I like to think that as a person I am loyal with my friendships. Loyalty is an admirable trait in people, of course, but I have learned that as far as car insurance is concerned, loyalty to one provider is notably overrated. Not that I had any complaints about my previous car insurance, apart from it being somewhat expensive and regularly leaving a dent in my monthly budget. So I made the decision to do some research on sourcing a cheaper car insurance that would provide the same cover, but without the financial hit that I'd been absorbing over the past five years. I wanted to share my own experience in buying UK car insurance in the hope that it might give others some useful tips and advice.
I knew that I wanted to have comprehensive car insurance, but considered it important to invest some time in reading about the current options available in the dynamic UK car insurance market. While this is not absolutely necessary and I am happy to admit it could reflect an aspect of my cautious personality, it proved an exercise well worth carrying out. The first thing I did was to access an informative and wholly independent consumer website called moneysavingexpert.com, which provided a lot of digestible information on UK car insurance in general, as well as the specifics relating to my own vehicle needs. I took some brief notes and gathered together all the data I would need to begin my car insurance search. Fully equipped with a cup of coffee, pen and notebook I wrote down the websites I intended to use to start comparing those numerous car insurance companies and brokers. The above process took me no more than 30 minutes and was pretty much stress-free.
I used four comparison websites to start searching for my car insurance. My car is a reliable workhorse, a Peugeot 306 Diesel which I mainly use for commuting and occasional leisure trips. Some of my work involves driving across one of the most rural counties in the UK, often in very isolated places and although north Northumberland is not renowned as a car crime hotspot, comprehensive car insurance gives me valuable peace of mind. I made detailed use of comparethemarket.com, moneysupermarket.com, confused.com and gocompare.com to search for the best car insurance to fit my needs. These websites, in particular, seemed to offer the broadest range of insurance quotes. My car is relatively old but in very good condition, I am in my youthful forties and with an excellent driving record, therefore I came up trumps with several good value car insurance deals. I could see immediately that these were far cheaper than what I had been previously paying. The data required for insurance quotes was pretty basic, the obvious such as the make and age of my car as well as postcode location. Rocket science this isn't so within 20 minutes I was checking out a range of options for my soon to be brand new, shiny car insurance.
I learned from moneysavingexpert.com that not all car insurance providers feature on comparison websites, so I checked out some of the bigger players including Aviva and Direct Line. Naturally, big doesn't always equate to expensive, so I was pleased to be able to obtain quotes from these and similar companies in order to make the best decision possible. The thing is that while some car insurance quotes appear to be fantastic savings, it's important to read the smallish print as I quickly discovered there can be several add-ons, like legal expenses, which increase the original quote. I found that this applies to both smaller and bigger insurance providers alike, therefore it was prudent to spend that little bit of extra time to find out just exactly what I was paying for.
Once I had sifted through the quotes that most accurately matched my data, I narrowed it down further to those which suited my needs perfectly. I also referred back to moneysavingexpert.com because it was important for me to be able to rely on a car insurance provider for guaranteed high quality customer service as well as value. I didn't want to spend time finding the right quote, only for it to be marred by lousy customer care. Once I was satisfied that my choices met these additional requirements, I was ready to contact the providers and use the information I had gathered to do a spot of good old-fashioned haggling.
To be fair, I'm not one of life's natural hagglers so I took several tips from moneysavingexpert.com before I contacted the three car insurance providers I'd selected. I was surprised to discover haggling was very easy, mainly because I was able to cite comparative figures from other providers I'd researched. This must have been what did the trick because two of the three providers I spoke to reduced their original quotes. Success! Ultimately, I didn't choose the cheapest car insurance quote but the provider I finally did select not only met my insurance needs but also gave me fantastic customer service.
Although my intention in buying car insurance had been to save money, it was equally important for me to have confidence in the provider. I learned a few things along the way, namely to check out the small print, how to haggle effectively and not just for the sake of it, as well as how to access the right resources to make the best decision. I now enjoy cheaper car insurance, including legal expenses cover, with a trusted provider. The whole project took no longer than a couple of hours, during which time I enjoyed a cup of coffee whose flavour was definitely enhanced by the significant monthly saving I gained. This means I can now buy myself a few more coffees to celebrate and not worry about the cost!
"I never set out to find the cheapest. I wanted the best value. The two are not the same."