Whether it’s breakdown cover, protection for your hard-earned no claims bonus, or a cheaper policy for a new driver, car insurance comes in all the colours of the rainbow! Although this means there is sure to be a policy out there that’s just right for you, it can make choosing the right one a little tricky. We’ve done the research to figure out which insurance provider is likely to be most suited to your stage and style of driving.
Car insurance basics
For everyday driving, car insurance policies tend to come in three levels of cover – fully comprehensive, fire and theft and third-party cover. Which you choose will depend on your stage of driving career, the make and model of the car you drive and the benefits you value most.
A few car insurance features to watch out for include…
Windscreen cover – This covers the cost of windscreen repair and replacement should a stone get flicked up and chip your windscreen. Getting a chip repaired before it becomes a crack is always cheaper. Without insurance, this will have you out of pocket by around £198. With insurance, it’s only the excess you’ll need to cover and your policy will pay for the rest.
Level of excess – This is the amount you need to stump up before the car insurance company will help. Usually, the lower the excess amount is, the higher the cost of the policy. Excess isn’t the same for all types of claims either. An excess for a windscreen will usually be a lot less than the excess for an accident.
Cover for driving friend’s cars – In some cases, comprehensive car insurance follows the named driver. This means if you borrow a friend’s car and have an accident, you can claim on your own insurance. However, you’ll need to do a little car insurance check as this is not the same across all insurance companies.
No claims protection – If you have built up a substantial number of years of driving without needing to make a claim, this is worth looking into. No claims protection costs a little more and can allow up to three claims in a year without you losing your no-claims record – depending on the insurer you choose.
It’s usually the finer details that help drivers choose a policy from the many car insurance companies. Windscreen protection, reviews from other policyholders sharing their claim experiences and levels of breakdown cover are some of the details that can be used to sway you toward or away from an insurance policy. Car insurance comparison sites tend to focus on the cost of a policy. Because of this, it’s wise to do a little background checking after selecting your top three car insurance providers.
Our top five car insurance companies
Different drivers want different things from a car insurance company. That’s why we’ve based our car insurance comparison on different types of insurance policies and drivers – from the cheaper deals to temporary insurance, we’ve got all car insurance needs covered with our top five.
If you are looking for a low-cost policy, LV= get a 5-star rating from Moneyfacts. They were also awarded insurance brand of the year by Which? Their 5 stars are partly based on their exceptional pay-out history for claims. A healthy 99.6% of direct motor claims were paid between October 2020 and September 2021.
Policies can be tailored to meet your specific insurance needs and they have a multi-car policy that can reduce your household car insurance bill by 20%.
New drivers will do well with a policy from Hastings Direct. If you’re under 25 and have your own wheels, the average yearly insurance is over £1000. High-cost car insurance policies can be inhibitive to getting a car and keeping it on the road. Multi-car policies with parents are one way around the higher costs.
Hastings Direct are likely to give younger drivers a car insurance quote that won’t make your stomach drop when you receive it. Marmalade are another insurance company younger drivers may want to investigate. Their black box policy is a good option and their customer service is helpful and friendly.
Speaking of customer service, if you’re looking for car insurance that values customers, answer the phone quickly and generally leave you with a smile, check out Direct Line. They won Finders’ Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction Awards in 2021. Customers who were surveyed repeatedly mentioned the excellent service they’d received and one even said Direct Line were a “cut above” other car insurers.
Generally speaking, older drivers are looking for something a little different from their insurance policies to new drivers. Saga tailors their policies with extras over 50s drivers will enjoy. Things like unlimited European cover, discounts for additional cars at the same address and a 3-year fixed policy price make this insurer ideal for older drivers. There is no upper age limit for their policies, so Saga is a good bet for active grandparents making the most of their retirement years.
If you’re looking for a car and want to take a few different models for a test drive before making your decision, you’ll need temporary car insurance. TempCover policies last from anywhere between an hour to 28 days. Available to drivers as young as 17 or as old as 78, making a claim won’t affect any no-claims discount you’ve built on an annual policy.
TempCover is also a great idea if you’ve found a car you love and are yet to sell your car. This kind of cover can protect your old wheels while the current policy is transferred to your new wheels. It takes a matter of seconds to set these policies up and you’ll need to pay upfront. It’s also possible to increase the level of protection should you need to.