Higher car insurance excesses may raise premiumsUpping your excess no guarantee of cheap deal

18 December 2010

Damaged car

Top ten tips to get cheap car insurance

New research from Which? Money has found that upping the excess on your insurance policy won't always guarantee you a cheaper premium, and in some instances could even make it more expensive.

We compared car insurance quotes from a range of leading providers and found that increasing the total excess on insurance from Aviva from £350 to £550 actually increased the price of the policy by 8%. 

In our scenario, we were quoted a price of £424 with a total excess of £350. However, after we'd increased the excess to £550, the quote jumped to £458 - a price rise of £34. This means that consumers could be paying insurers more to be covered in the event of a claim.

Poor insurance excess discounts

Increasing the excess with other insurers also had little or no effect on our quotes. When we raised the excess with the AA, there was no change on the quote, while the cost of insurance from Budget, Post Office and RAC only decreased by 1% even though the total excess was raised by £250, saving consumers just £6.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith commented: 'Common sense would suggest that if you increase your excess, you'd pay less for your policy, but we were surprised to find that some policies actually ended up costing more. We regularly find that some of the big name insurers are found wanting when it comes to offering people good customer service but now it seems they're also falling short on value for money.'

Which? advises consumers looking for cheap car insurance to be wary. Don't assume that by increasing your voluntary excess you will secure a greatly discounted premium - try varying excess levels to see how much your quote changes.

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what's going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.