It's quite common for there to be multiple cars registered to the same household - whether it's a large family with grown up children, or even just friends sharing a house or flat.
Luckily for these households with multiple vehicles, insurers tend to offer discounts to those who insure all of the car at one address in one go. We’ll show you how you can take advantage of multi-car discounts and help you to decide if these kinds of policy will give you the best deal.
What is multi car insurance?
Multi car insurance lets you cover all the cars in your household under one insurance plan, instead of having to cover each vehicle separately. Insurance providers will usually allow you to cover up to five different cars on the same policy, also offering discounts for each car that’s added.
Multi car insurance will often work out cheaper than separate policies, however there are exceptions, so you should always compare car insurance prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
How do multi car insurance policies work?
In terms of cover, you’ll get exactly the same level insuring one car as you would insuring multiple cars on the same policy – the key difference is in the price.
You can, if you wish, choose to have different levels of cover and different levels of excess with each vehicle and still take advantage of the discounts on offer. If everyone in the household is included as a named driver for each of the cars, then you’ll be able to drive each vehicle legally.
If you want to take out a 12-month multi car insurance policy, then it will come into effect on the latest renewal date of the cars in question. So, if one of the cars you want covered is insured until March under the terms of its current policy, and the other is insured until May, then the multi car insurance policy will be active for 12 months from May. Temporary or short-term cover will be provided to the first car between March and May to make up the difference.
Who can get multi car insurance?
If you live in a household that owns more than one car, then you will be eligible for a multi car insurance policy. Types of people who will benefit from these policies include:
- Families with multiple cars or drivers
- Couples who each own a car
- People with more than one car
- People living in a shared house with multiple cars
All the cars included in a multi car insurance policy will typically need to be registered at the same address. However, some insurers will still offer cover for people living at separate addresses, for example if your children have moved to university.
If you think you will benefit from having all your vehicles insured under one policy, compare car insurance prices to find a cheap multi car insurance deal now.
Is this kind of insurance always cheaper?
While the discounts associated with multi-car policy can be particularly desirable, this doesn’t necessarily mean that such a policy will always be cheaper than the alternative.
You should always make sure that you shop around and check how much it would cost to insure each car individually before you settle on the first multi-car deal that you’re offered.
Things like the age and level of experience of all the drivers involved will affect the cost of the premiums offered. For example, if the drivers included a 39-year-old with a fully intact no-claims bonus and a 17-year-old who has had a licence for 3 months, then the premiums offered will be cheaper than the average for younger driver, but more expensive for the older driver.
This means that the older driver could get a better deal by simply taking out an individual policy. However, if the older driver, as a parent, had kindly planned to pay for their child’s insurance anyway, then they’d be making an overall saving by taking out a multiple car policy.
You should also make sure you pay close attention to the terms of the policy relating to no-claims discounts. In some cases, if one driver on the policy has an accident, then everyone else’s no-claims discount will be reset and obviously, no one wants this to happen.
How will everyone's choice of car affect the cost of a policy?
The different types of car included on a multi car insurance policy will also affect the premiums.
Every car built to UK specifications is placed in one of the 50 insurance groups as set out by the official Group Rating Panel. These groups act as a guideline for the cost of the insurance policy, with those in the lowest numbered group costing the least to insure (and vice versa).
If, in one household, one of the cars being insured is a small, old hatchback, and one is a high class Aston Martin, then in order for the policy to be fair (and low generally), you should maybe think about taking out a separate, specialised policy for the Aston, and placing the other cars in the household on the multi-car policy.
How can I get cheaper multi car insurance?
As well as changing the types of cars included in the policy, there are many ways to get cheaper multi car insurance, including:
- Security: Increasing the security of the vehicles under your policy will make them less likely to be stolen and will therefore reduce your premiums. Try fitting industry-approved alarms and immobilisers for cheaper car insurance.
- Excess: If you increase your voluntary excess – the amount you agree to pay upfront for any claim – then you will be rewarded with cheaper premiums. However, make sure that your voluntary excess isn’t set too high so you can still afford to claim when you need to.
