Chipping away the cost of car insurance!

There is a presumption these days that you will renew your car insurance with the same company; I have noticed in the past few years that the letter which is sent shortly before the renewal date states that payment will be deducted until otherwise notified; i.e. to assume forgetfulness of the innocent motorist. Now, that is fine and dandy assuming that the cost of continuing is reasonable. In my case, I paid £292.95 in 2015 to Hastings insurance for my 2012 Vauxhall Astra 2.0 CDTi Sports Tourer  – otherwise known as an estate. Recently, my renewal letter stated £358.78 which you may regard as expected when recent headlines stated a 20% increase in renewal for Joe Public. Meanwhile, time spent on comparison car insurance websites lowered the fee to £243.54 for a 2012 Seat Ibiza 1.2 TDi estate, a car I was going to drive whilst the Astra was to be SORNed. I had paid £195.97 in 2014 to drive the Seat.

I called Hastings to firstly stop any renewal as I was about to swap cars and their friendly advisor inputted the Seat Ibiza details with a new quote of £320. Now, here I was about to play my trump card as I made the point that the Seat was only a 1.2 TDi, less than half the brake horse power of the 165 bhp Astra. The advisor went away, I suspect to consult his senior and returned with a quote of £245 that wasn’t that far off the comparison quote. I then stated that I would renew for £220 today, a bluff to see if they could undercut my quote. Off he went away again and offered a final quote of £223.14 that he said, included all discounts and also took into consideration the fact that I had owned the Seat Ibiza since 2014 that proved that I had experience – a dubious reason I suspect to enable me to continue being their customer.

So, advice: Compare using comparison car websites then call your car insurer and haggle for a lower renewal quote or go elsewhere.

Words are copyright of Sotiris Vassiliou

September 2016