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Car insurance

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*51 per cent of consumers could achieve this saving with Independent Advisor Motor Insurance. Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during 1 February 2024 to 30 April 2024

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Compare quotes across 171 providers[1] to find the cheapest car insurance for your needs.

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Our guides equip you with everything you need to know about comparing car insurance, so that by the time you pick your provider, you’ll have full confidence that you’re making the right decision.

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11 tips for getting cheap car insurance

With premiums at all-time highs, it’s more important than ever to try and reduce the cost of your cover. Fortunately, we’ve compiled 11 tips for getting cheaper car insurance:

1 Don’t ‘auto-renew’

Don’t immediately accept the auto-renewal quote from your existing provider. Instead, you can use Independent Advisor to shop around for a quote from 171 insurers.

2 Compare quotes

By comparing car insurance quotes, you can make sure you are not missing out on the best deal available for someone with your driving profile.

3 Don’t buy at the last minute

Your current insurer will send you a renewal quote about a month before your policy is due to end, but the best day to buy car insurance is three weeks before your renewal is due.

4 Consider black box insurance

With a telematics car insurance policy, your insurer will fit a black box in your car that will monitor your driving habits. Drive well and you’ll get cheaper cover.

5 Add an older driver

Young drivers can reduce their car insurance premiums by adding an older driver (for example, a parent) as a named driver. However, lying about who the ‘main driver’ is to get cheaper premiums is known as fronting and is illegal.

6 Be selective with optional extras

Make sure you only purchase the optional extras you really need. Otherwise you may end up paying for policies you won’t use.

7 Pay up front

If you can afford it, it’s best to pay your premium up front each year. Your insurer may offer the option to pay monthly, but this will cost extra, as you’ll be paying interest on top.

8 Build your no-claims bonus

Every year you don’t make a car insurance claim, you will build up a no-claims bonus that can reduce the price of your premium. Over time, this discount could range anywhere from 30 to 60 per cent.

9 Pay for repairs if you can

If you cause minor damage (for instance, damage your bumper), pay for repairs yourself. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay an excess, and your no-claims bonus will be affected.

10 Install security features

Installing security modifications, such as immobilisers, trackers or dash cams, can reduce your premium, as they make your car safer and claims easier to prove.

11 Lower your insurance group

Cars with smaller engines in Group 1 or 2 will be cheaper to insure than vehicles in Group 10, for example. This is especially important for younger drivers looking to purchase their first car.

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Managing Director of Fairer Finance

What our expert says

“It’s also important to pay attention to the fees and excesses associated with the policies, as these are both creeping up. You never know when your circumstances are going to change, but many policies will charge you upwards of £50 for making a change or cancelling your policy.”

Managing Director of Fairer Finance

What type of car insurance do I need?

Third party
Third party, fire and theft
Fully comprehensive
Injuries to other people
Damage to other people’s cars
Damage to other people’s property
Your car being damaged/destroyed by fire
Repairing damage to your car
Your medical expenses
Damage due to flooding

How much does car insurance cost, and how much can I save when I compare?

Average cost per year £559.07
Cost for 17-19 year olds £1732.08
Cost for over-60s £410.01

How much does car insurance cost?

The average cost of an annual comprehensive car insurance policy is £559.07[3], based on policies purchased through MoneySuperMarket in March 2024.

However, the quote you actually receive will be highly personalised based on a range of factors, including your car, its value, your driving history, your address, and your age.

For example, in March 2024, inexperienced younger drivers between 17 and 19 years old paid £1,732.08, more than four times the £410.01 paid by drivers over the age of 60.[4]

How much can I save?

By comparing car insurance, you can save up to £549.50*. Therefore it’s important to shop around, not only to get the right cover for your needs, but to do so at the best price available. 

Exactly how much you can save will depend on your driving profile, and how much you are quoted by your existing provider in the first place.

Why has the price of car insurance gone up?

It’s an unavoidable fact that car insurance has become a lot more expensive in the last year. On average premiums rose 25 percent from 2022 to 2023[5], according to the ABI, while between January and March 2024 prices hit another record high.

