A multi-car insurance policy allows you to cover several vehicles under one policy with a single provider. You'll get all the benefits of standard a car insurance policy, but often get a discount for each car you add to the policy.
You’ll have one insurer for all the cars and drivers, instead of buying several policies from different providers. You can also add multi-car breakdown cover that protects all drivers and cars on the policy.
It’ll usually only cover vehicles kept at the same address, but if one car needs to be kept away from home for extended periods, some multi-car policies will allow this - good news for children away at uni.
Check terms and conditions to find out whether your insurer allows for this type of cover though - not all do.
Not all multi-car policies work the same way - there are two main types:
Each policy has different cover, benefits and add-ons - so you might add breakdown cover and legal expenses to your comprehensive policy but also have a basic third-party fire and theft policy for your teen, all under your multi-car insurance.
Policies can start and finish on different dates too.
With multiple car cover, your renewal dates are synced up - it’s one policy for all the cars.
The cover is usually the same for every driver and car, but always check the paperwork to be sure.
There’s no guarantee it’ll be the cheapest, but it’s worth checking.
To find out what works out cheaper for you, compare quotes on single-car policies, add them up, then try a multi-car quote to see if it costs less.
Just make sure you compare like for like in terms of the level of cover and features you need.
So if you want comprehensive insurance including legal cover and insurance for driving in Europe, only compare prices on policies that include those things.
The driver’s age and the car insurance group are two of the biggest factors affecting the price.
So a multi-car policy that combines a 50-year-old driving a BMW i8 with an 18-year-old in a modified Citroen C3 will be priced based on the risk each poses to the insurer, combined into a single premium.
But your driving history, whether you’ve had accidents or got penalty points and even where you live will also affect the price, among other things.
Multi-car insurance generally suits families where all drivers live at the same address.
You might find it easier dealing with just one insurer instead of several, but be aware that not all providers cover all cars on a single policy.
Some providers will still set up separate policies for each vehicle, so the main advantage is the multi-car discount.
Multi-car policies are convenient
Sometimes there’s a discount for insuring all cars together
You might be able to cover cars at different addresses – but check as not all providers can do this
Your no-claims discount shouldn’t be affected if another driver on the policy claims - but check the small print
The age and experience of drivers will affect the overall policy cost
So will the condition and insurance group of all cars on the policy
If another motorist on the policy makes a claim, the overall premium will rise
If the renewal date for all cars and drivers is the same, you’ll get lumped with a big bill in one go if you pay annually. But if you have linked policies you can stagger start and end dates to avoid this
You might think choosing to pay monthly solves the problem of a large annual bill, but then you’re essentially taking a loan from the insurer, with interest, and will pay more for your insurance overall
There’s no standard list for what’s included in a multi-car policy.
Some will cost extra, so make sure you only add and pay for what you really need.
The first car on the policy gets its own multi-car discount. Open the policy and tell the insurer how many cars you intend to add later so it can calculate your discount
If you have a breakdown, most multi-car policies will include a courtesy car to keep you on the road
If you're driving in convoy to Europe, multi-car may also protect you for European driving - but check the small print and speak to the insurer to extend your cover if it's not included
If the windscreen cracks on one of the covered cars, multi-car insurance will usually cover windscreen repair
If your in-built car stereo or sat-nav breaks or gets stolen, multi-car policies will have personal possessions cover
Personal injury cover pays a sum to the third party if you're in a traffic accident and found to be at fault, up to a limit
Like other comprehensive car insurance policies, multi-car may also give you access to a 24-hour emergency helpline. If you're in an accident that's your fault, you can call for advice and assistance
Depending on the insurer, it may match the no claims bonus on the second and third car that you add to the multi-car policy
On linked policies, no-claims discounts (NCDs) work in just the same way as on single car insurance policies – each driver earns their own, and only theirs will be affected if they make a claim.
But for multiple car cover under one policy, renewal dates are synced up for all policyholders.
That causes two problems:
Some insurers let you add each vehicle as it reaches renewal time.
Others will give you a quote for the second car when you’re getting cover for the first, and that quote will be guaranteed for when the second car’s up for renewal.
If your chosen insurer doesn’t do this, you could sync up all cars in the household on the date that the final car is due for renewal and take out short-term insurance in the interim for the remaining cars
But that can be a more expensive option, when you could just insure for the year, protect your NCD, and be done with it.
Some multi-car insurers will sync-up the renewal dates, usually based on the date the first car was added to the policy. That means all your renewals will be due on the same date in future.
Other insurers simply have each car effectively on a separate policy that finishes when it would with a single car policy.
Some insurers will cover vehicles that are kept away from the main home for part of the year, but others will specify that they have to live at the same address. Check the policy wording before you buy.
Yes, and lots of households do. Just make sure that you're making a saving over buying two policies from different providers, as the discount will be greater for each extra car you add to a multi-car policy.
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