A surge in the rate of insurance premium tax (IPT) may be driving up the cost of car insurance, but there are ways motorists can save hundreds of pounds.
The government will increase IPT to 10% in October, in a bid to raise an extra £700m to boost flood defences. The tax, which is currently at a rate of 9.5%, was increased from 6% in November 2015.
According to the AA, the two rate rises will add more than £20 to the average comprehensive premium but we reveal the car insurance quirks that can help you beat the increase.
Find out more: Finding cheap car insurance – more tips from our experts
1. Carefully consider your job title
While you must not lie about what you do, some jobs can be referred to in different ways. For example, we found simply putting engineer rather than design engineer or civil engineer could reduce premiums by £20 on average.
2. Don’t say you’re unemployed if you’re actually retired or a homemaker
If you don’t have a job, what you put down on your application can have a big impact. If you’re retired or a homemaker, you should say so, rather than saying you’re unemployed. In fact, unemployed drivers paid £135 more on average than those in full time employment.
3. Avoid modifying your car
Aftermarket modifications – even adding tinted windows or changing your alloy wheels, could increase premiums. Adding a rear spoiler, for example, can raise the cost of cover by up to £91.
4. Tweak your excess
All car insurance policies have an excess, but setting a higher voluntary excess – as long as it’s one you can afford, can lower premiums. Setting your voluntary excess at £500 instead of £0 saves £117 on average.
5. Family and friends can lower premiums
If you’re not the only person driving your car, you should add named drivers, especially experienced drivers, to your policy. A 50-year-old motorist with a clean record could save you £58 on average.
6. Don’t overestimate your mileage
Motorists driving 10,000 miles a year pay £31 more on average than those driving 5,000. Be specific with your mileage and don’t overestimate how much you drive.
7. Check the price of comprehensive cover
You may expect comprehensive cover to be more expensive. However, on average it was £156 cheaper because third party, fire and theft is often bought by younger drivers who are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident.
All quotes were for a 57-year-old engineer living in Luton driving a Ford Focus Zetec, and are indicative of the savings possible by following each tip. Quotes were gathered in February 2016 from Aviva, Axa, LV, Nationwide, Direct Line and comparison site Compare the Market.