- Named Drivers: Adding older and experienced drivers to your policy as named drivers can also help to reduce your multi car insurance premium, especially if there are young and inexperienced drivers on the policy.
- Compare Car Insurance: As always, you can find cheap car insurance coverage if you take the time to compare with Money Expert. We can provide you with quotes from many different providers, helping you to find the best deal.
Pros and cons of multi car insurance
When it comes to comparing car insurance, it’s always crucial that you weigh up the pros and cons of taking out that particular kind of policy instead of others. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of multi car insurance policies:
- Insurers offer discounts for each car added to the policy, so you can benefit from cheaper premiums.
- Everyone using the policy will have just one renewal date and premium, making the whole process of payment simpler.
- If another driver on the policy needs to make a claim, it won’t affect the other drivers’ no-claims bonuses, meaning they won’t be negatively affected when it comes to taking out a new policy.
- Some insurers will provide cover for cars that aren’t kept at the registered address, for example children who have gone to university.
- Not always cheaper. If you’re an experienced driver, then you could see your premiums increase if an inexperienced driver is included in your policy.
- Paying for a multi car insurance policy annually means you must pay a hefty lump sum every year. However, choosing to pay monthly will mean you end up paying more in interest over the year.
- If one driver has to make a claim on a multi car insurance policy, it can increase the premiums for other drivers on the plan.
Compare quotes to get the cheapest insurance policy
Once you’ve gone through the above and settled on the number of cars you need insured, and agreed an appropriate level of cover, you’ll need to find the best multi-car deal possible given your requirements.
To check out available insurance quotes, head over to our car insurance comparison page and we’ll get you a list of the best quotes on the market so that you can start saving right away.
Before all of this though, you should have a quick look at the deals available if you were insure each car individually. Our car insurance comparison service will help you here as well. It’s quick, free and could save you lots of money – so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by comparing with Money Expert.
Frequently asked questions
Is it cheaper to put two cars on one policy?
Multi car insurance isn't a one-size-fits-all model, and the value of any policy will be determined by the cars and drivers in the household. For this reason, it's always wise to shop around and compare multi car insurance quotes against the corresponding single car policy quotes.
As an example, in a house of one adult over 40 and one inexperienced young driver, the overall cost of both policies may be reduced by a multi car policy. However, while the inexperienced driver will be paying less than they normally would on a single car policy, the older driver pays slightly more. This could be handy if the older driver is a parent who will ultimately pay for both policies.
Can you be insured on two cars at one time?
Yes, you can be insured on as many cars on a multi car policy as you like, so long as you drive each of them. It's likely that any accidents will count against the no claims record of the main driver, however.
In some multi car policies, having older or more experienced drivers listed as named drivers on the cars of more inexperienced drivers could reduce the premiums.
Is it cheaper to add a named driver?
Generally, it's cheaper to have experienced drivers listed as named drivers on the policies of inexperienced or young main drivers.
However, it's important to make sure that named drivers do actually drive the vehicles they're named on, and that they do not drive the vehicle more often than the main driver. Otherwise you could be guilty of fronting, a type of car insurance fraud.
Is it worth getting multi car insurance?
Multi car insurance could save you money and hassle in many circumstances, for example:
- If you're a couple or family living together, with more than one car, and currently all pay for different insurance policies.
- If you're a family with dependent children living away from home with their own cars, e.g. university students.
- If you're a group of housemates who currently all pay individual policies
Can I drive another car on my insurance?
Your own insurance policy will dictate exactly which cars you can drive. If you've taken out a multi car policy on more than one of your own cars, you can drive any of them. Likewise, if you're a named driver on another car in a multi car policy, you can drive that car. You can't legally drive any vehicles on which you aren't a named driver, unless you have a driving other cars (DOC) clause in your own insurance policy. Check this with your provider, as it's often not included as standard.
If you do need to drive a vehicle, and aren't named on the policy, you can take out temporary car insurance, for a single trip or for a set period of time.
Can I let my partner drive my car?
So long as your partner is a named driver on your insurance policy or has a driving other cars (DOC) clause in their own policy, you can let them drive your car. If they aren't eligible, they will need to take out temporary car insurance or be listed on your policy in order to drive your car.