How do I find the best car insurance?
Car insurance can be expensive - but you don't have to sacrifice great cover just to get the cheapest price.
Which? is here to help. Not only do we rate 73 elements of a car insurance policy, we also ask thousands of real customers who’ve claimed how they rate their insurer in our analysis.
In addition to using our reviews, you can also save money with a few simple tricks:
Shop around for car insurance
Don’t just renew - your existing insurer may not be the cheapest option, especially if you haven’t switched for a while.
Start with price comparison sites but bear in mind not all insurers are on them - Direct Line and NFU Mutual are prominent exceptions. Also make sure the price comparison site is listing your details (such as profession) correctly.
If you’ve got a complicated claims history you could use a broker to find cover, through the British Insurance Brokers Association. Watch out for fraudulent ‘ghost brokers’, particularly on social media; these claim to offer cut price cover but leave you with little or no insurance.
Watch out for extra car insurance costs
Increasing your car insurance excess can reduce your premium - but is effectively a reduction in your cover. Check the excess you've chosen is an amount you'd be able to afford in a claim.
It's also worth checking which admin fees your policy comes with. These can apply if you change any details on your policy or cancel it.
Add-ons, such as personal accident cover and key cover, are highly profitable for insurers - but may be of less value to you.
- Find out more: See our guide on insurance add-ons and fees.
Car insurance for younger and over-50s drivers
Younger drivers could benefit from black box insurance, multi-car insurance and by adjusting their policy - find our tips here.
Whilst specialist over-50s policies exist for older drivers, they may still find that standard insurers are cheaper. Make the most of your no-claims discount, which can be eroded by rising premiums, and if switching, check your new insurer will recognise it.
You can find more tips on getting cheap car insurance in our guide.
Best and worst car insurance companies
Our customer surveys and policy analysis is used to rank car insurance providers. The top scoring providers become Which? Recommended Providers, if they can meet certain conditions:
- Be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Be available to the general public
- Have received responses from 30 or more customers in our survey
- Must achieve high scores in our Customer Satisfaction survey.
- Must also achieve an average or above Policy Score
The first list compares only those car insurance companies we were able to rate for both policies and customer experience. It's ordered by total score.
The second list compares all the car insurers whose policies we rated. It's ordered by policy score.
Table notes: Customer score data based on a survey carried out between October and November 2021 of 1,876 policyholders who have recently made a car insurance claim. Policy scores are based on the provider's standard policy. All policies are available to the general public. Customer score is calculated using a combination of overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending the provider.
Average customer score is 73%. Average policy score for standard policies is 65%. Average total score is 71%
'-' represents where we have insufficient sample size (less than 30) to generate a star rating. Insurers must have a minimum sample size of 30 for inclusion in the table.
Customer score sample size: NFU Mutual (61), LV (342), Direct Line (197), Saga (73), AA (70), Churchill (100), Esure (46), Hastings Direct (108), AXA (51), Tesco Bank (43), Quote Me Happy (43), Admiral (212), Aviva (121).
Where is Ageas car insurance?
Which car insurers are Recommended Providers?
Find out more details on who we've crowned as our Recommended Providers for car insurance in 2022. Which? members can login to see the results.
If you're not already a member, join Which? and get full access to these results and all our reviews.
How we find the best car insurers
The customer score is based on a survey of 1,876 policyholders who have recently made a car insurance claim. The score reflects how satisfied customers say they are with their provider and how likely they would be to recommend it.
Providers must receive a minimum sample size of 30 to be included.
Why only talk to customers who've claimed?
You'll only know how good an insurer's customer service really is when you have to make a claim.
That's when good insurers will show their ability to deal with problems, quickly process your claim and get you back on the road as soon as possible.
As it can be difficult to find the requisite number of customers who've claimed for some insurers, in some cases - we're only able to provide our expert policy scores.
The policy score is our assessment of the quality of standard cover comparing 73 elements of a car insurance policy. we weight certain features of cover or costs (fees and excesses) based on the impact we think they generally make.
Among the highest-weighted elements are the insurer's guarantee on repairs, cover for glass damage, conditions of its No Claims Discount, whether it'll provide a replacement vehicle, its fire, theft and accidental damage excesses, and interest rates charged for paying premiums in instalments.
We carry this analysis out every 12 months. The next update will be in January 2023.
Where customer and policy scores are available, insurance providers are ranked by their Total Score. This score is made up of 50% of the customer score, and 50% of the car insurance policy score.