Year Average annual premium (ABI) Year-on-year change
2019 £471 -1%
2020 £465 -1%
2021 £434 -7%
2022 £434 0%
2023 £543 +25%

But what’s behind this increase?

  • Inflation, and the related rise in energy costs, have pushed up how much a provider has to pay out when you make a car insurance claim
  • The cost of vehicle repairs rose 31 per cent in 2023, while payouts for vehicle theft jumped 23 per cent, and the cost of providing temporary replacement vehicles climbed 35 per cent[6]
  • Providers handed out a record £9.9 billion in motor insurance claims in 2023, up 18 per cent on 2022. The provider then passes some of these costs onto customers, often regardless of your personal driving history
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Senior Finance Writer

What our expert says

“Although the price of car insurance has become unmanageable for many households, steps are being taken to try and bring prices down. In February 2024, the ABI published its ‘Roadmap to Tackle Insurance Costs’ – its recommendations included greater transparency around insurance groups, cracking down on car insurance fraud, and lowering the IPT.”

Senior Finance Writer

Which provider offers the cheapest car insurance?

The car insurance provider that is cheapest for your needs might not be the cheapest for someone else’s. However, between January and March 2024, MoneySuperMarket found that One Click was the cheapest car insurance provider, with an average quote of £275.

This narrowly beat Swinton Essentials, which averaged £337. Dial Direct Premier then came in third place, with an average premium of £347.[8]

Provider Average quoted premium Compared to overall average
One Click £275 -64%
Swinton Essentials £337 -56%
Dial Direct Premier £347 -55%

What affects the cost of my car insurance quote?

Understanding how much each factor affects your premium can help you get cheaper car insurance. That’s why we’ve done a deep dive into some key factors that determine the cost of your cover.


To do so, we used our three customer personas: a 21-year-old driver, a 41-year-old driver, and a  61-year-old driver.[9]

Annual mileage

In the eyes of insurers, the more you’re on the road, the more likely you are to have an accident. That’s why the higher your annual mileage, the more you’ll pay for cover. 

For our 21-year-old driver, we found that for every extra 3,000 miles they drove, it added an average of £100.32 to their premium in May 2024, up from £84.65 in April. That fell to an extra £46.93 for our 41-year-old motorist, and to £44.54 for our 61-year-old.[10]

Mileage 21-year-old average premium 41-year-old average premium 61-year-old average premium
3,500 £1,430.38 £585.12 £416.82
6,500 £1,507.08 £632.67 £476.71
9,500 £1,604.87 £666.99 £523.16
12,500 £1,731.33 £725.92 £550.44

Voluntary excess

A higher voluntary excess (i.e. the amount you pay when making a claim) will reduce the cost of your premium.  But how much can you save? 

We found that, on average, our 41-year-old driver’s premium was £9.74 cheaper for every £50 they added as a voluntary excess. In comparison, our 21-year-old driver paid £11.33 less per £50 excess, while for our 61-year-old driver it was £8.97.[11]  However, always make sure you can realistically afford to pay the excess you select.

Voluntary excess 21-year-old average premium 41-year-old average premium 61-year-old average premium
£0 £1,605.59 £704.23 £486.79
£50 £1,579.42 £693 £478.60
£100 £1,540.99 £674.70 £462.93
£150 £1,528.14 £655.30 £443.09
£200 £1,518.72 £646.99 £429.93
£250 £1,507.08 £632.67 £416.82
£300 £1,504.19 £625.29 £409.18
£350 £1,501.37 £620.72 £410.87
£400 £1,492.49 £614.55 £400.94
£450 £1,493.66 £609.52 £398.37
£500 £1,492.26 £606.81 £397.10

Level of cover

On average, we found that fully comprehensive car insurance was 63.14 per cent cheaper than third party-only cover, and 21.45 per cent less expensive than third party, fire and theft.[12]

21-year-old average premium 41-year-old average premium 61-year-old average premium
Third party £4,995.37 £1,766.17 £1,062.75
TPFT £1,756.81 £856.14 £624.47
Comp £1,508.31 £634.4 £472.68

Annual vs monthly payments

While it can be a bigger upfront cost, paying for your car insurance annually rather than monthly can dramatically reduce your premium.

