Best Car Insurance in the UK

Best Car Insurance in the UK

While many drivers consider car insurance an unnecessary expense, as with any insurance, it can be a great safety blanket.

However, car insurance is a legal requirement. In the case of an accident, having the right policy is vital, regardless of who is responsible.

With a vast range of car insurance policies available in the UK, it can be hard to decide which one to pick when getting a new vehicle.

Read our comprehensive guide on the best car insurance in the UK, along with a few pieces of advice on finding the right policy for you.

What Is Car Insurance and Why Do I Need It?

Whether it is health insurance, car insurance or pet insurance, having a policy is important to protect the things that are important to you.

Car insurance is a legal contract between the insurer and the driver of the vehicle.

Its purpose is to protect the driver against financial loss in case of theft or an accident. In the UK, having car insurance is a legal requirement for all drivers.

Unless your car is out of use, you must have at least a third-party liability policy. Although most policies only cover the vehicle and not the driver, there are some exceptions to this rule.

The level of protection you can get depends on the particular policy you have purchased.

Having the right plan can bring you various benefits. In case of an accident, you only need to file a claim if you were at fault. However, going through the legalities of claiming can be challenging.

The right insurance policy can facilitate this process and help resolve your claim much faster.

It's also important to note that not all policies pay the same percentages, even if the damages were of similar magnitude.

They may come with a slightly higher monthly premium, but the most advantageous policies also pay much higher amounts in the event of a claim.

Not only can it be a sound investment should your car get damaged or stolen, but it can also help you cut costs when buying new vehicles or policies.

In the UK, having a good driving record is rewarded by a no-claims discount, which can reduce your premium by up to 80%.

While this usually kicks in after several years, it can typically be transferred from one insurer to another. This means you won't lose your reward even if you switch insurance companies.

What to Look For in Car Insurance

There are many important factors to look out for when buying a car insurance policy.

You need to ensure you are covered for everything you need protection against without paying for something you don't actually need.

Here are some useful features to be aware of when choosing a car insurance policy.

Policy Costs

Naturally, this will be the first thing to consider, but it shouldn't be the sole deciding factor.

Remember, there is a lot that goes into the price of your policy. One of the biggest financial tips is to look a little deeper into the offers you get.

For example, many policies include auto-renewal for free, which relieves you from the burden of remembering to renew your policy. However, you may not need this service if you are not satisfied with the insurer.

You should also be aware of the fees you may need to pay in case of a cancellation.

Level of Coverage

There are three main levels of car insurance coverage:

  • Third party
  • Third party, fire and theft
  • Comprehensive

The third-party coverage pays for damage to the other car if you cause an accident and covers passenger and pedestrian injuries as well.

However, it won't pay for your damages. If you want to be covered for your damages in case of theft or fire, you will need third party, fire and theft coverage.

If you also want to be financially protected against your damages in an accident you have caused, you must purchase comprehensive coverage.

Keep in mind that there are different types of comprehensive insurance policies in the UK, as well as temporary car insurance.

Excess

When you file a claim for your own damages, you will still have to pay a certain percentage. This is called an excess, and it's how insurance companies discourage vehicle owners from claiming for less significant damages.

There are two kinds of excess:

  • Compulsory – Determined by the insurer
  • Voluntary – The amount you can add to your premiun if you want to cut the cost of your premium

These are typically included in the basic levels of coverage, while special coverage types have separate excess costs.

No-Claims Bonus

One of the best personal finance tips is to opt to build up a no-claims bonus.

As mentioned before, if you go a certain period without making a claim, your insurer may offer you lower monthly premiums.

While this is another way of discouraging you from claiming minor damages, it certainly has its benefits for you as well as for your insurer.

They will retain you as a client, and you will get a cheaper policy. That being said, the amount of time before you can collect your bonus and the size of it varies from one insurer to another.

With some insurers, once you make a claim, your waiting period starts over, while others will let you protect your bonus. However, the size of it decreases each time you make a claim.

There is also usually a limit to the number of claims you can file. Going over it may invalidate your protection or raise the price of your car insurance.

Customer Service Rating

Due to the nature of their business, car insurance companies often don't have the best reputation for customer service. They make their living by collecting premiums, and they are not too keen on paying out claims without considering them thoroughly.

They may even make it hard for you to contact them by dragging you through call centres. Once you manage to make contact with them, you will be faced with a huge amount of legalities just to prove your claim.

Fortunately, not all car insurance companies are the same. Some of them will reward your timely payments with good customer service.

So, if you are having trouble with your insurer, it may be time to switch to another one.

Best Car Insurance in the UK
Best Car Insurance in the UK

10 Best Car Insurance Companies in the UK

1. Swinton

For cheap car insurance in the UK, there aren't many better companies than Swinton. Customer reviews the of Swinton's claim process are excellent.

When it comes to customer service experience, this company is ranked among the top five in the country. Two out of three customers would renew their policy with Swinton.

This is mainly due to the helpfulness of their agents when drivers try to make a claim. Swinton also offers advantageous additions and bonuses, providing better value for your money than many of their rivals.

Further adding to the customer experience is that Swinton aims to investigate all claims thoroughly and objectively, ensuring the best protection against damages.

Visit Swinton

2. Co-op

With its excellent industry rating, Co-op car insurance can give peace of mind for anyone who requires third-party liability as standard.

