What Are The Best Car Insurance Plans In The UK?
Our tool compare comprehensive car insurance deals only. Data are updated every year.
Car insurance is a big cost for most UK households. The average is £802, and many people pay much more than that.
Do you think you're paying too much for your motor insurance?
One of the easiest ways to cut your premiums is to make sure you do a proper car insurance comparison to find the cheapest quote.
Table of Contents
What is car insurance?
Car insurance is a really complex area, with dozens of companies all giving different kinds of cover and quotes depending on a set of criteria: your age, your living area, your car, your driving record etc.
And because of the way quotes are tailor made for individuals, there’s little freely available price information so you have no idea what’s a good quote and when your insurer’s taking advantage of you.
What are the different levels of car insurance?
There are three levels of car insurance that you can choose:
Third party only
Third party insurance is the minimum required by law. It will cover the cost of reimbursing any third party who is injured or whose car is damaged by an accident you caused. It won't cover any costs you incur, such as the cost of repairing your own car or having to buy a new one.
Third-Party Fire & Theft
Third party, fire and theft adds two extra types of cover to the basic third party package. You're covered for the price of a replacement if your car is stolen and not recovered. You're also covered if your car is destroyed by fire.
Fully comprehensive cover includes everything that is in third party fire and theft. But it also covers you and your own car for medical expenses or repairs. It may include provision of a courtesy car, windscreen cover, cover if your keys are lost or stolen, and even 'new for old' cover for the first year when you are insuring a new car.Get to know more >
What does car insurance cover?
You'll find below some typical cover most car insurers will offer in their booklet. Some are only available under the highest level of policy though.
|Cover for injuries to a third party||You will be covered if you are involved in an accident and the other people get injured.|
|Damage to a third party's property||You will be covered if you are involved in an accident and the other people get injured.|
|Any injury caused to a passenger||You will be covered if you are involved in an accident and the other vehicle's passengers are injured.|
|Fire, theft or attempted theft cover||You will be covered in case you are victim of any loss or damage to your vehicle and belongings as a result of fire or theft.|
|Protected No Claim Discount (NCD)||Usually available as optional extra. It means that your NCB will be protected in case you do not make more than X claims on your car insurance policy over a defined period.|
|Emergency any driver cover||If there’s a medical emergency during your journey, any driver can take over the driving or take your vehicle back home.|
|Cover for trips abroad||You can drive in the EU for a certain period with the same level of cover as you have in the UK.|
|Unlimited audio/visual cover for fitted equipment||Permanently fitted audio and sat nav equipment is covered against fire, theft, and/or accidental damage.|
|Uninsured driver cover||You won’t lose your NCD and there’s no excess to pay if you’re hit by an uninsured driver. You'll be asked to supply the uninsured's driver vehicle details.|
|Guaranteed replacement car||You will be given by your insurer a replacement (or courtesy) car while yours is being repaired (usually if you use the insurer's repairer network) after an accident, or until it’s declared a total loss.|
|Windscreen and windows cover||This cover is often included as standard in comprehensive level of cover. It means that wou won’t lose your NCD and there’s usually no excess to pay if our approved repairers can repair the glass. If replacement is needed, you may need to pay the standard glass excess (mentioned in our reviews). Windscreen cover might (or not) include damage made to sunroof.|
|Personal accident cover||You will be covered for certain injuries you sustain in an accident involving your vehicle (usually death, loss of limbs). Hospitalisation can be covered too.|
|Emergency accommodation/get you home cover||If you’re stranded after an accident, you will be given up to a certain amount per incident for accommodation or travel expenses.|
|Personal belongings cover||Your items carried in your car, such as phones, laptops, glasses and clothing etc. will be covered up to a certain limit.|
|Two year new for old cover (up to 12K miles)||If you’ve owned your vehicle from new and it’s up to a year old (or two depending on the insurer), we’ll replace it with a brand new one if it’s written off. You may have miles restrictions for the new for old vehicle benefit to work.|
|Vandalism cover||You won’t lose your NCD if you claim for damage caused by vandals.|
|Child car seat cover||You will get your child car seat replaced up to a certain value following an accident.|
|Medical expenses cover||You and your passengers will get covered up to a certain limit per person for medical expenses following an accident involving your vehicle.|
|Accident Healthcare cover||You and usually your spouse or partner will be eligible for private medical treatment if you’re injured in a road traffic accident.|
|Legal Protection||You will be covered up to a certain limit (£100,000 in most of the cases) of legal costs for accidents in the UK that are not your fault, if the legal team believes there is more than 51% chance of success.|
|Onward travel||You'll be covered if you can’t use your vehicle after an insured incident in the UK. You will be provided with onward travel by taxi to some destination in the UK.|
Which level of car insurance cover should I choose?
