If there’s one consistent thing that will follow you throughout your driving life, it’s the fear that your insurance premium will increase. When you’re young and have just passed your test, your lack of experience counts against you. Then, when you’re older and life events means that you need a bigger and more powerful car, insurance goes up again. When you finally have more driving experience, you’re suddenly seen as a far riskier prospect because of your age.
But the good news is that while insurance premiums are calculated based on perceived risk, there are still ways to save as an older driver.
Retirement comes with many benefits; not least of which is the escape from the daily commute. Unless you’re planning on touring the country, the chances are that your weekly mileage will decrease significantly. Tell your insurance company about your retirement and you may be surprised to discover the changes this can make to your premium.
You’re never too old to stop learning, so think about taking an advanced driving course such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) driving certificate. New drivers are often advised to go the extra mile in order to keep their insurance costs down and there’s no reason that older drivers can’t do the same. Even if the cost of the course outweighs the saving, it’s always good to pick up new skills.
It always pays to shop around when looking for car insurance. There are a number of providers that create insurance policies specifically to cater to the over 50s and over 70s. These brokers may be able to provide the best deal and have specialist knowledge of habits of older drivers. If you have always dealt with insurance companies face to face or over the telephone, it might be worth searching online to find out if there are other providers with better deals.
While it always pays to shop around, you might be missing out on some discounts from your existing insurance provider. Many offer discounts if you take out more than one policy with them. This could be for multiple cars or even a combination of car and home insurance.
If you’re only using your car for short journeys, then you may be eligible for low-mileage insurance. This will not affect your level of cover but will be given to drivers who spend less time on the roads. What constitutes a low mileage varies between insurance companies but you should be able to find out if you qualify by submitting an estimated annual mileage based on past use.
For a small extra fee, drivers can protect their no-claims discount. Drivers with plenty of experience are likely to have accrued large no-claims, but one small incident could undermine years of sensible driving. Preserving your no-claims bonus will ensure that you keep your good driving record and that your premiums stay low.
If you’ve retired, then it’s likely that your driving needs have changed. This could mean that you no longer need such a spacious or powerful car. Smaller cars with low emissions will cost far less to insure. Insurance companies also take into account how safe and secure your car is, so if you’re buying something new, look for a vehicle with an immobiliser or alarm and a good Euro NCAP safety rating.
Insurance companies reward drivers who keep their cars off the road. If you park your car in the driveway, then be sure to tell your insurance company. If you keep the car in a garage, then that could help lower your premium even further.