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    Find cheap car insurance

    Most of us need car insurance, yet few of us fully understand it.
    Dozens of car insurance companies, including large players and regional insurers, are vying for your business. Many offer an eye-glazing assortment of policy options, making it hard to compare policies and figure out what’s the best and cheapest car insurance.
    » SIGN UP: Find savings on your car expenses
    Here are eight things you can do to ensure you get good coverage at the best possible rate.
    1. Don’t assume any one company is the cheapest
    Some companies spend a lot of money on commercials that try to convince you they offer the lowest car insurance rates. But prices that different people pay for the same coverage by the same company can vary widely. No single insurer can claim to be the low-price leader for everyone. The insurance company that’s cheapest for one person in one place might be the most expensive option for a driver in another state.
    The only way to ensure you’re getting the best deal is to shop around.
    The only way to ensure you’re getting the best deal is to shop around.
    There are some savings at stake: A NerdWallet analysis found that good drivers could be missing out on $416 a year on average by not comparing insurance prices.
    Our study also found that 38% of Americans who have car insurance haven’t compared insurance costs in at least three years, if ever.
    » COMPARE: NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool
    2. Don’t ignore local and regional insurers
    Just four companies control nearly half the nation’s auto insurance business: Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm. But smaller, regional insurers such as Auto-Owners Insurance and Erie Insurance often have higher customer satisfaction ratings than the big names — and they may have lower rates, too.
    » MORE: The best car insurance companies
    3. Check for discounts
    Insurers provide a variety of discounts, including price breaks for customers who:
    Bundle car insurance with other policies, such as homeowners insurance
    Insure multiple cars with one policy
    Have a clean driving record
    Pay their entire annual or six-month premium at once
    Agree to receive documents online
    Own a car with certain anti-theft or safety features
    Are members of particular professional organizations or affiliate groups
    Don’t be swayed, however, by a long list of possible discounts. Compare your final prices from multiple insurers.
    4. Pay your bills on time
    Your credit score is a significant factor in the car insurance quotes you receive — except in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, which don’t allow insurers to consider credit when setting rates. Insurance companies say customers’ credit has been shown to correlate with their chances of filing claims.
    A NerdWallet analysis found that having poor credit can boost people’s car insurance rates by hundreds of dollars a year compared with having good credit.
    Improve your credit — and get cheaper insurance — by paying your bills on time and reducing your debt. Track your progress by checking your credit score regularly.
    5. Consider insurance costs when buying a car
    You probably already pay attention to factors such as fuel efficiency and repair costs when picking a car to buy, but you should also consider insurance premiums. A NerdWallet analysis of the cheapest cars to insure among top-selling vehicles found the lowest rates are for the Honda CR-V, Subaru Outback and Jeep Cherokee.
    6. Skip collision and comprehensive coverage for an older car
    Collision coverage pays to repair the damage your vehicle after an accident with another car or an object such as a fence. Comprehensive coverage pays to repair vehicle damage from weather, animal crashes, floods, fire and vandalism. It also covers car theft. But the maximum payout under either policy is limited by the value of the car if it’s totaled or stolen. If your car is older and has a low market value, it may not make sense to shell out for these types of coverage.
    » MORE: Understanding collision and comprehensive insurance
    7. Consider raising your deductible
    If you buy comprehensive and collision coverage, you can save money by opting for higher deductibles. (There is no deductible on liability insurance, which pays for the damage you cause others in an accident.)
    8. Consider usage-based or pay-per-mile insurance
    If you’re a safe driver who doesn’t log many miles, consider a usage-based insurance program such as Allstate’s Drivewise, Progressive’s Snapshot or State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save. By signing up for these programs, you let your insurer track your driving in exchange for possible discounts based on how much you drive, when you drive and how well you drive.
    If you drive less than 10,000 miles a year, you might be able to save money with a mileage-based insurance program such as Metromile or Esurance Pay Per Mile. Metromile is available in seven states; Esurance Pay Per Mile is available in Oregon.
    What details do I need to get a cheap car insurance quote?
    Details of the car Light blue icon of a car with dark blue wheels.
    The car’s number plate is useful, but not essential. Please declare any modifications.
    No-claims bonus (NCB) Light blue icon of a document.
    Details of your NCB in years. You can request this from your insurance provider.
    Details of any other drivers Light and dark blue icons of people.
    You’ll need other drivers’ names and licence details to add them to any policy.
    Driving licence & convictions Light blue icon of a driving license.
    Type of licence; how long you’ve had it; details of any points or disqualifications from the last 5 years.
    Previous claims or accidents Light blue icon of a document with a pound sign.
    Date, claim cost and accident type for any accidents or claims in the last 5 years.
    Need help Light blue circle icon with a dark blue question mark
    No-claims bonus explained | How do I save on car insurance? | Can I drive someone else’s car? | More expert guides
    If you have a pickup and are looking for insurance, you’ll need to use our van insurance process. This is because generally 4x4s are classified as cars and pickup trucks are not due to their longer wheel base and the fact they often exceed 3.5 tonnes.
    What kind of insurance should I get?
    When you get a quote, we’ll ask you what kind of insurance you’re looking for. There are three main levels of cover to choose from:
    Third-party only
    The lowest level of cover available. It insures you against damage caused to someone else or their property, including your passengers, as the result of an accident. It doesn’t cover your car against repair or replacement.
    Third-party, fire and theft
    Offers the same level of cover as third-party, but also covers your car for repair or replacement if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.
    Comprehensive
    Offers the most protection, covering you and your car, as well as other people and their property.
    We’ve covered the three levels of cover in more detail in our guide to insurance policy types.
    What are the different types of insurance available?
    A standard policy will usually cover a single car for 12 months. But, depending on your needs, other types are available. These include:
    Multi-car
    Insure all the cars at your address and get a discount.
    Find out more
    Temporary
    Short-term cover from one to 28 days.
    Find out more
    Learner
    Cover for those learning to drive in their own or someone else’s car.
    Find out more
    Black box / telematics
    Uses an app on your phone or box installed in your car to monitor your driving. Information such as when you drive, your speed, braking and handling is captured and shared with the insurance company to base policy prices on.
    Find out more
    Classic car
    Cover specifically designed for owners of classic cars. For insurance purposes, a classic car can be any car that’s older than 15 years.
    Find out more
    Business
    If you use your car for more than just domestic use, including business driving away from your normal place of work, you’ll need a business policy.
    Find out more
    How can I get cheap car insurance?
    With the average comprehensive policy now costing £768 a year**, it’s more important than ever to shop around and compare prices. Even while you compare, there are things you can change that may help you get cheaper insurance:
    White saloon car facing forwards and to the right.
    Consider the car you drive
    More powerful cars tend to have more expensive accidents, can be pricier to repair and fall into higher insurance groups. Older cars with more miles on the clock, smaller engines and lower price tags usually fall into lower insurance groups.
    Increase your voluntary excess
    Prices may change if you’re willing to a pay a little more towards any claims. Make sure to also consider any compulsory excess listed on a policy, as you’ll need to have funds available to cover the total policy excess.
    Add a named driver
    Adding an experienced driver to your policy can lower prices. You should always list the person who drives the car most often as the main driver, and any occasional drivers as additional.
    Extra security
    Increasing the security of your car above the standard manufacturer level can help, but even basics like parking off-road can affect prices.
    No-claims bonus
    Building up a no-claims bonus can help shave pounds off your premium.
    Telematics
    If you’re a young or inexperienced driver, black box policies can make insurance more affordable.