Car insurance

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Compare quotes across 170 providers[1] to find the cheapest car insurance for your needs.

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With Independent Advisor, you can get a car insurance quote from a source you can trust.

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By comparing premiums, you can potentially find cheaper car insurance than the renewal quote given to you by your existing provider.

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Tailored quotes in minutes

It only takes a few minutes to get a tailored car insurance quote once you start putting in your details.

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Compare quotes with confidence

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.

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 169 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. The closer you get to your renewal date, the more your premium will cost.

4 Consider black box insurance

With a telematics car insurance policy, your insurer will fit a black box or telematics device in your car that will monitor your driving habits and feed this information back to your insurer. 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. But it’s important to be honest about who the ‘main driver’ is – lying 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 over-insuring yourself, and 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, in effect, you are borrowing money for the whole premium and paying it back with interest.

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, dent a wing or damage your bumper), pay for repairs yourself. There’s little point making a claim where the value is less than the excess on your policy and you can keep your no-claims bonus intact.

10 Install security features

Insurers don’t like modifications, such as go-faster stripes and tinted windows – these changes to your car will mean higher premiums – but installing security devices, such as an immobiliser, tracker or dashcam, can reduce your premium.

11 Lower your insurance group

When looking to buy a car, new or used, you should pay attention to its car 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
Theft
Your car being damaged/destroyed by fire
Vandalism
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 £651
Cost for 17-19 year olds £1268.54
Cost for 50-64 year olds £483.40

How much does car insurance cost?

The average cost of an annual comprehensive car insurance policy is £651[3], based on policies purchased through MoneySuperMarket between October and December 2023.

However, the cost of car insurance can vary dramatically, depending on your age. For example, in January 2024, inexperienced younger drivers between 17 and 19 years old paid £1,724.37, more than four times the £396.40 paid by drivers over the age of 60[4].

How much can I save?

There are about 200 car insurance companies in the UK, each offering a range of policies. 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.

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 October and December 2023 prices hit record highs.

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 theft payouts jumped 35 per cent in Q3 2023, longer repair times caused the cost of providing replacement vehicles to surge 47 per cent, and repair costs leaped by 32 per cent, according to the ABI[6]
  • Providers handed out a record £2.54 billion in motor claims between July and September 2023. The provider then passes some of these costs onto customers, often regardless of your personal driving history
Did you know?
While premiums rose 25 per cent year-on-year, the cost of an average claim rose just 7.3 per cent year-on-year, to a record £4,309[7].

On top of that, there’s also the insurance premium tax, which makes up 12 per cent of every premium, and now averages nearly £100 a year across car and home insurance policies.

Because of all this, now, more than ever, it is a good idea to use a price comparison website in order to find the cheapest car insurance you are eligible for.

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.”

Finance Writer

What affects the cost of my car insurance quote?

Car value

One of the factors used to calculate your car insurance premium is the value of your car, as this will inform how expensive it is to repair in the event of a claim.

Car type

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.

Excess

The ‘excess’ on a car insurance policy is the amount the policyholder pays in the event of a claim – then the insurer pays the rest. A higher excess will reduce the cost of your premium; however, always make sure you can afford to pay your excess in the event of a claim.

Mileage

You’ll need to state your estimated annual mileage when you buy car insurance. This figure will be on your MOT certificate. Low mileage means fewer chances of an accident, and, in turn, lower premiums.

Address

Where you live will also affect your car insurance premium – if you live in a high crime area, you’ll pay more.

Did you know?

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 & Wales is £4,900, and in Scotland it’s £4,200[8].

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.

No-claims bonus

Building up a no-claims bonus will help to reduce your car insurance premium. If you decide to switch providers, this can often be carried across to a new policy.

Parking

Where you park your car during the day/night matters too. You’ll attract lower premiums if you can keep your car in a garage or in a private car park, than if you leave it parked on a public road.

Age

Depending on how you drive, insurance premiums generally fall with age. Young drivers pay more due to their lack of driving experience and because, statistically, they are more likely to have an accident.

Did you know?

Under-25s have seen their premiums jump by more than 73 per cent[9] for the 12 months to November 2023, according to Consumer Intelligence, compared to a rise of 57 per cent for the over-50s.

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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 specialist car insurance can I get?

Although car insurance tends to be split into third party, third party, fire and theft, and fully comprehensive, there are a number of other specialist policies you may need to take out at one time or another. These can include:

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

Year Average annual premium (ABI) Year-on-year change Year-on-year change Year-on-year change Year-on-year change Year-on-year change
2019 £471 -1% -1% -1% -1% -1%
2019 £471 -1% -1% -1% -1% -1%
2019 £471 -1% -1% -1% -1% -1%

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

ProviderIndependent Advisor RatingDeal namePrice/month*Contract lengthSpeedsUpfront costs
Hyperoptic★★★★1Gb Hyperfast£3924 months900Mbps£19
Community Fibre★★★★1Gbps Fibre Broadband£32 24 months1,000Mbps£14.95
EE★★★½Busiest Home Bundle£64.9924 months1,600Mbps£0
Plusnet★★★½Full Fibre 500£31.9924 months500Mbps£0
Virgin Media★★★Gig1 Fibre Broadband£40.9918 months1,130Mbps£0
BT★★★½Full Fibre 300£34.9924 months300Mbps£11.99
TalkTalk★★★Full Fibre 500250£34924 months525290Mbps£4.95
Sky★★★½Ultrafast Plus£3418 months500Mbps£50
Shell Energy★★★½Full Fibre 900£44.9918 months944Mbps£10.55
NOW Broadband★★★½Full Fibre 100Super Fibre£2624 months10063Mbps£10
Vodafone★★★½Full Fibre 500£3324 months500Mbps£0
Three★★★½Unlimited Data£12124 months150Mbps£0
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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

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

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

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).

All information correct as of 3 April 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

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

FAQ
Related articles
Methodology
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.

Year Average annual premium (ABI) Year-on-year change Year-on-year change Year-on-year change Year-on-year change Year-on-year change
2019 £471 -1% -1% -1% -1% -1%
2019 £471 -1% -1% -1% -1% -1%
2019 £471 -1% -1% -1% -1% -1%
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 askMID.com. 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 67.2 per cent year-on-year, for the 12 months to November 2023.

Figures from the ABI, meanwhile, paint a slightly different picture, with the average price of motor insurance up 34 per cent to £627 year-on-year, based on its figures from October to December 2023.

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.

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 YourMoney.com.

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.

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.