Car insurance is a requirement of the law. All drivers in the UK must be insured and driving a vehicle that you are not insured to drive is a criminal offence.
There are hundreds of car insurance companies in the UK and prices can vary dramatically depending on who you are and what car you drive.
For instance male drivers between the ages of 17 and 25 are considered to be the one of the highest risk categories whilst woman in their 50's are considered to be the lowest. Other factors such as your occupation and address can also affect your premiums.
You also need to understand the type of car insurance you need as if you get comprehensive insurance it will be more expensive but provides much more cover.
When you get a car insurance quote, the premium or the cost of the insurance will vary from company to company. This is because each company will base their quote on a set of risk factors and increase or decrease the premium depending on how your rate against these factors.
It might sound complicated but it really isn't. Basically the car insurance company is assessing the likelihood of you making a claim and if you do the level of payment that will have to be made. From this they determin the price they want to charge you, the car insurance premium.
Common risk factors or variables used by the car insurance companies are:
- Vehicle type -Number of doors and seats etc
- Engine size - More powerful engines are generally more expensive to insure due to their faster acceleration and top speeds
- Annual mileage - The more miles you do the more you will expect to pay because the more often you are on the road the more chance there is of you getting into an accident.
- Where you park your car at night -If you park your car in a secure garage it may be cheaper than if you park your car where it is more venerable to theft or accidental damage such as on the street.
- Where you park your car during the day - The price of your policy may vary depending on whether you leave your car at home or whether you park it in an office car park during the day.
- Alarm, Immobiliser and tracker systems - Having above standard security systems can help you achieve more affordable insurance quotes.
- How often and at what time you commute - Most accidents occur when people are commuting to and from work during busy periods. This may be reflected in your policy depending on when you commute on a regular basis.
- The number of drivers on your policy -; Having multiple drivers on your policy can drag the price of your insurance quote up. So only add essential drivers enless you can afford to pay the extra cost.
- Age - Older drivers are considered to be more careful drivers than younger ones. Your age will be reflected heavily in the price of your policy. There are younger driver insurance schemes who specialise in new and young drivers.
- Gender - Statistically in the UK male drivers are said to cause more accidents than female. Specialist female car insurance companies often offer cheaper quotes for woman.
- Driving experience or Qualifications - People who have held their licence for longer and have more years driving experience will often be given cheaper quotes than less experienced drivers.
- Occupation - Depending on your occupation you may be considered to be a higher risk to insurers. Builders, Barman, and entertainers can sometimes pay more.
- No Claims Bonus - More no claims bonus = more savings.
- Motoring convictions and Major accidents -If you have had any major accidents, points on your licence or drink driving offences these will be seen in a bad light by insurers.