Buying car insurance can be tricky, especially with the amount of different companies in the market and the range of different policies available to you. We all want to find the best car insurance quotes and may spend hours searching for what we think is the best deal, but what many of us may not realise is there can be significant costs hidden within your policy. So what are they and how can we avoid them?
In recent years car insurance companies have started to penalise drivers who are convicted of driving offences such as speeding or using a mobile phone whilst driving.
This can mean that on top of a paying a fine for such offences, drivers could face a considerable increase to their insurance premium in the months following their conviction. Drivers can help reduce, or in some cases even stop, this price hike by completing a speed awareness course or similar course depending on the nature of the offence.
Aside from driving offences, checking your insurance quote thoroughly before you buy could mean you avoid costly and unnecessary charges. Quite often quotes will be shown as a total price per year. However, be aware of interest rates if you decide to pay in instalments. Car insurance can be a costly affair so many people chose to pay in instalments, but if you can afford to pay for the year’s cover in one fell swoop then you could potentially save over £100.
Policy adjustments are also an area where car insurance companies may charge you more than you’d expect. A simple change of name or address could cost you over £50 for each change made. Around Two thirds of car insurance companies will charge you for making any changes to your policy after you take it out.
Although this may seem steep, it is essential that you do tell your insurance company about any changes that affect your policy. It could prove to be much more expensive if your policy is incorrect as the insurance company could refuse to payout if you need to make a claim.
Finally, if you have to cancel your insurance policy mid way through the year, you may find that you get the remaining month’s payments back, but you could be charged a fee for cancelling your policy. On top of this you may also face increased premiums later on because you don’t receive any no claims discounts on future policies. By transferring your car insurance to another vehicle you could avoid these charges and also continue to build up a no claims bonus.
Other charges you may want to look out for are renewal or re-activation fees, which car insurance companies, justify as administration fees. These are uncommon but are definitely something to be aware of when you’re looking for car insurance quotes.