So you’ve just passed your test or recently invested in a shiny new car. You’re raring to hit the high road, pedal to the metal, tunes on the stereo turned up to 11 and windows rolled down to, erm, zero. Well, we hate to be that guy, but before your key slides into the ignition and engine gets revving, you’re going to need to deal with the boring details of bureaucracy. More specifically, you’re going to need to find car insurance. But with the options myriad and the margins small, it’s important to approach this part of the process with diligence. Well, we’re here to offer a few insider tips so you can get the best deal possible. These are those; our 5 IDEAL car insurance hacks everyone needs to know.

YOUR CAR MATTERS

The bigger, faster and more powerful your car is, the more your insurance will cost. It’s as simple as that. Indeed, every car available in the UK is assigned a car insurance group number, between 1 and 50. Cars belonging to group 1 have the lowest premiums, and cars in group 50 the highest. One of the best ways to reduce your premiums is to buy a car in a low insurance group. These will typically have smaller engines and lower repair costs. So, while you may want to impress your friends with a flashy first car, if you’re looking to get the cheapest insurance, then buying a car in a low group is a must.

YOUR JOB MATTERS

According to research by MoneySupermarket some drivers could save over £677 by simply changing the job title on their premium form. And while you should always be honest about your job, in insurance applications, the title itself matters. Some carry higher premiums than others. According to research, ‘chef’ will return a premium that is nearly £100 higher than ‘kitchen staff’. Call yourself a music teacher rather than just a teacher? You could be quoted around £86 more. Copy writers will also return a different quote to just a writer. Simple semantics we know, but we don’t write the rules.

LOOK AFTER YOUR CREDIT HISTORY

If you decide to pay monthly for your car insurance and have a low credit score, your car insurance quote may leap up dramatically. Yep, most insurers factor in your credit history. Why? Well, according to research from Tesco Bank, people with a low credit score are statistically more likely to claim. On top of that, interest will be added to your repayments. So check your credit history before you apply for a loan if you’re going to pay for it on a monthly basis. If you have a bad credit score, try and improve it before you apply for car insurance.

FURTHER EDUCATION

You should consider taking extra driving courses in order to lower your premium. Courses such as PassPlus and Drive IQ will test your driving skills more thoroughly than standard driving tests and are well liked by some insurers. PassPlus has six modules including all-weather driving, night driving and driving on motorways, and once you have this on your driving portfolio, you’ll have proved yourself to be a trustworthy, safe driver. Your premium will be cheaper accordingly.

NO DOESN’T MEAN NECESSARILY MEAN NO

Car insurance is there to make sure we are not left out of pocket as a result of an accident that wasn’t our fault. However, even when the other party has accepted fault and you have a valid claim, sometimes the insurance company can be slow in paying out compensation or can refuse altogether. It’s important to know that there’s still hope should you be turned down, if you follow the correct procedure afterwards. Firstly, you need to find out why they aren’t paying out. It might be a case of the insurance provider wanting to gather all of the information forms from the policyholder first, in which case, the money may be on its way to you as soon as the policyholder admits fault. If they are denying the claim or asserting that their policyholder was not as a fault, ask for the evidence they used to reach this conclusion. If they are still refusing to pay, contact a qualified insurance lawyer and get them to threaten the company with a lawsuit. A last resort, we know, but sometimes a warning shot does the trick. The company will want to protect their profits and the prospect of a costly lawsuit may scare them into paying out.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.