Car keys being put into car door

How to get the best car insurance deal

A few clever tips can help you cut costs.

A recent report showed that the cost of running a car in Ireland is over €10,000 per year.

It’s against the law to drive in Ireland without motor insurance, and this is one of the major elements making up the cost of running your car - so how can you keep costs as low as possible?

Decide on what you want your car insurance to cover

There are two main types of car insurance:

  • Third-party, fire and theft insurance will cover you for claims made against you by third parties, as well as damage to you car from fire, or the theft of your vehicle.
  • Comprehensive insurance covers you for third-party, fire and theft, as well as for damage to your own car. This insurance often also comes with a number of different benefits - like accidental damage to your car and/or emergency assistance - which vary depending on your policy or insurer.

If your car is older, and not worth too much, third-party, fire and theft is probably enough cover for you - and will cover you legally. However, remember that if you opt for this, you will have to pay for any damage to your own car, rather than claiming for it through your insurance.

If your car is relatively new, and you want to ensure any damage can be claimed for through your insurance, comprehensive is the option you should go for. You can also add on optional extras that are important to you - but these may inflate your premium.

Once you’ve decided on what insurance you want, the following tips can help you cut the cost of your premium:

1. If you can, pay your car insurance in one lump sum

As with you motor tax, it is more expensive to pay your insurance in instalments, as there’s extra admin involved. So, if you have the cash, paying in one lump sum will save you money.

2. Opt to pay a higher excess

The excess is the initial amount you pay towards any claim. Opting to increase this can reduce your premium amount - but remember you’ll need to have the excess amount available should any claim arise.

3. Add another driver to your policy

Adding a more-experienced driver to your policy can have a big impact on the cost of your insurance - so think about adding on your partner, sibling or a parent if you can.

4. Bundle with another insurance

It’s sometimes possible to save on your car insurance if you bundle it with another product - like home or contents insurance, for example.

5. Cut down on your mileage

Unsurprisingly, your car insurance is impacted by how much you drive. Make sure you give an accurate reflection of how much your mileage is - overestimating could push up your premium.

6. Shop around for the best car insurance deal

You’ll receive a renewal notice from your current provider before your existing policy ends. Once you receive this, start shopping around straightaway so you can make sure you have enough time to compare deals.

Your renewal will give you a starting point from which to compare other quotes - you can do so by submitting a claim request on insurers’ websites, or ringing around various insurers. All in all, it may take you an hour or two, but you could save hundreds.

If you do get a better quote from someone else, try going back to your own insurer and haggling with them - this can often work to get you a much lower quote, and they’ll have the record of your no claims bonuses etc., so it will save any extra admin around that, too.

7. Use a broker to find the best car insurance quote

If you don’t have the time, contact a regulated broker, and they’ll be able to do the hard work for you.

Be sure to ask the broker if they are authorised to compare the whole market before you engage with them, as if they are tied to specific insurers, you may not get the best deal possible.

Remember to ask the broker about any fees, too - as you’ll need to factor that into the cost.