On average, you can save over 27 per cent if you pay annually instead of monthly.[13]

Our 41-year-old driver saw the biggest percentage saving, with annual cover 34.84 per cent cheaper than the monthly option. But in terms of the pound-saving, our 21-year-old motorist benefited the most by paying annually, saving £252.75. 

21-year-old average premium 41-year-old average premium 61-year-old average premium
Annual  £1,508.31 £634.4 £472.68
Monthly (total) £1,761.06 £855.44 £612.57
£ difference £252.75 £221.04 £139.89
% difference 16.76% 34.84% 29.60%

No-claims bonus

While it’s true that the longer you build your no-claims bonus, the cheaper your car insurance will be, the rate of discount isn’t consistent.

For instance, our 41-year-old driver’s premium fell from £990.67 to £683.30 after building a three-year no-claims bonus – a saving of £307.38.[14]

However, we then found that, for every additional three years you fail to make a claim, you could save on average £21.83.

No-claims bonus Average annual premium
0 years £990.67
3 years £683.29
6 years £631.85
9 years £609.46
12 years £596.80
15 years £580.21
18 years £574.12

Car make and model

All cars fall into an insurance group from one to 50 – the more powerful and luxurious your car, the higher the group it will be in and the more you’ll pay. 

So when buying a new car, it’s worth bearing in mind how it’ll affect the cost of your cover. For example, there’s a £90 difference between insuring a MINI Cooper and a BMW 1 Series 116 – both models that feature in the top 10 most popular cars in the UK in 2024.[15]

Rank Car make and model Average annual premium
1 Ford Puma (2020, 1.5L, ST) £641.97
2 Nissan Qashqai (2016, 1.6L, N-Connecta DIG-T) £627.49
3 Kia Sportage (2016, 1.6L, 2) £655.80
4 Audi A3 (2016, 1.4L, S LINE TFSI 150 5 Door) £738.93
5 Nissan Juke (2016, 1.6L, N-CONNECTA DIG-T 190 2WD) £641.45
6 Volkswagen Golf (2016, 1.4L, SE TSI BLUEMOTION TECHNOLOGY 122 5 Door) £619.90
7 BMW 1 Series (2015, 116 1.6L, I Sport 5 Door) £771.75
8 MG HS (2019, 1.5L, EXCITE) £638.44
9 Volkswagen T-Roc (2017, 1.5L, SE TSI EVO) £601.70
10 MINI Cooper (2016, 1.6L, S 184) £581.41

Named drivers

Adding a named driver can dramatically change how much you pay for car insurance, depending on their age and experience.

For example, we found that, on average, your quote is 47.3 per cent more expensive if you add a younger driver to your policy as a named driver.[16] In comparison, adding a named driver that was the same age as the main driver caused quotes to become on average 9 per cent cheaper.

When it comes to adding an older driver, meanwhile, it depends on the age of both motorists. Our 21-year-old driver saved just under 2.5 per cent by adding their more experienced 41-year-old father. However, our 41-year-old driver saw their average quote jump 2.5 per cent when adding their 61-year-old mother, while our 61-year-old suffered a 16.4 per cent increase when adding their 81-year-old parent.

21-year-old average premium 41-year-old average premium 61-year-old average premium
No named drivers £1,492.29 £627.49 £433.78
Younger named driver £1,931.87 £1,488.92 £1,123.34
Same age named driver £1,431.83 £604.38 £364.50
Older named driver £1,456.24 £643.68 £519.11

Policy start date

While there’s not much difference between buying your car insurance three or four weeks before the policy start date, getting it any later can mean paying more unnecessarily.

On average, buying your policy seven days before its start date is 7.9 per cent more expensive than purchasing it four weeks before it begins. And if you buy it the day before your policy runs out, it’s even worse – you’re looking at a 28.1 per cent increase to your premium.[17]

Days before start date 21-year-old average premium 41-year-old average premium 61-year-old average premium
28 days £1,377,75 £582.59 £403.21
21 days £1,375.99 £583.74 £405.66
14 days £1,394.48 £606.07 £409.13
7 days £1,492.28 £627.49 £433.78
1 day £1,829.75 £802.99 £458.27


Even if you’re a new driver, your age plays a huge part in determining your car insurance premium.

