Rising insurance costs have made a quarter of NI drivers reconsider driving
A new survey by CompareNI.com has found that 25% of all NI drivers have reconsidered driving as a result of high insurance prices.
The survey asked drivers in Northern Ireland about their experience with rising motoring costs during the cost-of-living crisis.
A staggering 82% of people said their car insurance was more expensive this year, with 68% of those people stating they had no change in circumstances. A fifth of those surveyed (20%) said the cost had increased by over £100.
In addition to this, a quarter of those surveyed (25%) said that the cost of insurance had made them reconsider driving altogether.
As a result of rising costs, 74% of drivers also said that they shopped around more than usual for car insurance this year.
Recent statistics from the UK government, support the survey findings. Analysis by the House of Commons Library found that the motor insurance annual inflation rate grew to 43.1% in May 2023.*
Commenting on the findings, Managing Director of CompareNI.com Ian Wilson said: “It’s shocking to see the rising cost of car insurance in Northern Ireland is actually starting to put people off driving. The soaring cost of repairs, parts and even hire cars, has all had a knock-on effect on premium price. The volume of claims is also increasing, most likely due to the cost-of-living crisis as drivers struggle to pay for smaller claims themselves.
“We’ve noticed a surge in the volume of customers to our site since the start of the year, up nearly 50% on this time last year as people hunt for savings.
“While aiming to secure cost-effective insurance, it’s crucial for drivers to ensure they’re not compromising on protection in case of accidents or unforeseen circumstances. Often there’s very little difference in price between third party cover and fully comprehensive, so if you can, it’s best to safeguard your finances and go fully comprehensive.
“There are always ways to save and using our comparison site is an ideal platform to compare products, to make sure you’re getting the cover you need, at a price you can afford.”
CompareNI.com’s top 10 tips to help get a cheaper insurance premium:
It’s better to plan ahead and buy your policy early to lock in the price, as premium prices tend to increase the closer you get to your renewal date. Often the optimal time for bagging the cheapest deal is three weeks before the new policy is due to start.
If possible, it’s best to pay the entire annual premium upfront to save in the long term. Insurance providers look at monthly instalments as loans and can have high interest rates. Consider paying it all in one go to knock cash off your policy.
Most vehicles should have an alarm and immobiliser as standard but it’s worth installing anti-theft devices such as a tracker and dashcam – it will upgrade the vehicle’s security and could get you cheaper premiums. Get the policy quotes first to consider whether the extra cost of fitting the devices will be worth it for the insurance savings.
Make sure to only pay for what you need and avoid driving up the premium by adding unnecessary add-ons – such as annual mileage, make sure your estimation is accurate. Also check your vehicle use, if you use it to drive to the train station for your commute to work it still needs to be noted as used for your daily commute. If you now work from home full-time, it might be worth switching the vehicle use to social only, it could result in big savings.
If you add another driver to the policy then you may be eligible for a multi-driver discount, plus you can split the cost of the premium. It can be particularly beneficial if the other person is an experienced driver with a clean record as they pose less risk to the insurance company, which could lead to lower premiums. Just make sure the person who uses the vehicle the most is noted as the main driver, incorrect use of this information is known as ‘fronting’ and is actually illegal, likely resulting in a criminal record and a void insurance policy.
Car owners that make use of their garages, driveways or carports for overnight parking can make big savings on their car insurance – parking on driveways rather than on the road can save you over £140 on average every year. Carport owners can do even better, with savings coming in at £230 on average.
Avoid filing small claims to build up your no claims bonus. Opting to pay for minor damages out of your own pocket instead of filing a claim can prevent potential premium hikes.
Getting a telematics device or black box fitted allows drivers to showcase their safe driving which can lead to cheaper premiums. This is a good option for young drivers and those with previous motoring convictions who are charged more as they are seen to be more at risk. By using the device it’s giving the insurance company data on which to base its risk analysis.
Penalty points on your licence may not only result in a steep fine but will also bump up your insurance costs too. Drivers can expect premiums to rise by 5% for three points and 25% for six points if they’re starting from a clean licence.
Don’t allow your policy to renew automatically or settle for the first insurance quote you receive. Take the time to do your research and compare rates from multiple sources to get the cheapest price on your premium. You can save time and utilise price comparison websites to help you compare providers, compare products and of course compare prices.
This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.