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Best ways to obtain a car insurance quote

So you're in the market for car insurance - but how can you get the best deal for your needs without paying over the odds? Here we look at the options available.

Dealing with a broker

The traditional way of obtaining a car insurance quote was to visit a broker or an insurance company on the high street. Though much of the car insurance market has moved towards the internet, some high street brokers remain.The advantages of visiting a broker or insurance company in this way is that queries can be answered immediately and if you have a modified vehicle the case can be considered individually. A broker should also have access to quotes from several different insurance companies. Unfortunately however, shopping around on the high street can be time consuming and you are limited to the companies that the insurance broker has deals with.

Making calls

To save the time of trawling around the high street you could simply make phone calls from home. With this method you can call as many companies as you want; your queries can be answered instantly; and, much like with shopping on the high street, the cases of modified vehicles can be considered individually.Similarly to travelling around the high street however, making numerous phone calls can take a lot of time; and the cost of the phone calls could be expensive if the companies don't offer free phone lines. You are limited to the number of insurance companies you call and it can often be difficult to deal with salespeople over the phone if they have aggressive sales techniques.

Looking at insurance company websites

The majority of car insurance companies now carry out their business online where they can often offer discounts because they save money on overheads. You can fill in your details quickly and easily; you don't have to worry about salespeople; and you can get a quote in your own time because the internet is available 24hrs a day.Unfortunately, while approaching an insurer on the internet can be cost effective when compared to walking into a high street store, you can still only get one quote unless you are willing to visit several insurance company websites.

Using a car insurance comparison website

With the car insurance market becoming increasingly competitive there is now a sophisticated way to compare dozens of insurers without too much time or effort.Comparison websites allow you to fill in one form with your details and they then compare quotes from potentially 125 car insurance companies. In addition to seeing the prices available you can also see what's included in the policy so you get a genuine like for like comparison of what's available and a thorough overview of the marketplace.The prices offered through a comparison website are the same as approaching an insurer directly. Comparison websites make their money when you click through to an insurer's deal after determining which quote is right for you - effectively they take a 'finder's fee' from the insurer. However, there is no additional cost to the consumer as the price remains the same.Comparison websites are the fastest and most convenient way to compare deals. The only potential downside is that you can't speak to someone directly if you have any queries.Also bear in mind that not every insurer will be included in the comparison website's listings so you may still wish to approach some insurers directly for additional quotes.

Influencing your car insurance quote

Whichever method you choose to obtain your car insurance quote, remember that premiums differ between insurers because of the criteria they use to assess your circumstances. Generally all insurers will take into account the following: your annual mileage; your personal circumstances; the vehicle you drive; your driving record; and your address.Taking steps to lower your perceived risk should help to reduce your car insurance premiums. This can include boosting the security of your vehicle by parking in a garage overnight and fitting insurer approved alarms and immobilisers; avoiding driving convictions; building up a no-claims discount; and taking an advanced driving course. You may also wish to raise your voluntary excess, but be careful to set it at a level you can comfortably afford; and consider paying your premiums annually instead of monthly to avoid interest charges.

 

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