You should choose the level of car insurance that gives you the right balance between cover and price.
Usually, that will be fully comprehensive insurance.
|Type of damage or injury||Third Party|
|Third Party |
Fire and Theft
|Injury you cause to other people||yes||yes||yes|
|Damage you cause to other cars||yes||yes||yes|
|Theft of your car||no||yes||yes|
|Fire damage, explosion||no||yes||yes|
|Windscreen and glass damage||no||Varies||yes|
|Injury to yourself||no||no||yes|
|Accidental damage to your car||no||no||yes|
|Damage to your personal possessions in the car||no||no||yes|
Which car insurance policy upgrades can I get?
Many insurers offer upgrades to their fully comp policies to cover you for costs such as windscreen replacements, lost keys, or legal expenses. But other insurers may include some of these as standard with all fully comp policies, or offer a higher premium package of 'extras'. So it's important that you compare insurance in detail to see what's offered before you make your final decision.
Upgrades can include:
- A courtesy car - a hire car enabling you to get around while your car is being repaired;
- Motor legal protection - insurance that covers you against legal costs if you have an accident;
- Personal injury cover - help with medical and other expenses if you're injured in a crash;
- Breakdown cover - paying to recover your car (and you!) if it breaks down;
- Cover for lost or stolen keys - including the cost of new locks for the car;
- Windscreen cover - if your windscreen is damaged or broken.
Our comparison tool takes all these options into account when it looks at good car insurance deals for you.
What are the other types of car insurance available?
Sometimes you can get a better deal with a specialised policy than with a 'regular' car insurance policy. It's worth checking whether you could benefit from checking out a special insurance type.
Black box policies use a telematics device in your car to track your driving style and habits. For young drivers, a black box policy can be a good way to secure an affordable car insurance policy.
Classic car insurance
Classic car policies can make sense if you have a vintage or classic car and do relatively low mileage in it, particularly if it's your second car.
Multi-car policies can cover a number of cars at a single address, and can sometimes be cheaper than the equivalent single-car policies.
Learner driver insurance
Learner driver insurance can cover you if you're taking out the family car for some practice. Some car insurance companies also offer young driver insurance targeted at those who've just passed their test.
Good to know
Specialised policies aren't always cheaper than the equivalent 'plain vanilla' policy, but you won't know unless you run a comparison for the best car insurance quotes.
How much is a car insurance policy going to cost me?
One way to give you an idea how much your insurance policy might cost is to look at the average for each type of policy. The average fully comprehensive insurance will set you back £470.
And that average includes plenty of drivers who've got the maximum No Claims Discount having built up their entitlement over maybe five or ten years. If you're a new driver or had an accident recently, you could end up paying more.
Although third party offers much less cover - it won't pay out for repairs to your car, or for theft of your vehicle - it's on average more expensive (that's because most of the people who take out third party are high-risk drivers such as very young drivers or drivers with points on their licence).
|Type of policy||Average car insurance UK (per year)|
|Third- Party Fire and Theft||£820|
You might also want to look up the average premium for your age. Older drivers, particularly those with clean licences and several years of No Claims Discount, pay on average quite a bit less than younger drivers. If you're under 25 you'll definitely want to use car insurance comparison sites to make sure you get the cheapest car insurance, as even a small percentage change could save you a lot of money.
|Age of driver||Average car insurance UK (per year)|
Your car insurance will also depend on the kind of car you drive, and your record as a driver. These figures just give you a rough ballpark idea of what you might pay. You can guess, if you're aged 51 with a clean driving licence and a low value car, you might pay towards the bottom of the range; if you drive a high performance sports car with a high price tag, you might pay more. If you have points on your licence or a recent big claim on your car insurance, you'll pay more.
In fact, though, you'll need to do a more in-depth comparison to find out what your insurance is actually going to cost.
"But I just want insurance for my car!" you might be saying. "Why is it so complicated?" The answer is that insurers want to be quite sure about what kind of risk you represent before they give you a price. Thankfully if you check insurance out with Safe, you'll have your answer in less than a minute.
