Drivers are paying a record amount to insure their cars, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Here we list the best car insurance providers so you can find the best deal for you.
The average premium paid for comprehensive motor insurance hit £511, almost £90 more than the same period last year.
Prices have been rising with the introduction of new rules to stop insurers charging new and existing customers differently. Inflation and the rise in repair costs – up around a third – are also being blamed.
While price is an important consideration, the most suitable car insurance provider and policy for you may not be the cheapest on the market.
This article covers:
- What are the best car insurance providers?
- Do I have to get car insurance?
- What are the different types of car insurance?
- How can I reduce the cost of my car insurance?
Ready to find car insurance tailored to you? Try our car insurance comparison tool.
The best car insurance providers
There is a wide range of companies offering car insurance, so finding a provider you can trust is also important.
Ultimately, insurance is just a promise to pay out when something goes wrong. So you want to make sure you pick a firm that has a good track record of doing the right thing by their customers.
Below is our round-up to the best providers.
Find out more about our customer experience ratings by watching this video below.
Do I have to get car insurance?
Yes. It is a legal requirement to have car insurance in the UK if you own a roadworthy vehicle.
Anyone caught driving without insurance could face fines and disqualification.
Read more: How much does it cost to renew my driving licence?
What types of car insurance are there?
Car insurance is designed to protect drivers involved in an accident. The most basic cover – known as third-party insurance – will pay out for damage caused to other people and their property.
Full cover – often called comprehensive – will pay out for damage to the driver’s ownvehicle, as well as if their car is stolen or vandalised or damaged in a fire or road accident.
A growing number of car insurance policies now come with a black box, which is fitted in your car and monitors your driving.
Customers who are deemed to drive safely can benefit from lower premiums. These policies tend to be much more cost-effective for, and most popular with, younger drivers – but are increasingly available to drivers of all ages.
For tips on reducing car costs and insurance, check out this reader’s story: ‘I saved £6,000 on my Audi and £730 on car insurance’.
How can I reduce the cost of cover?
The cost of cover is worked out using many different factors. Age and where you liveare factors that are hard to change, but having a less powerful car can help cut insurance costs.
Driving less can also be a way to get a cheaper quote, and having better security for your car can help.
A decent no-claims record should attract a discount.
Also agreeing a higher excess – the amount you agree to pay towards any claim – will also reduce the cost. But this will of course leave you picking up more of the bill if you do need to make a claim.
Car insurance premiums will vary, too, according to your job. It’s worth seeing if there is more than one way of describing what you do – as there can be big differences in prices.
For example, someone who says they are unemployed will usually be charged much more than someone who describes themselves as a homemaker.
Don’t leave buying insurance to the last minute. Research shows the cheapest time to buy insurance is about three weeks before an existing policy is due to expire.
And if you can afford to pay annually, rather than monthly, you will also save money.
Find out more about how you can reduce your car insurance.
How to choose car insurance
When you are looking for a policy, you can start by seeing what prices you are offered using this helpful car insurance comparison tool.
You can also search other websites to maximise your chances of finding the cheapest policies for the cover you want.
Comparison sites include MoneySuperMarket and Comparethemarket. But don’t choose a policy on price alone.
Be clear on what coverage you need when choosing the best car insurance provider for you. And watch out for high excesses, fees and charges.
You should also try and choose a firm that has a good track record in keeping customers happy and paying claims promptly.
Our customer experience tables can help you figure out which companies have the best track record in terms of customer happiness, trust, complaints and transparency.
About our independent ratings
Our ratings are compiled by the independent research group Fairer Finance.
Five-star-rated policies have good levels of cover, and lower than average excesses, fees and charges.
The customer experience ratings are based on regular research among customers, as well as on complaints data and mystery shopping.
They take into account:
- Happiness and trust with organisations and products
- The degree of transparency of companies’ dealings with customers
- How often the Financial Ombudsman Service overturns a company’s complaints decision
*All products, brands or properties mentioned in this article are selected by our writers and editors based on first-hand experience or customer feedback, and are of a standard that we believe our readers expect. This article contains links from which we can earn revenue. This revenue helps us to support the content of this website and to continue to invest in our award-winning journalism. For more, see How we make our money and Editorial promise