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It’s ten years since insurers were able to offer someone a lower car insurance premium based on their gender. This means all insurance companies must rate male and female drivers the same. (Prior to this, female drivers would pay less for insurance as statistically it was shown that they had better safety records.)

However, there are still ways to save – here are some things to bear in mind when looking to find the best deal.

Switch insurers

If you haven’t claimed in the past you are in a strong position to look for a new insurance company. Shop around using a comparison site or – better still – use an insurance broker to find savings for you while maintaining a similar level of cover. A broker has the experience and understanding of the market to compare quotes from different insurers to find you the best deal.

Be realistic about your car’s value

Never over-value your car, as it will be reflected in higher premiums. Work out the current market value of the vehicle and remember this will be less than you paid for it, and increasingly so the longer you have it. Bear in mind that if you need to make a claim, the insurer’s assessor will only look at the car’s current market value – how much you paid is irrelevant! Again, a broker has experience of calculating the value of cars and will be happy to help.

Choose modifications with care

Avoid any modifications to your car unless they act to increase its safety. Even a simple change such as adding alloys can increase the premiums. However, changes that increase the safety and security of your car such as adding an immobiliser or an alarm can help to lower your premium. Be sure to talk to your insurer or broker before making any changes to discuss the impact it will have on your premiums.

Drive safely

Keeping your licence clean is fundamental in keeping your costs down. Convictions or penalty points can increase the cost of your cover in Ireland, so stick to speed limits and drive with care. Your No-Claims bonus is the basis of a big saving on your annual premium, so it pays to protect it! Insurers will also look favourably on lower mileage, so if there is any way you can reduce the distances you travel (by car sharing, for example), this should be reflected in lower premiums.

Share the load

Many drivers don’t realise that they can get a discount by adding a partner to their policy, sometimes of up to 20%. Talk through the implications with your broker, though, as it may not pay to add a driver that has points on their licence or is less experienced than you.

Avoid monthly instalments

Sometimes it helps to spread the cost of insurance over the year, but if you can, settle the balance upfront. Paying for insurance monthly is like taking out a high-interest loan, so you’ll be paying interest on top of the initial sum. The interest rates can be as high as 20% so it works out to be much cheaper to pay the full sum in one go.

Look for added extras

Read the fine print to see what else is included. For example, some insurers offer breakdown assistance – this could be more important to a female who routinely travels alone, and means you don’t have to pay again for cover. Cover for personal effects and clothing that might get stolen or damaged in your car is also available.

Get the experts to do the hard work!

A surefire way to get the best insurance rates in Ireland is to use a broker such as Britton Insurance. We take time to understand your own personal requirements and have the experience to help you find the right cover, at the right price.