For example, we found that a 17-year-old driver with no experience behind the wheel was quoted on average £5,173.61 for their cover.[18] 

Yet the same driver, still with no experience, saw their average quoted premium drop to £948.63 at age 62.  

However, premiums don’t keep falling the older you get. We found that for a 67-year-old new driver the average quote rose to £1,000.95, while by 82 years old a new driver was quoted on average £2,056.72.

Age (with no experience) Average annual premium
17 £5,173.61
22 £2,769.91
27 £1,595.48
32 £1,452.96
37 £1,354.45
42 £1,127.53
47 £1,204.48
52 £1,002.49
57 £997.14
62 £948.63
67 £1,000.95
72 £1,105.71
77 £1,507.89
82 £2,056.72


Under-25s have seen their premiums jump by almost 67 per cent[19] for the 12 months to February 2024, according to Consumer Intelligence, compared to a rise of 49 per cent for the over-50s.


By taking some typical jobs in the biggest industries in the UK, we found out how dramatically your profession can affect the cost of your car insurance. 

For example, despite both working in health care, the average quote for a 41-year-old private care assistant was £92.03 more expensive than the same driver working as a paramedic.[20]

Based on our results, you’re likely to pay more for your cover if your job involves shift work, late nights, and more time on the road.

Profession Average annual premium
Paramedic £598.95
Engineer £610.08
Administrator £626.75
Web developer £630.59
Civil servant £632.67
Shop assistant £643.54
Teacher £644.63
Construction worker £663.27
Nurse (NHS) £673.66
Care assistant (private) £690.98
Waiter £693.52


Where you live will also affect your car insurance premium – for example, the higher the average claim in your area, the more you’ll pay for cover, regardless of your driving history. 

According to the latest ABI data, drivers in Northern Ireland make the most expensive claims, at an average of £5,700. By comparison, the average in England and Wales is £4,900, and in Scotland it’s £4,200.[21]

Claims history

It’s an unfortunate fact of driving that, chances are, you’ll need to make a car insurance claim at some point in your life. But how much does it affect the cost of your cover?

Well, it depends whether you were at fault. On average, we found that quotes disclosing a claim resulting from an at-fault accident cost 10.53 per cent more than if the same driver had made a claim for a non-fault accident.[22]

21-year old non-fault accident 21-year old at-fault accident 41-year-old non-fault accident 41-year-old at-fault accident 61-year-old non-fault accident 61-year-old at-fault accident
1 year ago, 1 year no-claims bonus £1,508.44 £1,669.86 £849.66 £1,018.66 £738.33 £893.16
2 years ago, 2 year no-claims bonus £1,242.93 £1,364.70 £795.62 £919.31 £683.98 £829.32
3 years ago, 3 year no-claims bonus £1,174.75 £1,178.76 £698.45 £756.14 £595.82 £635.23
4 years ago, 4 year no-claims bonus £1,054.18 £1,074.57 £670.56 £715.99 £574.30 £598.95

Multi-car discounts

Most car insurers offer discounts if you insure more than one vehicle with them. Don’t assume these policies will be cheaper though – compare car insurance quotes for multi-car policies with single car policies.

Overnight parking

Broadly speaking, the more secure your car is at night, the less you’ll pay for car insurance – with an interesting wrinkle.

Parking on your private driveway is on average 5.12 per cent cheaper than parking on a street away from your home. However, parking in a locked garage is actually 4.09 per cent more expensive than on your driveway.[23]

Although this may seem counterintuitive, you’re more likely to damage your car driving into a tight garage than onto a driveway.

21-year-old average premium 41-year-old average premium 61-year-old average premium
Driveway £1,108.11 £634.32 £428.43
Locked garage £1,224.83 £660.29 £472.65
On street near home £1,112.39 £640.13 £488.57
On street away from home £1,127.82 £668.55 £530.56

Non-UK licence

If you’re a non-UK resident looking for annual car insurance, you’re going to pay a lot more for your cover. However, there’s a big difference between EU drivers and the rest of the world.

