Comprehensive car insurance – also known as fully comp cover – is one of the higher levels of protection you can get for your motor.
Third-party only and third-party, fire and theft policies cover damage to others as the result of an accident that was deemed your fault. Any damage to your own car is your own problem.
Comprehensive car insurance policies, on the other hand, cover for damage to your car as well.
Why should I consider upgrading to comprehensive cover?
With comprehensive car insurance, you can claim from your insurer for accidents that are deemed to be your fault.
It also applies when fault can’t be proven, eg if you return to your car after shopping to find that someone has hit you and driven off.
Without comprehensive cover, you risk having to fork out for repairs yourself. Worse still, if your car is written off you’ll have to pay for a brand-new motor.
A comprehensive policy gives you that added level of protection and peace of mind that you won’t necessarily have to pay for expensive repairs – just your compulsory and voluntary excess.
Is comprehensive insurance more expensive than other policy types?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a comprehensive policy is always more expensive than third-party only cover, or third-party, fire and theft.
This is usually the case, but not always. So when comparing policies it’s worth looking at the difference in price between comprehensive and third-party policies.
You may find that comprehensive insurance actually works out as cheap as a third-party policy. You may not need to compromise on your cover just to save a few quid.
Hang on. How come comprehensive cover is sometimes cheaper?
Woman holding toy car
It’s because a lot of high-risk drivers tend to go for third-party cover as a way of lowering their insurance costs.
As a result, the statistics begin to skew towards a higher number of claims on third-party policies.
This means that the overall cost of third-party cover goes up. That’s why it’s worth checking the cost of all levels of cover, just in case.
Where comprehensive cover could fall short
Despite its name, a comprehensive insurance policy may fall short in some areas.
Certain policy extras may come as standard with some insurers, whereas others might charge you for the privilege.
It’s always best to check the policy details before you buy – don’t assume that you’ll be entitled to all the bells and whistles.
Two of the most common policy add-ons are:
Many insurers let you use another car while yours is being repaired, but not all of them. It’s also worth noting that courtesy cars usually aren’t provided if your car is written off.
Usually an optional extra that comes at a cost, though some insurers may throw it in as an incentive. If it doesn’t come as standard, it’s worth shopping round for the best breakdown deals.
Other ways to save on your car insurance
Car insurance often isn’t cheap, this is true. But going for a lower level of cover just to save money might be a false economy.
Having the minimum level of cover means that you might end up paying out more in the long run, especially if you’re involved in an accident where the fault is yours or can’t be determined.
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:
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.
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:
Insure all the cars at your address and get a discount.
Find out more
Short-term cover from one to 28 days.
Find out more
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
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
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.
Increasing the security of your car above the standard manufacturer level can help, but even basics like parking off-road can affect prices.
Building up a no-claims bonus can help shave pounds off your premium.
If you’re a young or inexperienced driver, black box policies can make insurance more affordable.
Price trends for drivers — who’s saving the most?
This April, we published the latest update to the ** Confused.com car insurance price index, our quarterly analysis of comprehensive insurance policy pricing in the UK.
The average quoted premium for an annual comprehensive insurance policy now stands at £768, a decrease of 2% year-on-year.
This translates to an annual decrease of £13 on drivers’ premiums. However, 70% of drivers say their car insurance premium went up at point of renewal, making it more important than ever to shop around and compare your best prices.
Interested in how prices for your region, age or gender have changed? Take a look at our price index calculator to get an estimated cost on your insurance.