Got Cheaper Car Insurance

There was a time when I used to just renew my car insurance with the same company as soon as I received the renewal notice. Each time, I’d lament that insurance was getting more and more expensive. Sometimes, I paid by credit card, adding to the debt I had in those days. Other times, I paid in monthly instalments, ending up paying even more in total.

Shopping Around
Then, I heard that people actually shopped around for the best/cheapest deal. Back in the days before the internet (which to young folks probably seem like the ‘Dark Ages’ haha), the only way to do this was to spend ages on the telephone, ringing up different companies and comparing notes afterwards.
Comparing
Then along came the internet and comparison websites like CompareTheMarket.com or Confused.com. These were very useful in saving you time by quickly comparing different companies and like-for-like quotes. However, what I dislike about comparison websites is that having filled in all your contact details, you are then bombarded with calls or emails to take on their policies.

These days, I just use a cashback website, namely TopCashBack*.

My car insurance expires at the end of the month and I received my renewal quote, which was £389. Surprisingly, it was cheaper than my previous year’s premium of £392, which I don’t think has happened before!
Although tempted to save time and just accept this quote, I decided to shop around as I normally do.
Cashback
Logging into TopCashBack, I looked under ‘Car Insurance’ to see what cashback deals were on offer. There’s usually a big long list but I whittled it down to 4 different companies (cashback offered in brackets):

The Co-Operative (£57.75)
More Th>n (£38.85)
M & S Bank (£39.37)
Allianz (£42)

In order for you to get cashback, you must purchase a valid policy via TopCashBack from start to finish – it does not work if you just log in and retrieve a quote (I found out the hard way!).
So, I logged onto each of the above companies’ websites (not via TopCashBack), obtained a quote and made a note of it:

The Co-Operative (£57.75) Quote – £543.84
More Th>n (£38.85) Quote – £369.10
M & S Bank (£39.37) Quote – £435.47
Allianz (£42) Quote – £343.22

As you can see, the clear winner was Allianz.
I logged back into TopCashback, found Allianz, purchased the policy and voilà, I saved £46 compared to my renewal quote and also got £42 cashback, so total savings – £88!  Happy days!
Lump Sum
If you pay by instalments, the insurance company will usually charge an APR of about 18%, so you pay more in total. That’s why I pay my insurance all in one go.  As I don’t always readily have a few hundred spare in my current account and I don’t want to use my credit card, I use money from my emergency savings to pay the lump sum.
I then set up a standing order (in this case 6 x £57) to pay back into the emergency savings account, so in effect, I am paying the policy by instalments but I’m not being charged any interest for the privilege. And my emergency savings account stays topped up.
I shall be doing this same exercise when I come to renew my home insurance, travel insurance and landlord insurance.
*Note the above TopCashback link is my referral link and yes, ahem, my cashback name is ‘hellgirl’…don’t ask!

8 thoughts on “Got Cheaper Car Insurance

  1. I've actually never shopped around for insurance before… I've always had the same company because they just really are a great insurance company (USAA). You can only be a member if either you or a family member serves in the military though so it's kind of like a cult to get into. At the end of the year they actually send me money back. I think they do that based on how much money they actually need to cover claims or something… I'm not entirely sure, I've never looked into it, but I know a lot of other people here agree that it's a great insurance company.

    Now I won't ask about 'hellgirl', but I am curious as to why you picked the name 'weenie'? did you just pick one of those names that you really can't search for on the internet because you'll just get a bunch of questionable images returned?

  2. Hi DBC
    Definitely worth the little effort to check out getting cashback for services that you have to buy (eg insurance, breakdown or mobile phone contract) or for stuff that you buy anyway.

  3. Hi Zee

    Interesting comment you make about only being with the insurance company. I think I showed loyalty in the early days until I realised that I could get the same service with another company but a lot cheaper. I've found that where I've had to make claims with insurance companies, they've all been pretty much the same. But yours sounds great, especially if it gives you some money back, which is totally unheard of here!

    "Weenie" is a nickname that I acquired while I was in university, due to my petite size and stature, ie teenie weenie, meaning tiny or small. With the onset of the internet in the early 90s, it was an obvious (to me) name to use as my online persona. I then found out that 'weenie' has a different and not very flattering meaning (and yes, 'questionable images' as you put it!) in the US but having used this nickname for over 20 years now, I can't say that it's ever bothered me in the least!

  4. Hi Mrs FF
    Yes, these days, I will always go for the cheapest insurance quote for like-for-like services.

    I hear/read very good reviews about Quidco. It's just that I came across TopCashback first but both do the same thing – give cash back! 🙂

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