Image Here's how to reduce your car insurance costs
Image Simon Moynihan
Staff Writer

With car insurance premiums so high, it's always essential to shop around to give yourself the best chance of beating your renewal quote and reducing the cost of your car insurance. In this article, we’ll show you how.

Car insurance is a huge annual cost for most households, and massive increases have left many drivers finding it more and more difficult to insure their cars.

Drivers with clean licenses, no claims, and no penalty points regularly report hikes in the hundreds, while insurance companies fail to provide reasonable reasons for the increases.

The bonkers.ie approach to saving hundreds on car insurance

We recently launched our new car insurance service at bonkers.ie. You can now get a discounted, direct quote from insurers and be covered in just a few minutes.

It’s quick and easy and can be carried out online. And best of all, it’s completely free! 

While on the journey to create our car insurance service, we’ve learned a few things about how you can reduce your car insurance costs.

1. Don't let your plan auto-renew

Treat your renewal letter as a guide. It is the highest price you will pay for car insurance this year - you can do better!

When you receive your renewal letter, don’t ignore it.

Consumers lose out on hundreds of euro every year by simply letting their policy auto-renew. It’s also important to remember that staying loyal to one company is seldom rewarded where insurance is concerned. 

Insurers are legally obliged to inform you a minimum of 20 days before the expiration of your insurance policy, so there's no excuse for not comparing the offers out there. You should be able to beat the renewal quote as most insurance companies will offer discounts for new customers.

Your renewal notice should include all the policy options available to you from your current insurer, your no claims discount certificate, and the price of your premium for the last year.

2. Consider some of the lesser-known car insurance providers

This step is especially important for owners of older cars, exotics, modified cars, and cars with big engines. Some major insurance companies don’t want to insure cars like these and may offer ridiculous quotes to send you on your way.

Some insurance companies won’t insure a car that’s more than 15 years old (even with a valid NCT), and others have lists of cars and driver types that they don’t want on their books. This is where you’ll need to do some extra calling around to companies that will insure unusual cars, and not-so-perfect drivers. But it’s nearly always worth it… well, unless you’re a 18-year-old male with a modified Skyline!

3. Consider upping your excess

All comprehensive car insurance policies include an excess amount; this is the amount you must pay in the event of an accidental damage claim. You can usually choose how much you want this excess to be and it can make a big difference to the price you pay for car insurance.

If you’re a motorist prone to greater risk then increasing your excess can help significantly in lowering your annual premium. 

We’d advise that you check your excess and reassess it every year upon renewal.

4. Include a named driver

Adding another driver to your insurance policy is a great way to reduce your premium. Having an extra driver often makes the premium cheaper as it’s assumed you’ll spend less time behind the wheel since the car is shared. Just ensure that the extra driver has a clean driving record before adding them to your policy.

This is a great option for young drivers. By adding a parent or more experienced motorist, your premium should reduce as it indicates to insurers that you won’t be doing all of the driving.

5. Build up a no claims discount

By driving carefully you can easily build up your no claims discount (NCD). This is a discount that accumulates year after year and can be maintained by having a claims-free record. 

A NCD will increase annually, provided you don’t make any claims. The higher your NCD is, the greater the discount you’ll receive.

If you switch car insurance companies your NCD can be transferred over by providing the new insurer with your no claims PIN. If you don’t have this PIN, you’ll need to supply a copy of your NCD document issued by your insurer.

6. Only get cover for what you need

It’s important to insure your car for the right amount. Try to avoid over or under insuring your car. When receiving a quote, the market value of your is taken into account. Make sure you’re realistic about how much it’s worth.

If you’re unsure about how much your car is worth, check online to see what the same make and model is going for. Remember to consider the car’s age, condition and mileage too. 

It’s also a good idea to evaluate optional extras that you may not need. Optional extras like breakdown assistance, windscreen cover and no claims bonus protection all add up. If these are not important to you, cut them out to reduce your premium costs.

Take a look at our guide on car insurance additional extras to learn more about add-ons available.

7. Consider third-party cover

Third-party cover, or third-party fire and theft, tends to be cheaper than comprehensive cover. This is the minimum level of insurance required by Irish law to drive a vehicle.

If you’re a young driver or have an old car that already has some bumps and scratches, this could be a good option if you’re looking to lower your insurance costs.

Keep in mind that this type of insurance won’t cover any damage to your car and will only cover damage/injury to others as a result of an accident that’s your fault.

8. Review where you park your car

If you’re able to park your car in a secure driveway or garage, the chances are your premium will be reduced as parking on a street is deemed more risky. 

If you can park your car somewhere safe and secure, make your insurer aware.

9. Compare car insurance quotes

You have a few options when it comes to getting quotes from insurance companies. You can contact an insurance broker, ring a few insurance companies up individually or apply for a quote on each insurer’s website, or review your options online using our car insurance service.

In just 6 simple steps you could find the best value car insurance right here on bonkers.ie. We get quotes directly from insurers and can offer you an exclusive discount. Our service is fully digital and any documents can be digitally signed.

Take a look at this guide to learn about how to use our car insurance service.

10. Contact your existing car insurance company

If you decide to contact other insurance companies, make a note of the prices you’ve been quoted.

Once you’ve armed yourself with a few quotes, call your existing insurer. Tell them you're surprised that the premium is as high as it is (even if you're not). Ask how much it was last year, and if it’s gone up, ask why. This will tell them that you are serious about paying them as little as possible.

You can also tell your insurer the price of your best quote. Your premium is much more flexible than you may think and to keep you as a customer, your insurer will probably reduce your premium. If they do, great, but keep pushing. Ask if this is their best and final rate - you still might squeeze another few euro out of them. This should give you your best renewal rate from your existing insurer.

11. Select your car insurance policy

When you decide on the policy you want to purchase, you can either ring your chosen insurer up or apply online. 

By taking these key things into account and by comparing various policies on offer, you should certainly save money.

If you’re having difficulty getting car insurance

If you have been denied car insurance from at least three insurance companies, you can appeal to Insurance Ireland’s Declined Cases Committee.

The committee will review your case and will generally be able to get motor insurance for you unless it would be contrary to the public interest. It is worth noting that extremely high quotes can be considered refusals too. More information on the Declined Cases Agreement is available from Insurance Ireland.

More car insurance tips

Taking out any type of insurance policy can undoubtedly be confusing, but we’re here to help! 

At bonkers.ie we want to ensure that you’re fully informed when it comes to taking out car insurance, so we’ve compiled a list of articles that will help guide you: 

You can stay up to date with all the latest car insurance news and saving tips with our helpful blogs and guides.

Don't forget that you can compare a range of insurance types on bonkers.ie, such as life insurance, serious illness cover and mortgage protection insurance.

Need help?

If you have any questions about car insurance or any of the points discussed in this blog, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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