This includes a no-claims discount protection and transfer, courtesy car, a 24-hour accident recovery service, coverage for replacement keys and locks, and up to eight days of insurance in the EU.

In addition, Co-op offers unlimited child car seat claims, wrong fuel cover, personal belonging compensation and a windscreen repair (with an excess).

The company also has limited coverage for the policyholder and their spouse or partner if they suffer permanent disabilities or death.

Available add-ons include an emergency helpline, roadside assistance and recovery (valid throughout the EU), legal expenses and counselling.

Visit Co-op

3. Saga

The policies of Saga car insurance are specifically designed to fit the needs of those aged 50 and over.

With its exceptional quality of cover and customer service reviews, this insurer stands out from the competition.

While their premiums are slightly higher than other companies, the three different levels of coverage allow for a high level of premium customisation.

Saga's standard benefits include limited coverage for personal belongings and injuries for the policyholder and their partner or spouse.

The latter is only applicable for comprehensive policies. There is even coverage for any other fully licensed driver in case they have to drive your car in an emergency.

An unlimited plan for coverage across the EU is also included in Saga's policies.

Visit Saga

4. One Call

With its better-than-average customer experience rating, One Call is definitely one of the most reliable UK car insurance companies.

As a standard service, they offer free basic breakdown coverage, included in all their insurance plans.

Motor legal cover, windscreen cover and a helpful online customer service portal is also available for all levels of coverage. TAlso included is roadside assistance and onward travel cover, limited to up to two calls a year and an excess fee.

Upgrading to premium coverage allows you to have unlimited call-outs for roadside assistance with no excess and other features like vehicle recovery and overnight accommodation.

Visit One Call

5. Direct Line

Direct Line is another insurance company that has recently made vast improvements to its customer services. The customer service agents are friendly and offer swift support.

The company's comprehensive policies are rated one of the highest quality coverage in the country.

Some of their most notable services are business car insurance, which includes fair-claim commitment, and guaranteed car replacement until the claim is paid out.

They also offer multi-car discounts and many other benefits that make their policies very affordable.

Visit Direct Line

6. Dial Direct

Dial Direct is one of the UK's largest insurance companies, so its car insurance policies are well known and appreciated by many satisfied customers.

Its comprehensive car insurance coverage can be tailored to fit anyone's needs and preferences, offering a wide variety of benefits along the way.

Some of these include coverage for damage or total loss caused by fire, theft and vandalism, whether accidental or malicious.

Not only that, but if a vehicle they cover is involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, the policyholder gets all their excess refunded.

They also offer compensation for a child's car seat replacement with each claim.

Visit Dial Direct

7. Aviva

One of the most popular features offered by Aviva is a 10% multi-car discount, which applies to up to five different vehicles.

Since these must be registered under the same address, this option is most suitable for businesses whose employees travel between various locations for work.

While the discount does not apply to optional features, it includes both comprehensive and third party, fire and theft insurance coverage.

Aviva's comprehensive package is one of the most inclusive ones in the UK.

One area where Aviva shines is with one-day car insurance, or short-term car insurance if you only need it for a few days or weeks.

This gives you great coverage without needing to commit to an annual premium.

Visit Aviva

8. Admiral

Admiral has a 9 out of 10 rating from customer reviews on almost all comparison sites for their services.

This company specialises in car insurance, putting in the effort to provide the best in terms of ease of purchase, value for money and clarity of policy information.

Admiral is a great company if you're looking for learner driver insurance in the UK UK or provisional insurance for the UK.

They even have a range of great options available for business car insurance. It makes them one of the most versatile providers in the market.

On top of that, policyholders have the right to additional benefits, such as a courtesy car, windscreen replacement and extending their coverage for driving overseas.

Visit Admiral

9. Churchill

One of the oldest motor vehicle insurers in the UK, Churchill is still a strong competitor in the car insurance market.

Its affordable services make it one of the best-rated multi-car and business vehicle insurers in the UK.

One of their most notable services is the DriveSure telematics insurance policy.

This promotes safe driving among young drivers by lowering their premiums if they make no claims in a certain amount of time.

Churchill also provides an emergency helpline and a list of professional repairers.

If the policyholder uses these repairers, they get guaranteed repairs and a courtesy car while their vehicle is being replaced.

In case their vehicle is written off, customers can choose between getting a replacement, a refund of the value of their car, or an upgrade for a certain fee.

Visit Churchill

10. GoCompare

For new drivers looking to get the most beneficial premiums for their vehicle and policyholders considering switching insurers, GoCompare can provide a great solution.

GoCompare is not a single car insurer but a comparison site that offers a straightforward process to compare quotes from a wide selection of providers.

Their high customer rating is testimony to the quality of their services.

In addition to providing customers with quotes based on vehicle and driver information, the site also offers payment method selection and breakdown cover.

Finding the optimal car insurance policy through GoCompare also comes with limited excess coverage.

Visit GoCompare

Final Thoughts

While all the insurers in this article have great reputations, the final choice is up to you.

With a new policy, you can travel to your dream job or enjoy going anywhere you want.

It's also a good idea to shop around for new insurance policies if you are approaching renewal time.

Due to the competitive nature of the car insurance market, insurers are always coming up with enticing deals.

Your needs can also change over time, so it's worth keeping up to date with what might be available for your next term.


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