7 car insurance myths debunked

7 car insurance myths debunked
From parking in a garage to driving other cars, discover the truth behind some common misconceptions about car insurance…

There are some widely-held beliefs about car insurance that could be hampering your search for the best deals – or even invalidating your policy.

We help you sort the fact from the fiction.

Myth 1: Lower mileage means cheaper insurance

It’s often assumed that driving fewer miles will result in a lower premium, but that’s not necessarily the case.

There are some instances where drivers with low mileage can pay more, but this varies by provider.

That’s because those who don’t drive much might be seen as not being confident behind the wheel, so could be more prone to accidents.

It’s important to be as accurate as possible about your annual mileage on your insurance application. The average UK motorist covers around 8,000 miles a year, according to the Government’s National Travel Survey. But some people do much more or much less than this.

If you’re not sure how many miles you drive a year, check your previous MOT or service certificates as these will show the correct mileage.

If you do drive fewer miles than the average person - under 6,000 miles - it may well be worth looking into low mileage car insurance or pay-as-you-go car insurance, as this can work out cheaper depending on how much you drive.

Myth 2: Parking your car in a garage is cheaper

It’s a common misconception that storing your car in a garage will give you a significantly cheaper premium than if you park on your driveway.

In reality, the difference could be negligible. In fact, in some cases it could be more expensive to put your car in a garage.

That’s because statistically you’re more likely to prang your car while entering or exiting a garage than parking in a driveway. 

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Myth 3: Comprehensive cover allows you to drive any car

Many drivers assume that being ‘fully comp’ on their own vehicle automatically covers them to drive someone else’s car, but this doesn’t always apply.

While some comprehensive policies do still include this, many don’t so it’s important to check your documents before driving another car.

Look for Driving Other Cars (DOC) cover. It’s worth noting that even if you do have this on your policy, you’ll only be covered for third party liability which won’t include damage to the car you’re borrowing and you must always seek the owner’s permission first.

It’s also quite common for insurers to exclude this feature for drivers under the age of 25.

Myth 4: Putting your policy in a parent’s name will lower your premium

Younger drivers who’ve recently got their licence will sometimes put down an older or more experienced driver as the main driver to reduce their premium.

This is illegal and is called ‘fronting’ – and will invalidate your policy.

In extreme cases, you could end up being fined up to £5,000 if you’re taken to court. You’ll also find it harder to get car insurance in the future.

Adding a parent’s name to your policy as an additional (or secondary) driver isn’t against the law, however, and this could help bring down your premium. Just don’t put them as the main driver.

Myth 5: You don’t have to tell your insurer about an accident that wasn’t your fault

If you’ve been involved in an accident that you weren’t responsible for – for instance your car was parked at the time of the incident – you might think your insurer won’t need to know about it. But you must report any incidents no matter how small.

If you fail to declare relevant details, your insurer might cancel your policy or refuse to pay out if you need to make a claim. Reporting a non-fault accident should not affect your no claims discount but could still impact your premium at renewal.

Myth 6: Third party policies are always the cheapest

It seems rational to expect that the lowest level of car insurance cover would cost the least, but often this isn’t the case. Drivers who choose a lower level of cover tend to make more claims.

In many cases, comprehensive cover can cost the same as or even less than third party cover – with the added bonus that you’ll also be covered for damage to your own vehicle.

If you’re looking for the most competitive deal, try getting quotes for all levels of cover to see which offers the best. Or you could think about borrowing a car and taking our temporary car insurance for as and when you need it. Specialist types of insurance could work out cheaper, for example learner driver insurance

Myth 7: Your job title isn’t important, it’s just admin

Your occupation is one of the many factors that insurers take into account when determining the price of your premium. The exact wording can have a big impact on the price you pay.

For example, a restaurant manager can expect to pay around £87 a year more than a café owner.

Subtle changes to your job title could reduce your premium. However, if your job title doesn’t accurately reflect your line of work, you run the risk of any future claims being rejected.

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