The average quote for someone who has lived in the UK for six months and is driving on a EU licence was 38.78 per cent higher than for a UK resident with a UK licence.[24]

By contrast, someone driving on a European licence not issued in the EU paid more than double UK residents, while international drivers (such as those from the US) weren’t far off that as well.

21-year-old average premium 41-year-old average premium 61-year-old average premium
UK £1,507.33 £634.32 £428.43
EU £1,901.15 £964.53 £591.84
International £2,388.45 £1,363.44 £970.58
Europe (non-EU) £2,388.45 £1,370.30 £978.04

Electric cars

Your choice of car plays a big part in determining your car insurance premium. And this is especially true if you go electric[25]:

21-year-old average premium 41-year-old average premium 61-year-old average premium
Petrol £1,507.08 £632.67 £416.82
Electric £2,518.92 £752.15 £544.88
Difference £1,011.84 £120.17 £128.06

Even if both cars are valued the same, electric cars are typically in higher insurance groups and cost more to repair, making cover more expensive.

The information in this video is also available as a text transcript.

What optional extras can I add on to my car insurance policy?

If you feel like you need a bit of extra cover outside of what is offered by your policy, you can look into an insurer’s optional extras.

Breakdown cover

Provides you with roadside assistance if your car breaks down. Levels of cover will vary between insurers and can include anything from vehicle recovery to onward travel cover.

Car keys cover

This covers the costs of replacing and reprogramming lost or stolen car keys.

Courtesy car

Courtesy car insurance will see your insurer provide you with a car to drive if your car is being repaired following an accident.

Driving abroad

Provides cover for driving your car in countries outside of the UK.

Electric car insurance

Some insurers sell specialist electric car insurance. These policies cover things like damage to the car’s battery and cover for portable charging cables.

Legal expenses

Offers financial protection against legal fees if you’re involved in an accident that’s not your fault. This may include personal injury, excess recovery and loss of earnings.

Misfuelling cover

This covers the cost of draining and cleaning your tank, or the cost of repairs, if you put the wrong fuel in your car.

No-claims discount protection

An optional cover which protects your no-claims discount (NCD) from one (or more) ‘at fault’ claim each year.

Personal belongings

Provides cover for lost, stolen or damaged personal belongings left in the car.

Windscreen cover

Covers damages to your car’s windscreen, including repairing chips and cracks as well as full replacements.

Managing Director of Fairer Finance

What our expert says

“If things like key cover and windscreen cover are not included in your policy, they could be worth adding on, depending on what kind of car you’ve got. The cost of replacing some car keys can be well over £500. If you know you can’t survive without a car, then you may want to get a policy that offers a courtesy car no matter what has happened to your car. Personally, I don’t think motor legal expenses insurance offers a lot of value – so that’s probably one you can skip.”

Managing Director of Fairer Finance

What other types of car insurance can I get?

Learner driver insurance

If you’re learning to drive, you can take out specialist learner driver cover to allow you to practise in someone else’s vehicle

Telematics insurance

By having an electronic device installed in your car through a black box or telematics insurance policy, you can save yourself money in the long run by proving you’re a safe, trustworthy driver

Temporary car insurance

If you need to drive someone’s car for a short amount of time, you can take out temporary car insurance rather than unnecessarily apply for a full, 12-month policy

Business car insurance

If you use your car for business purposes, such as driving around to various places to work or meet clients, you will need to get business car insurance to be properly covered. This comes in three categories: Class 1, 2 and 3

Low-mileage car insurance

If you drive under the average UK annual mileage, say if you’re retired or have started working from home, you could get cheaper car insurance by taking out a low-mileage policy

Pay-as-you-go car insurance

If you’re an infrequent driver, you could take out pay-as-you-go car insurance, where you pay for every mile you drive. This could be good if you have a second car you don’t use very often

Named driver insurance

As the main driver, you could make your car insurance cheaper by adding a more experienced named driver to your policy. Alternatively, becoming a named driver may save you money if you don’t drive very often, and only semi-frequently need to use a loved one’s car

Over-50s car insurance

It is possible to take out specific over-50s car insurance that includes a number of additional benefits, including multi-year fixed prices, enhanced European cover, and emergency any-driver cover

SORN car insurance

Even though you aren’t required to have insurance if you’ve issued a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN), you may still want cover to protect your vehicle from damage or theft while parked

Our car insurance reviews

To help you make a decision when comparing car insurance quotes, we’ve reviewed some of the UK’s biggest providers. In the table below you’ll find a link to each review, as well as our Independent Advisor score for every car insurance provider we’ve reviewed.

