - I altered my job title
Although baffling to some people, your job title actually affects how expensive your car insurance is. This is because your job is deemed to affect how you drive and also who you drive. These factors could result in higher claims in the event of an accident. So it follows that some job descriptions give rise to higher car insurance premiums than others,
While obviously you must be honest about what you do for a living (otherwise you are committing fraud) there is nothing wrong with what is known as 'quote massaging'. Some jobs can have more than one description – for example a 'solicitor' is also a 'lawyer'. So it is possible for you to use an alternative job description for what you do and slash your insurance premiums.
Money Saving Expert have created a handy 'car insurance job picker' tool, the aim of which is to 'beat the insurers just by changing your job title'. Altering my job title shaved off another £40.
Step 5 - Bundled my breakdown cover with my car insurance
A number of insurers, including the one I coincidentally was considering, also offer the ability of including discounted breakdown cover with their policies. After checking the terms and conditions I was happy with the deal which, while adding £75 onto my quote, actually saved me a further £26 off my annual breakdown cover.
So there you go a total saving of £527.
And that's by someone who'd already employed most of these 10 money tips to cut your car insurance. Imagine the savings if you started from a position of never having tried any of these tricks. If this post proves nothing else then it's that with a little effort you can save a small fortune.