What do I need to get car insurance quotes?
Insurers need to know what kind of risk you represent and how much they might need to shell out if you have an accident. So they need certain basic details about you and your car.
An insurer will want to know:
- the type of car you drive (make, model, trim etc.)
- how old it is
- your details, such as your age and where you live
- your driving history - when you got your licence, any points on your licence
- any No Claims Bonus.
If you are a driver with a history of recent claims and points on your licence, you may need to choose third party or TPFT as fully comp insurance might be unaffordable. If your car is worth less than £1,000, you might decide the risk is worth taking. But if you have a car that is worth more, and you have a clean licence and a No Claims Bonus, you're almost always going to be better off with a fully comp policy. Third party is very basic insurance, but it isn't always cheap insurance!
How do I know I am getting the best car insurance deal?
You'll only know you're getting the best deal if you do a proper car insurance check, comparing quotes from different insurers.
You could put "car insurance quotes uk" into Google, but you'll only get stuff about insurance in general - you won't get a proper comparison that's tailor made for you. You can ask friends what they pay for their car insurance, compare quotes, and guess that yours is a good deal - but they might drive more expensive cars than you, or have less No Claims Bonus.
The more thought you put into the process before you start, the quicker it will go, and the better the quotes you'll get. If, for instance, you think some of the special insurance policies above might give the best car insurance option for your particular circumstances, you'll want to compare regular fully comp insurance quotes with the specialised option.
Top 8 tips for cheaper car insurance
Obviously our first advice is to use insurance comparison sites to ensure you get cheap car insurance quotes. But there are some other things you can do to reduce the cost of your insurance.
- Use or buy a cheaper car to insure. Look for a car in one of the lower insurance groups and you'll be able to save on your insurance.
- Build up a No Claims Bonus that will get you discounted insurance rates. And remember to claim it when you sign up to a new insurance.
- Get a policy with a higher voluntary excess. That means you'll have to foot the bills for a certain amount before the insurer pays out. But if you have enough money that a few £100 repair bills won't dent your budget, a higher excess could save you a lot of money;
- Lower your mileage. The more miles you drive, the more likely you are to have an accident. Insurers will charge lower premiums to low mileage drivers;
- Consider a multi-car policy if you have multiple cars in your household. It's often 10-15% cheaper than insuring all your cars separately;
- Consider a telematics (‘black box’) package which could come in significantly cheaper than conventional insurance, especially if you're a younger driver facing steep premiums;
- Taking extra qualifications like Pass Plus or the Institute of Advanced Motorists exam can cut your premiums. That's particularly true for younger drivers, though you'll have to make a significant saving to pay back the £100-200 cost of the Pass Plus course.
Have a look at our article 13 Ways To Get Cheaper Car Insurance.
Should I pay my car insurance monthly or annually?
Paying your car insurance annually is almost always cheaper. Most insurers offer you the option to pay your car insurance monthly as well as annually, but they will charge a bit more for the monthly policy.
That's because, basically, they're lending you money, so they will charge an interest rate, just as a bank would.
If your bank account permits, pay your insurance all in one go to benefit from the best price. You might also think about using a zero interest credit card, if you have one, to pay the insurance off now and pay the credit card back later.
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Our tools on car insurance
Get anonymous car insurance quotes in seconds with HelloSafe
Comparing car insurance offers from different providers is your way to get the best quote. This used to mean phoning around or using an insurance broker. Now, you can compare car insurance quotes online. That has major benefits:
- It's quick - it should only take you one minute to go through the entire process and get an insurance quote.
- It's easy - a simple intuitive process that doesn't confuse you with a load of small print.
- With HelloSafe, it's anonymous, too.
Consumer research shows that you could save up to £250 by comparing quotes. That's because insurance is a market like any other - some insurers want to increase their market share and offer cheap car insurance to get more customers. Others might want to pick and choose their clients, and offer good prices for targeted demographics like over-50s, or good 'black box' insurance prices.
If you auto-renew - and more than 14 million drivers still do! - you're not going to get the cheapest quote. Insurers often bump up the premiums for existing customers hoping they won't notice. If one minute's work with an insurance checker gets you a £250 saving, that's the equivalent of being paid £3,000 an hour!
HelloSafe is a neutral and innovative website that lets you search for insurance options without giving your personal details. No names, no pack drill - just quotes and coverage information.