This takes into consideration the provider’s Trustpilot score, Defaqto and Fairer Finance ratings for its standard or mid-tier comprehensive policies (or main policy option where applicable).[26]

All information correct as of 17 May 2024

Insurance provider
Independent Advisor score
Trustpilot score
Defaqto score
Fairer Finance score
Independent Advisor score:
Trustpilot score:
4.4 stars
Defaqto score:
Fairer Finance score:
Independent Advisor score:
Trustpilot score:
4.3 stars
Defaqto score:
Fairer Finance score:
Independent Advisor score:
Trustpilot score:
4.5 stars
Defaqto score:
Fairer Finance score:
Independent Advisor score:
Trustpilot score:
4 stars
Defaqto score:
Fairer Finance score:
Independent Advisor score:
Trustpilot score:
4.5 stars
Defaqto score:
Fairer Finance score:
Load more Hide

Top 10 car insurance companies in the UK

Admiral Group – which includes not only its namesake Admiral brand, but also Bell, Diamond and Elephant – is the biggest car insurance provider in the UK, based on the value of its motor premiums in 2023.[27] This gives Admiral Group an estimated market share of 13 per cent, compared to U K Insurance (which owns Direct Line and Churchill) at 11 per cent and Aviva at 10 per cent.

While all of the top 10 biggest car insurance companies have a claims acceptance rate of 95 to 100 per cent,[28] the percentage of claims complaints and average claims payouts do differ.

The percentage of general (not just motor) insurance complaints upheld against the top 10 car insurance companies also varies. For example, U K Insurance had 71.59 per cent of complaints to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) upheld against it between July and December 2023, compared to just 43.87 per cent for Ageas.[29]

Yet, when looking at complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the roles are reversed: Ageas had 42 per cent of closed case complaints upheld, compared to 27 per cent for U K Insurance.[30]

Rank Motor insurance company Underwritten by Total value of premiums 2023 (£bln) Estimated UK market share in 2023 Claims complaints as % of claims (2022) Average claims payout (2022) FCA H2 2023 complaints upheld (%) FOS H2 2023 complaints upheld (%)
1 Admiral Group (including Admiral, Bell, Diamond, Elephant) EUI Limited £2,568 13% 5-10% £3,000-£3,500 64.65% 27%
2 U K Insurance (including Direct Line, Churchill, Darwin, Privilege) U K Insurance Limited £2,048 11% 5-10% £3,000-£3,500 71.59% 27%
3 Aviva (Aviva, Quotemehappy, One Call) Aviva Insurance Limited £1,951 10% 5-10% £3,000-£3,500 62.14% 30%
4 Hastings Advantage Insurance Company Limited £1,484 8% 5-10% £2,500-£3,000 54.98% 40%
5 AXA AXA Insurance UK Plc £1,233 6% 5-10% £2,500-£3,000 58.38% 36%
6 LV= Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited £793 4% 0-5% £1,500-£2,000 52.58% 29%
7 esure (Sheila’s Wheels, esure) esure Insurance Limited £769 4% 5-10% £3,000-£3,500 70.85% 33%
8 Ageas Ageas Insurance Limited £762 4% 0-5% £3,500-£4,000 43.87% 42%
9 NFU Mutual The National Farmers’ Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited £707 4% 0-5% £3,000-£3,500 63.30% 26%
10 Allianz Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited £594 3% 0-5% £1,500-£2,000 52.58% 29%

Can I insure my specialist vehicle?

