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The Ultimate Car Insurance Guide

Car insurance - it’s something that every driver has to consider, but it can be an incredibly tedious process and finding a good deal can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

When that dreaded renewal letter hits your doormat, you know you’re not going to be met with a nice surprise, but rather a hike in price from your previous policy.

Whether you are a first-time driver looking to purchase your first insurance policy or you are looking to reduce the amount you pay for your car insurance, we want to provide you with as many resources as possible to make things easier.

Is car insurance required by law?

Absolutely. Car insurance isn’t like home insurance where you can legally get away without having a policy, it is required by law that you have valid car insurance in order to make the vehicle roadworthy.

If you are caught driving without insurance, you can be liable for a fixed penalty of £300 and 6 points on your license. Not only this, the police also have the power to seize your vehicle if you are found to be driving without a valid insurance policy. A record of this may also show up on a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check which employers often request, meaning it can also hinder your career in the future.

If you are in an accident and have no valid insurance policy to drive the vehicle, then you could also face a prison sentence.

When you don’t need car insurance

If you are driving or parking your car on a public road, you need to ensure your vehicle is insured. The only circumstances where you don’t need to ensure a vehicle is when it is declared as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice), meaning you are informing the DVLA that you will no longer be driving your car or parking it on a public road.

You also don’t need to insure a car if it has been scrapped, written off or stolen, however you do need to make the DVLA aware.

Types of Car Insurance

There are different types of car insurance, all with their own individual set of terms and conditions, but it’s important you understand the difference, so you purchase the correct policy:

Third-Party car insurance

Third Party is the legal minimum insurance you can purchase, so by standards it covers less than other options. In the unfortunate instance that you are involved in an accident, your insurance will pay for any damage occurred to other vehicles, property or any injury caused to another person.

Third-Party, Fire and Theft car insurance

A step up from Third Party is Third Party, Fire and Theft, which covers everything that Third Party covers, with the addition of any damage caused to your vehicle by means of fire or if the vehicle is involved in theft.

Fully comprehensive car insurance

This is the most popular cover as it protects not only other vehicles, but also covers damage to your own vehicle.

Comprehensive car insurance policies might be considered as the most expensive, but in the event of an accident, you will be covered for both your vehicle and the third-party vehicle, so it can often work out much cheaper in the long run.

Multi-car insurance

This is pretty straightforward. If you need to be insured across multiple cars that you drive, you can benefit from a multi-car insurance policy, rather than taking out separate policies for each car.

Electric car insurance

Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, especially now the government is behind the movement to get cars fully electric by 2030. As electric cars come with a whole host of accessories, including batteries and chargers, you can now purchase a specific electric vehicle policy that covers you for all of these bits and pieces. Some insurance companies will also throw in recovery, which will take you to the nearest UK charge point should you find yourself out of charge.

Where to find cheap car insurance

With plenty of car insurance comparison websites around, there’s now no reason to search individual providers separately for the very best deal, you can simply enter your details once and you’ll be presented with a wide range of policy options to suit your requirements.

Our recommended car insurance comparison sites:

GoCompare

When you compare car insurance through Go Compare, you can usually take advantage of the fantastic offer they have on at the time as well as the low policy price.

Compare with GoCompare

Compare the Market

Another popular price comparison site is Compare the Market. One of the benefits of purchasing through Compare the Market is that you get access to Meerkat Meals, their dedicated app that allows you to access discounts at participating restaurants, as well as 2 for 1 tickets at the cinema on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This perk alone could save you hundreds of pounds a year.

Compare with Compare the Market

What are car insurance groups

Car insurance groups categorise cars based on their specification, which in turn determines the cost you will pay for your premium. The cost determined by the insurance premium and the insurance group is usually based on the cost to repair the vehicle, so as you can imagine, high performance cars are likely to be groups 45-50.

There are around 50 insurance groups, with group 1 being the cheapest and group 50 being the most expensive. When looking for your next used car, you will want to know what insurance group the car fits into so you know what you can feasibly afford.

To determine the insurance group, the following factors are taken into account:

  • Cost of parts – The majority of the price of a claim will go to replacing parts for the car and any third-party car involved should you be at fault.
  • Repair time – Because insurance companies can end up paying for courtesy cars, the time it takes to find replacement parts and fix the damage comes into play.
  • Cost to replace the car – This might seem obvious but it’s one of the most important factors when it comes to the insurance group.
  • Safety features – The more safety features that the car has, the less likely the car is to be involved in an accident.
  • Performance of the car – High speed cars are more likely to end up in an accident so cars with faster acceleration are taken into account.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, Autoweb will receive a small comission at no extra cost to you

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