Can you count on your cover?
With insurance a legal requirement for getting on the road, it’s tempting to buy any old policy – until something goes wrong.
Our regular survey of thousands of car insurance customers who’ve recently claimed, and analysis dozens of policies, shows huge gaps between the best and worst cover.
Here we reveal the best car insurers and car insurance policies, to pick out the best.
Best UK car insurance companies
The first list compares only insurers we were able to rate for both policies and customer experience. It’s ordered by total score.
The second list compares policies – an insurer may offer more than one.
Car insurance company reviews
LV is a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) and was best rated by claimants in our survey, scoring 79%, and its policy was the highest-scoring (77%) compared with other providers’ standard policies.
It’s one of a minority guaranteeing repairs for a vehicle’s life, and one of just 11 offering a temporary replacement car if yours is stolen.
It also stands out by offering protection for no-claims bonuses against an unlimited number of claims.
Customers praised LV for its ability to deal with queries and offer value for money. Some 35% of claimants in our survey felt they were getting a cheaper price with it than other insurers offered – as did 26% of claimants overall.
NFU Mutual has never having lost its WRP status since we launched the scheme more than a decade ago. It did consistently well in our analysis this year – just behind LV for its customer score (78%) and policy score (76%) – second overall.
It’s one of just two providers we reviewed that doesn’t charge a cancellation fee, or interest if you want to pay monthly.
You won’t find NFU Mutual on comparison sites. You can get a quote by calling one of its 300 branches.
It may not offer a policy to customers in all postcodes, particularly major cities.
- Find out more: what do we think of NFU Mutual’s home insurance policy?
One of the largest insurers, Direct Line retains its place as a WRP.
It achieved a customer score of 78% – joint second with NFU Mutual.
Unlike sister brands Churchill and Privilege, Direct Line doesn’t appear on price comparison sites, but it is well worth contacting it or visiting its website to get a quote.
Churchill is a WRP and received the third-highest customer score (75%). Its standard policy had a slightly-above-average score (of 66%).
Like sister brand, Direct Line, we liked its fairer approach to customers’ no-claims discount. For example, it won’t hack at the discounts of those who have claimed because their car was vandalised.
Aviva is our fifth WRP – with a strong customer score of 74% (placing it sixth of 15 brands). Its standard policy merited a decent 66% in our analysis.
It sells slightly different variants of its cover through comparison sites – called ‘Aviva Online’ (65%) and ‘Aviva Premium’ (66%). Aviva has more than 18 million customers thanks to policies such as courtesy car inclusion and accidental damage cover.
- Find out more:Car insurance for the over 50s
More on car insurance
How we analyse car insurance
This is based on a survey of 2,454 policyholders who have recently made a car insurance claim. The score reflects how satisfied customers say they are with their provider and how likely they would be to recommend it.
Providers must receive a minimum sample size of 30 to be included.
Why only talk to customers who’ve claimed?
You’ll only know how good an insurer’s customer service is when you make a claim.
That’s when good insurers will show their ability to deal with problems, quickly process your claim and get you back on the road as soon as possible.
As it can be difficult to find the requisite number of customers who’ve claimed for some insurers, in some cases we’re only able to provide our expert policy scores.
This is our assessment of the quality of standard cover comparing 78 elements of a policy. We weight certain features of cover or costs (fees and excesses) based on the impact we think they generally make, from courtesy cars to breakdown cover.
Among the highest-weighted elements are the insurer’s guarantee on repairs, cover for glass damage, conditions of its no-claims discount, whether it’ll provide a replacement vehicle, fire, theft and accidental damage excesses, and interest rates charged for paying premiums in instalments.
We carry this analysis out every 12 months. The next update will be in February 2024.
Where customer and policy scores are available, insurance providers are ranked by total score. This is made up of 50% of the customer score, and 50% of the car insurance policy score.
Which? Recommended Providers
We rank providers based on our customer surveys and policy analysis. The top scorers can be Which? Recommended Providers (WRPs) if they:
- Are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- Are available to the public
- Have received responses from 30 or more customers in our survey
- Achieve high scores in our customer satisfaction survey
- Achieve an average or above policy score.
We won’t award a provider our WRP endorsement if it has a poorer-than-average claims score.
Got more questions on car insurance? Take a look at our guides:
- How to get cheap car insurance
- Best car insurance for the over 50s
- How do I make a car insurance claim?
- Car insurance no-claims bonus explained
- Car insurance: add-ons, fees and charges explained
- Modified car insurance explained
- Electric car insurance explained
- How black box car insurance works
- Learner driver car insurance explained
- Temporary car insurance explained
- Multi-car insurance guide
- Gap insurance explained
- How to insure a classic car