If you have a unique vehicle with different insurance requirements to a standard car, you could consider a specialist policy, such as:

American car insurance

If you’ve imported a car from the US with left-hand drive, you may need to look into American car insurance. This could take the form of a classic car policy, low-mileage cover, or even business car insurance if you hire it out for special events

Classic car insurance

Although the age of a classic car can vary from insurer to insurer, there are benefits to taking out a specialist classic car insurance policy for your vintage vehicle

Disability car insurance

If you’re a disabled driver with a modified vehicle, you could look into specialised disability car insurance. This can include cover for modifications, as well as any specialist equipment you regularly transport, such as a wheelchair

Electric car insurance

With electric car insurance, your policy could potentially include cover for your battery, injuries caused by your charging cable, and even out of charge recovery if your car’s out of juice

Additional information

We have put together a list of popular questions that you may have, to help you along in your car insurance purchasing journey

Related articles
How many people compare car insurance?

The number of people looking to switch policies has increased over the last few months, as drivers seek cheaper car insurance. According to the latest ABI data, 47.4 per cent of all policies in the UK between January and March 2024 were ‘new’, ie not a renewal of an existing policy.[31] That compares to just 39 per cent 12 months prior.

Period Renewed premiums New premiums
Jan-Mar 2022 61% 49%
Apr-Jun 2022 62% 38%
Jul-Sep 2022 61% 39%
Oct-Dec 2022 60% 40%
Jan-Mar 2023 61% 39%
Apr-Jun 2023 59% 41.2%
Jul-Sep 2023 59% 41.4%
Oct-Dec 2023 55% 45.2%
Jan-Mar 2024 53% 47.4%
Is cheap car insurance reliable?

If you’re a new or younger driver, you are unfortunately going to face much higher premiums than older drivers with more experience. This is because, statistically, drivers aged 17 to 24 have a higher risk of making a claim, and that claim being more expensive.

For example, the ABI points out that while only 7 per cent of UK licence holders fall into that age bracket, 17 to 24 year olds are involved in 24 per cent of all fatal collisions.

Does a cheaper car mean cheaper insurance?

Car value is one of the things providers assess when pricing up your car insurance quote, and is tied to which car insurance group a vehicle falls into. Broadly speaking, the cheaper or more common your car is, the less it will cost to repair or replace, and therefore the lower your premium will be.

However, a cheap car isn’t a guarantee of cheap car insurance, as there are a number of other factors insurers take into consideration, such as age and location, before giving you a quote.

How do I calculate the value of my car?

The easiest way to calculate the value of your car is to use one of the many calculators available online. Examples include Auto Trader, What Car? and Webuyanycar. These calculators will typically ask for your registration number, and your current mileage, as well as some specific details to get a more accurate figure.

Is it better to pay for car insurance upfront or month-by-month?

Whether you choose to pay for your car insurance on a monthly or annual basis will depend on your financial circumstances. If you can, it is cheaper to pay your premium upfront. This is because, if you pay monthly, you’ll end up paying interest on top.

However, there are potential benefits to paying monthly. It can be more manageable to pay month-by-month, even if it is not cheaper. And by regularly making these payments, you may be able to improve your credit score.

How long is my car insurance quote valid for?

How long your car insurance quote is valid for will depend on the provider in question. In theory, you could get one quote on a Monday, and a different quote on a Tuesday. A lot of providers will save your quote for up to 30 days; but even then, the price could go up or down depending on external factors.

Do I need a credit check to buy car insurance?

When you get a car insurance quote, providers will carry out what is called a ‘soft’ credit check. This means that the provider can see some details of your credit history, but without the check appearing on your credit report. If you pay for your car insurance upfront, providers will only conduct a soft credit check.

If you choose to pay on a month-by-month basis, however, insurers will carry out a ‘hard’ credit check. This is a more in-depth assessment that’ll take into account your full credit history. Importantly, this check will appear on your credit history, and may affect your credit score.

Insurance providers run a hard check when you choose to pay monthly, as you are essentially entering into a credit agreement where you are paying back the yearly cost of your insurance, plus interest.

How do I estimate my annual mileage?

