This guide is filled with all the facts you need to know about buying car insurance and saving money as you do
Car insurance can seem complex, especially if you're renewing your cover and aren't sure what to look for. If you're buying car insurance for the first time, the different elements of cover may seem especially confusing.
Whether you’re unsure about whether you need car insurance, to what kind of car insurance you need, to how elements of car insurance such as No Claims Bonus, groups and excess work, we're here to help.
If you already have a car insurance policy with Admiral and want more information about it, we recommend you look on our Existing customers page.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about car insurance.
Why do you need car insurance?
It’s illegal to drive a car without a minimum of third party car insurance in place. If you’re caught driving without valid insurance you can face:
- six penalty points added to your driving licence
- a £300 fixed penalty
- losing your car if it’s seized by the police
- collection fees to reclaim your car
- a crushed car if it’s not reclaimed within 14 days
- potential court prosecution – if this happens you can get an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving.
You may also find that any insurance you buy in the future will likely be more expensive, or you may be blocked from buying cover altogether.
Even if you don’t use your car that often, or never drive it, at all, unless you’ve declared it as SORN and it’s kept off the road, you’ll still need motor insurance.
Which level of car insurance cover do you need?
Car insurance can be split into three main categories:
- third party
- third party, fire and theft
- fully comprehensive.
The level of car insurance cover you buy will depend entirely on your own circumstances; the car you drive, the level of risk you think you’re exposed to and how much you can afford.
It’s essential that you buy third party cover in order to be legally covered, but investing in fully comprehensive cover could end up costing you less in the long run if you are involved in an accident or if someone damages your car.
Before you choose a policy, check the terms and conditions to make sure you’re covered for everything you expect to be.
Find out more about how to choose the right level of car insurance
Which class of use?
Choosing the right class of use for your car insurance is essential for you to be properly covered; there are a number of different classes of use to choose from:
- Social, domestic and pleasure
- Class 1 – business use
- Class 2 – business use
- Class 3 – business use
Think about how you use your car and don’t be tempted to choose a different class to the one you need – in the eyes of the law your car will be uninsured, so make sure you think carefully about which to choose.
If your job changes mid-term and you use your car for different reasons, you may need to the review the class of insurance you need.
Which class of use do you need? Read more about class of use with our guide
How the excess works
A car insurance excess is the amount you have to pay in the event of claim. This varies depending on your car, the named drivers and if you have protected or guaranteed No Claims Bonus.
An excess works to deter drivers from making claims for minor damage.
Find out more about how car insurance excess works with our guide
How the No Claims Bonus works
For each year you drive without making a claim or having a claim upheld against you, you benefit from a No Claims Discount or No Claims Bonus.
You can build up a No Claims Bonus for 15 years, and take it with you from insurer to insurer.
With Admiral’s Bonus Accelerator, you could get a year’s worth in just 10 months.
Read our guide to No Claims Bonus to find out more about how it works
How you affect your premium
Car insurance premiums vary from person to person and car to car, as lots of different factors are taken into account from your age to your address to your driving experience.
The lower the risk you present, the lower your car insurance premium is likely to be. Find out more about how your car insurance prices can be impacted by different personal factors with our guide.
Car insurance groups
Car insurance groups range from group 1 (the cheapest to insure) to group 50 (the most expensive). These groups are broadly set by The Group Rating Panel and administered by Thatcham research, and Admiral takes these groups into account when calculating our car insurance premiums.
Groups don’t just depend on the value of the car; they depend on the type of car, and the likelihood that they will be driven a certain way.
As each insurer groups cars differently and takes external groups into account to a different extent when calculating their premium, there’s is no ‘one size fits all’ rule to car groups.
Read our guide to car insurance groups to find out more
Temporary car insurance
Temporary car insurance is a short-term solution to arranging car insurance quickly for a short period of time.
If you’re learning to drive, need to use a car for a weekend or if you want to add a second car to your policy for a short period of time, there are different types of temporary car insurance to suit your needs.
Find out more about the different types of temporary car insurance available
Putting your children on your policy
While putting children on your car insurance policy can sometimes be a good idea, it’s important to do the maths and check whether adding them to an existing policy pushes up the cost.
Check the car insurance group that your car belongs in – if it’s considered a risky motor, then adding children to the cover may be prohibitively expensive.
With Admiral, children added to their parent’s policy can start building up a No Claims Bonus straight away.
Make a claim
In the event you need to make a claim, there are a number of things you need to do straight away:
- Make sure everyone involved is safe
- Collect information of those involved and details of the incident, including pictures
Call your insurer – if you’re insurance is with Admiral, call 0333 220 2034.
You should call your insurer as soon as possible after an incident, even if you don’t want to make a claim.
We’ve got more advice on what to do if you need to make a claim with our guide