First on the (In)grid!

Chris Tarrant’s estranged wife, Ingrid has escaped a driving ban claiming she could not rely on the TV star to drive their son to school.

Despite having nine points on her license prior to being caught speeding and, later, talking on her mobile whilst driving, the wife of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? star was let off with a £500 fine and six more points.

The mum-two was on her way to meet her lawyers in September when she was clocked doing 63mph in a 50mph zone. Two months later she was spotted chatting on her mobile as she drove near Chertsey, Surrey.

As well as convincing magistrates that a ban would cause "unfair problems" for son Toby, 16, she also claimed that her charity work would suffer. Clearly this was enough to persuade the court but Ingrid may well have a tougher job convincing her car insurance provider that her premium shouldn’t go through the roof.

If your premiums have experienced a hike similar to that which Ingrid’s are likely to suffer then can give some top tips to lighten the load.

1. Shop around for the best deals – prices can vary hugely but you need to make sure you’re comparing like for like cover
2. Pass Plus – If you’re a new driver the additional certificate can cut your premiums
3. Protect your no-claims bonus – no claims bonuses can have can have a major impact on premiums so it’s definitely worth paying that little bit extra to protect it against careless drivers.
4. Fit an alarm – this can attract a discount of around 5%
5. Cut down on the miles – by agreeing to a mileage restriction you could save up to £100. Norwich Union even offer a pay-you-drive scheme for younger drivers.
6. Change your car – the make and model will have impact on your insurance costs
7. Increase your excess – by volunteering to pay more should you have an accident you may be able to cut your premium
8. Watch where you park – if you have a garage, use it and be sure your insurer knows you are.
9. Cut out the optional extras – your insurer may offer courtesy cars and legal expenses but get rid of these unless you really need them and your premium could fall.
10. Add an older driver – by adding another named driver you may marginally reduce your premium.

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