The easiest way to estimate your annual mileage is to look at the figure recorded on your most recent MOT, and take away the mileage recorded on the MOT before that. Of course, your personal circumstances may have changed in that time. For example, you may have moved, or got a new job. So always make sure to factor in such changes into your estimates.

If you’re new to driving, or don’t have two MOTs to hand, you can estimate your annual mileage manually. A good way to do this is to calculate how far you drive in an average week, multiply that by 52, and add a little extra to cover those times you drive outside your standard routes. Make sure to consider your commute, your shopping habits, any regular commitments, and people you frequently visit.

Is my car insured?

All car insurance is registered on the Motor Insurance Database (MID). You can check if your car is insured by visiting You’ll need to confirm the car is registered, owned, or insured by yourself or your employer, or if you are a broker working for a client. You need car insurance, unless you officially register your car as off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

What is a no-claims bonus?

For every year you don’t make a claim on your car insurance, you can receive a discount on your next premium. The more years without a claim you build up, the bigger the reduction. This is known as your no-claims bonus, or no-claims discount.

Different providers will have different limits for how many years you can build up, and how much your policy can be discounted by.

What admin fees should I expect?

Often car insurance providers will charge you for making changes to your policy. Sometimes these fees can be as much as £25 a change. Certain providers may allow you to make changes for free online, but charge if you make the change over the phone.

Will I be charged if I cancel my car insurance policy?

If, and how much, you are charged when you cancel your car insurance will depend on the timing.

If you cancel your policy within the 14-day cooling-off period, you either won’t be charged a fee, or you’ll pay less than if you cancel after those two weeks are up.

However, once the cooling-off period ends, you could pay anywhere between £30 and £60 to cancel your policy.

How do I find the best car insurance UK providers?

By comparing quotes, you can find the best car insurance for your needs. There’s a lot of choice, and the best insurer for one driver won’t necessarily be the cheapest option for someone else.

Has car insurance gone up in the last 12 months?

According to the latest data from Consumer Intelligence the average private comprehensive car insurance quote has gone up 56.4 per cent year-on-year, for the 12 months to February 2024.

Figures from the ABI, meanwhile, paint a slightly different picture, with the average price of motor insurance up 33 per cent to £635 year-on-year, based on its figures from January to March 2024.

Do I have to declare a car accident if I’m not claiming on my insurance policy?

If you have an accident, you must inform your car insurance provider, even if you don’t intend to make a claim. If you fail to let your provider know about an incident, you could find your insurance declared void.

Do I need insurance if my car is off the road?

If you have simply stopped driving your car, you still legally need to have car insurance.

However, if you have stopped driving your car, and declared it off the road via a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN), you don’t need to have car insurance in place. The moment you start driving it again, you’ll need to take out a new policy.

Choosing car insurance can be overwhelming. From which level of cover to pick, to figuring out what is included as standard, there can be a lot of information to wade through.

That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve combed through the policy documents of some of the biggest providers, as well as all the latest data, in order to gauge just exactly what is on offer and how you can get cheaper car insurance.

We consider the most important factors that determine the quality of a car insurance policy to be:

  • Level of cover
  • Range of policies on offer
  • Additional extras
  • How you make a claim
  • Customer service availability
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Industry recognition

Find out more about how we review car insurance.

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade.
Now writing for the Independent Advisor, Connor is our personal finance expert, helping readers navigate everything from insurance and bank accounts, to energy and loans.

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs.

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, Reuters and the Evening Standard.

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.

Emma Lunn

Finance Writer

Emma Lunn is a multi-award winning journalist who specialises in personal finance and consumer issues.

With more than 18 years’ experience in personal finance, Emma has covered topics including mortgages, first-time buyers, leasehold, banking, debt, budgeting, broadband, energy, pensions and investments.

Emma’s one of the most prolific freelance personal finance journalists with a back catalogue of work in newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday, and the Mirror.

As a freelancer she has also completed various in-house contracts at The Guardian, The Independent, Mortgage Solutions, Orange, and Moneywise. She also writes regularly for specialist magazines and websites such as Property Hub, Mortgage Strategy and

She has a real passion for helping people learn about money – especially when many people are struggling to get by in today’s challenging economic climate – and prides herself on simplifying complex subjects.