Beat the Car Insurance Hassle(Hoff)

Cult TV fans and car enthusiasts will be excited by the prospect of the television series Knight Rider, which re-launches with a pilot on US television in February.

David Hasslehoff, the crime fighting vigilante, may have gone but the iconic car, K.I.T.T remains, albeit with a new 21st century look. If your nostalgia for all things 1980s extends beyond Knight Rider, you may remember fondly the cost of car insurance premiums back then, and while you’re never going to quite get back to that level, there are still a number of steps you can take to ensure you pay the lowest premium.

It’s the law

Car insurance is essential for all drivers, and because it’s a legal requirement it’s one of the most commonly held personal finance products in the UK. If you are caught without insurance then the consequences are serious, you could face a hefty fine or driving ban. There’s no excuse not to be insured with more than 200 policies on the market all offering different features and levels of cover and at widely varying prices.

Do you want a courtesy car with that?

The price you pay for your insurance is dependent upon the level of cover and features which you require. If you’re looking for a policy with all the add-on features then you should expect the breakdown cover, the type of courtesy car you receive and the legal advice you receive in the event of an accident or breakdown to be excellent.

If on the other hand all you want is policy that will pay out if your car is damaged then you will have peace of mind with a much cheaper policy.

When searching for policies be sure to scan through the features on offer to ensure that you are comparing more than just cost.

Up to you

Car insurance cost isn’t just dependent on the policy features; it’s dependent upon you the driver. Some of the factors insurers take into account are fairly obvious.

If you have a Ferrari for example you should expect to pay more than if you have a Peugeot to reflect the financial risk to the insurer. Similarly, if you are driving a lot of miles or using your car for business then you may also have to pay more to reflect the increased chance of you being involved in an accident.

Other factors which insurers consider whilst calculating your premium are less obvious and worth thinking about when you apply. If you’ve been parking your car on the street or in your driveway and have a garage which full of gardening equipment then think about clearing this out to make room for the car. Locking it away each night could save you hundreds of pounds in insurance depending on the type of car you drive.

Two year rule

If you’re currently looking for a car insurance policy, it’s worth asking yourself whether it has been more than two years since you last seriously reviewed your provider. If the answer is yes, then you may have been missing out on the best deal. With the most competitive deals on the market changing regularly it’s important to review your policy regularly to ensure you take advantage of these.

When taking out a new policy be sure about what you want to get out of it and if you want a policy with all extra then expect to pay more, remember cost shouldn’t always be the bottom line. Answer the insurer’s questions about your driving patterns honestly, but if there are things such as storing your car in the garage which you could do differently then take steps to comply.

While insurance costs may have increased significantly since the 1980s you should spare a thought for the auction bidder who bought one of the original K.I.T.T cars last year, with a price tag of £150,000 they’ll have a hefty premium on their hands.

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