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Do I need car insurance?
If you drive a car, you’ll need car insurance by law.
It provides cover for you, other motorists and members of the public. Plus, you can’t tax your car without it.
The only exception would be if the vehicle is registered as off road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).
How to get car insurance
It’s super easy to get car insurance quotes from GoCompare. All you need to do is simply answer some questions regarding your personal information, your car and requirements from your car insurance policy, and you’ll be on your way to quotes galore.
The key details we need include:
- Your occupation
- Your usage - whether it's social, commuting or business
- Your registration plate or your vehicle details
- Your car's value
- Your annual mileage
- Whether your car has any modifications
- The type of license you hold
- Details of any previous claims
- How many years no-claims bonus you've gained
- Any additional drivers on your policy
When you’re looking for car insurance quotes, make sure all the information you give us is correct so we can find the right deal for you.
Once you’ve found a fab price and bought your car insurance, you’ll get a certificate – either via email or in the post.
It’s best to keep this somewhere safe in case you need it.
Get cheaper car insurance
We’re all looking to save a few pounds, and there are a few ways you can save on your insurance.
It almost always works out cheaper to pay upfront annually rather than monthly. So, if this is an option for you, pay it all in one go.
Improving your car’s security might get you a cheaper premium too, but you should weigh up how much your new gadgets will cost. If they’re more expensive than your car insurance, it’s not worth it.
Increasing your voluntary excess could bring those prices down too. Just make sure it’s an amount you’ll be able to afford if you make a claim.
You could also save a bit by insuring a few cars under the same policy. This could be a great option for households with multiple vehicles.
Types of car insurance policies
There's a wide variety to choose from, so take your time and have a look around.
Comprehensive car insurance
Fully comp, or comprehensive car insurance offers a high level of protection for your car and other drivers. It insures your car against theft, fire, damage, as well as a host of other motoring incidents. It also covers personal effects and medical expenses.
Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your policy to see exactly what you're getting for your money.
Third party, fire and theft (TPFT)
This’ll insure you for damage or injury to a third party, as well as fire damage or theft of your vehicle. TPFT is one of the more basic types of car insurance policy.
Third party only (TPO)
TPO is the least amount of cover you can get from your car insurance. This’ll only cover you for damage or injury to a third party.
It may be cheap, but it doesn't offer you much protection. Always be sure to weigh up the pros and cons of each policy.
Telematics car insurance
Otherwise known as black box car insurance, this can either come in the form of an app or – you guessed it – a black box.
Basically, it calculates and informs your car insurance provider how much you should be paying based on your driving skills. So, if you're a safe driver who wants to drive down your premiums, have a look at this option to see if it might be just the ticket.
How do I find the best car insurance for me?
It's up to you to choose the best car insurance policy for your needs. Think about what you'll be using the car for and the amount of cover you'll require.
With these important details, we can pick out the policies that match what you're looking for.
But don't just go for the cheapest option - the best car insurance deal for you will be the one that does everything you need it to.
Car insurance groups
Different insurers judge insurance groups in different ways and the ratings are subject to change, but you can use our online car insurance group finder to find the current rating from the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Yay!
How long does a driving conviction stay on my record?
If you get a driving conviction, it’ll go down on your record.
How long it stays there and whether you’ll receive penalty points will depend on how serious the conviction was. We’ve outlined all types of convictions, how long they’ll stay on your licence and how they can impact your car insurance in our driving convictions guide.
If you’re caught speeding, you may be sent on a speed awareness course instead of having penalty points put on to your licence. This might be a cheaper option than taking the points, which could increase your car insurance premiums.
Get to know your parking laws too so you don’t end up shelling out even more for a fine.
Which class of use should I choose for car insurance?
It really depends on what you use your car for. You’ll need to choose from the following four options:
- Social only: Covers you for normal day-to-day driving (such as shopping and visiting friends and family) but not commuting
- Social including commuting: Covers social use plus commuting to a single, permanent place of work
- Business use: Includes social use, and also covers the designated drivers in connection with their jobs (such as driving to different sites or offices, and prearranged meetings away from the normal place of work)
- Commercial travelling: Covers social use, and also using the vehicle for commercial travel – for example delivering goods or door-to-door sales. As there are different definitions of commercial travelling, you should check with the insurance company before you buy
Can I drive other cars with my car insurance?
This completely depends on your policy, so it's best to check with your insurer. Just because you're fully comprehensive doesn't mean that you'll be covered to drive other cars.
Why is car insurance expensive for teenagers?
As teenagers have less experience on the road, they’re often seen as more of a risk by insurers.
This usually means they’re charged a higher premium, but luckily there are ways to bring the price down.
What’s a no claims bonus?
A no claims bonus (NCB) is awarded for each year you hold private car insurance in your own name without making a claim. Most companies only accept NCB earned in the UK and from policies expired within the last two years.
Your most recent renewal notice will indicate how many NCB years you've earned. Alternatively, you can speak to your current insurer to find out.
Car Insurance FAQs
Most policies include an excess, which is the amount to be paid by the policyholder in the event of a claim. There's both a compulsory excess, imposed by the insurer, and a voluntary excess. The phrase 'total excess' combines these two factors and is the amount you pay in the event of a claim.
Taking the risk of choosing a higher voluntary excess may help to reduce your premium. If you make a claim, the excess can be deducted from the total amount paid out, or you may be asked to pay it upfront.
All changes from factory standard must be declared to your insurer or your cover could be invalidated. Modifications could include changes to the bodywork, engine, wheels, audio system... even fitting a towbar or roof racks. Read more about modified car insurance.
A Gap policy can be useful as it’s intended to pay the difference between what you paid for your vehicle and what your insurer pays out in the event of a total loss or write off. In such a case regular insurers will only pay the market value of your car. This is mostly worth considering if you’re buying a new or nearly-new car, as depreciation can be steep.
Your job title could have an impact on your premiums as well as what you’re using the car for.
Choose the job title that most accurately describes what you do and work out how it can impact the cost of your insurance.
Always estimate your car's value honestly, but an approximate estimation is usually fine as an insurer will typically base a payout on market value. Read more about how vehicle value impacts on insurance.
If you've had your car for over a year and your usage remains similar, check previous MOT certificates and/or service records.
Calculate the number of miles you drive in a typical week and multiply this by 52, factoring in regular journeys and extras such as long annual trips abroad.
Insurers appreciate that people often drive a little further than they think and will allow for this, but a big underestimation might invalidate your cover.
If you cancel your policy within the cooling-off period, some insurance providers may charge a fee to cover their administration costs in addition to a charge for the cover provided.
Where a fee is charged for the cover provided, this is typically worked out pro-rata, which means the charge is calculated based on the number of days your insurance has been in force..
Cancellation fees after the cooling-off period are handled in a similar manner. Some insurers charge a cancellation fee, others don't, while any refund entitlement will be worked out pro-rata.
If you make a change to your policy - for example changing your address, your car or adding a driver - then, typically, the insurance provider will charge an administration fee.
Yes, but your insurance provider may charge a duplicate documents fee. If your account is handled online it may be possible for you to print out the documents yourself for free..