Get yourself a smoking fine behind the wheel

With smoking banned in practically every public place in the UK, one of the few places of solace for smokers is the car. But new legislation brought in last week could mean smokers will think twice before lighting up behind the wheel, too.

The highway code has been amended to state that if you’re smoking while involved in an accident you could be done for driving without due care and receive a fine of up to £2,500.

This is a major change as police now see smoking at the wheel as a distraction from driving – and potentially as a failure to be in proper control of the vehicle.

What’s more, anything that could impact the risk of you having to claim on your car insurance means premiums could rise if you’re a smoker. So if you haven’t kicked the habit and still drive then you need to think about how to secure the best motor insurance quote for you.

Beat the premium rise

On the whole, car insurance premiums are increasing. But the marketplace is still very competitive if you know where to look, and by shopping around you might actually be able to cut your premiums.

The average car insurance premium is around £800, but this will obviously vary depending on your circumstances. If you’re a smoker it could be higher than if you weren’t – but if you don’t declare this and you’re caught smoking behind the wheel then your insurance won’t be valid. So be honest and search for the best deal you can get.

Factors that affect the size of premium you pay include:

  • The type of car you drive – the more expensive it is the higher the premiums you can expect to pay
  • The security devices it has
  • Where it is parked when it is not being used
  • Where you live
  • How many miles you drive each year
  • Your age. Younger motorists aged 25 and under for example, have more accidents and make more claims so their premiums are higher

Easy ways to cut your premiums

Don’t rely on your current insurer to give you a tasty renewal quote. In fact there are insurers out there who will guarantee to beat your renewal quote under some circumstances – so it pays to play the game to get the best deal. Here are some other handy tips:

  • Apathy: Some insurers will play on your apathy and increase your premiums in the hope that you cannot be bothered to shop around and look for a better deal. You should always receive at least three quotes but despite this, up to 20% of motorists only obtain one quote when they buy their car insurance.
  • Buy online: Many car insurers offer a discount of 5% or more if you purchase your car insurance online
  • Avoid paying by direct debit: This can be a good way of spreading your car insurance payments but you need to bare in mind that some insurers believe that they are making a loan to customers when they let them pay by this method. This means that the convenience of spreading your payments comes with a charge which can wipe out any savings that they have earned through research the market for the best deal
  • Specialist insurers: Some insurers are geared towards offering certain motorists a better deal than average. For example, some focus primarily on safe drivers or women and because of this claim to offer them a very competitive and hard to beat deal.

If you are looking for a new car insurance policy, MoneyExpert.com can help you find the right cover for you.

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