Car insurance can be cheaper for cohabiters who take the time to compare deals

27 February 2008 / by Joy Tibbs
Couples may be interested to hear that they could save money on their car insurance by taking out a joint policy, particularly as Sainsbury's Bank reveals that car insurance premiums are becoming more expensive.

According to TescoCompare.com, two-thirds (65 per cent) of cohabiting and married couples pay more than they should for car insurance because they do not tell their provider they are living together. Its research found that cohabiting couples could save more than £100 on average by adding their partner as an additional driver on their policy.

Company spokesperson Paul Baxter said: "There are many things drivers can do to lower their annual car insurance premium and adding your partner can be a very effective way of cutting costs."

Almost half of couples (48 per cent) do not inform their insurance company that they are living as a couple until their policy is due for renewal, while 17 per cent never get round to including their partner.

Mr Baxter adds: "Car insurers assess the individual risk profile of each customer and couples living together typically carry a lower risk, resulting in lower premiums."

TescoCompare advises people to make sure their current policy offers the most competitive deal for their circumstances, particularly if their circumstances have changed since taking out the policy.

Other tips include getting a smaller car with a less powerful engine, keeping cars in a secure place, being as accurate as possible about mileage, registering the highest no-claims discount on the car with the highest premium and thinking about the voluntary excess – the higher the excess the lower the cost of the policy.

This could be useful as a study from Sainsbury's Bank reveals car insurance is creeping up in price. It found that the average car insurance premium rose 5.24 per cent from £472.52 in December 2006 to £497.26 in December 2007. It also discovered that as many as 20 per cent of motorists only obtain one quote when buying a policy.

Motorists between the ages of 40 and 50 saw an average rise of seven per cent over the 12-month period and premiums for under 25s rose 6.59 per cent, while car insurance for those aged 65 and over was up just 4.14 per cent.

Joanne Mallon, Sainsbury’s Car Insurance Manager said: "Car insurance premiums continue to rise which makes it all the more important for motorists to shop around for competitive insurance. The trick is cutting your costs without cutting your cover."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd