Car insurance – ways to save money

If you are approaching the time when your car insurance is coming up for renewal, give yourself plenty of time to shop around for quotes before it automatically renews. Most policies automatically renew the day they expire and you may find that you cannot cancel online but instead need to call someone to cancel the policy.

If you do not mind who you use for your insurance then you may want to use a comparison site such as Money Supermarket or Compare the Market to find the best prices for you. Not all insurers advertise their prices through these sites, so if you really want to find the best site then you may also need to check directly on other insurers websites.

If you want to try and earn a bit of money back on your insurance policy then you may decide to use a company such as Quidco or Top Cashback to see what they are offering. The cashback is not guaranteed, but as long as you meet the criteria, it is often paid out. Some people use the comparison sites then use a cashback site to complete the purchase. Always be careful when doing this as some insurers will not pay out cashback if they have provided you with a quote through a comparison site first. Make sure when using a cashback site that you clear all your cookies and ideally use a different email address to the one you use on the comparison site.

Is breakdown cover really worth it?

Having breakdown cover can seem like another expense that motorists can do without. Breakdown cover is not essential but without it you may end up having to fork out hundreds to get your car recovered to a garage or home again.

There are a few different breakdown companies, some of which act as brokers or refer jobs on to the larger companies to actually carry out the recovery. When looking to take out breakdown cover be sure to check the different companies to compare prices. There are some great comparison sites that allow you to easily see what you get for your money with each breakdown company.

Some insurance policies include breakdown cover or they offer it as an extra. Again it is worth checking other price before taking this out and to see which breakdown company is used if they don’t have their own.

Like insurance, breakdown cover usually renews automatically after 12 months so be sure to check you renewal price to make sure it has not increased too much. You may be able to call up your company and tell them that you are thinking of leaving and see if they can offer you a better deal.

 

 

New signs to detect mobile phone users in cars

Parts of the UK are starting to trial new technology that they are hoping will cut down on the amount of people that are using mobile phones whilst driving. It has been proven that using a mobile phone whilst driving, especially if it is not hands free increases your chances of having an accident. According to a recent study, 31% of drivers admit to using a mobile phone whilst driving. On average one person is killed by someone using a mobile phone whilst driving every 10 days in the UK and approaching two hundred more people are seriously injured each year.

With this statistic seeming to be on the rise, companies have been looking at ways they can reduce this and get people to stop using their phones whilst driving. You can now be fined up to £200 and receive 6 points on your licence and if you get caught twice this rises to £2000 and 12 points!

A company has recently developed a sign that can detect when a phone is being used. The sign will then display to that and other drivers that it knows the phone is being used, as a deterrent to get people to stop.

 

Car parking and breakdown apps

Many of us use apps on our phones or tablets every day to do things such as online banking, shopping or to socialise with people via Facebook or Twitter etc. There are many apps in the stores that can be extremely useful for drivers.

IF you are someone who often forgets where you have left the car then one of the many car parking apps can be perfect to save you a lot of time hunting around. You download the app (which should ideally be done on the WiFi to save data charges) and then when you have parked your car, go into the app and click to store your current location. This will mean you need to have your location services on.

When you are ready to return to your car you simply press the button and the app will give you directions and show you a map to enable you to find the fastest route back to your vehicle.

Another useful app is one for reporting a breakdown. Many of the larger breakdown companies now have an app that will instantly pick up your location and allow you to call for help. This makes the whole service quicker as you will not have to worry about giving the operator directions and they know they have the correct location to set off to.

 

Getting your car ready for the winter

With winter well on its way and temperatures dropping down to freezing, now is the time to start checking your car is ready for the months ahead. According to research by recovery firms, you’re twice as likely to break down in winter months, so if you don’t have breakdown cover, that’s the first thing to sort out.

There are some ways in which you can try and avoid breaking down to start with and also making sure your car is safe for driving in bad conditions. Ice is one of the main causes for accidents during the winter months and how your car copes with ice is often mostly down to your tyres. If your tyres have little tread left on them then you should replace them as soon as possible. If you have previously had cheap budget tyres on, then it is worth getting them checked out to see if they have a decent grip on them.  Simple jobs such as checking all your lights are in good working order and your fluid levels are topped up don’t take much time but could make a difference to your journey.

Swapping to winter tyres is a great idea but it is often expensive so you need to weigh up how often you will actually be driving in the bad conditions.