How to get the cheapest car insurance, without breaking rules

The queen driving
Image caption The Queen obviously got a good deal

You'll have probably noticed that insuring your car has become very expensive.

That's because car insurance premiums have never been so high in the UK.

The average annual comprehensive policy cost £462 in the last three months of 2016, up from the previous high of £443 in spring 2012.

Sally Francis, an insurance expert from moneysavingexpert.com, has these tips on cutting your costs.

dog in a car
Image caption He shopped around

Shop around

"Always go to comparison sites, and go to direct insurers that aren't on those comparison sites as well," she says.

"It's not 'one size fits all' with this. You can get various different prices."

school boy driver
Image caption Not a safe driver

Try a 'black box'

Insurance companies tend to put younger drivers on expensive policies because they expect them to have accidents.

"If you're a younger driver, you're being tarred with [the same brush] as bad drivers; you're put in that same pool," Sally Francis explains.

To prove you're not a bad driver, you can opt for what's known as a black box policy.

The insurer installs a system - officially called telematics - in your car to monitor your driving.

These check your speed, acceleration, and braking, and whether you're driving at higher risk times, like early in the morning.

journalists
Image caption These journalists would probably have to pay high premiums

Tweak your job title - but don't lie

"Your job title can have a big impact on what you pay.

"Try and tweak it slightly. For example, if you're a journalist, try putting 'writer'" she says.

There are free online tools that let you compare insurance based on job titles.

Obviously, never lie - that's illegal.

"You don't want to tweak it to the point where you're committing insurance fraud."

car with flame throwers
Image caption Maybe the flame throwers weren't a good idea

Don't pimp your ride

Modifying your car with things like LED lights and a bigger exhaust might improve its look and value, but it's likely to increase your insurance costs.

"Don't modify your car. Adding extra spoilers, things like that, will hike up the cost of your car insurance.

"So keep it simple, especially in the first few years after passing your test."

boy and mum with car
Image caption Find a responsible adult

Add a second driver

"Insurance is all about risk," says Sally Francis.

"So if you've got that responsible second driver on your policy, it lowers the risk and in turn could lower the premium.

"But make sure it's somebody that would reasonably drive your car.

"So if you're living at home with mum and dad, then try adding mum to the policy and see if that could cut costs."

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