You must have motor insurance if you own or drive a motor vehicle. There are over 60 companies that offer insurance in the United Kingdom, providing various levels of cover you can choose from.

There are two main types of vehicle insurance: 

Third party insurance, which covers you if you cause an injury to another road user or their property but does not cover damage to you or your vehicle. This type of cover can be extended to provide protection from fire or theft.

Comprehensive insurance, this covers you fully – providing protection in the event that you cause damage to another road user as well as accidental damage to your vehicle and yourself.

Your premium depends on factors like the make of car – the size of the engine, your age, your sex, where you keep the car overnight, what the car is used for and who else drives the car.

More information on how to find cheap insurance is available from Which?.

A guide to Car insurance is available from AdviserBook.

Further, advice and frequently asked questions about obtaining motor insurance, can be found at the following links:

Car insurance can be very expensive, especially for younger and older drivers (additional useful information can be found at the link above), so it is important to shop around to help keep costs down. Remember to compare what is covered by the policy, not just the price – key policy information and documents are a good way of comparing precisely what one policy offers against what another policy offers.

You can also agree to pay the first part of any claim - this is called an agreed excess or a standard excess and can be a good way of lowering the premium of your policy. If you have not claimed, and as such your “claims history” is good, insurance companies will usually offer you a “no-claims discount” which is usually means around 30-65% off your premium.

This means that the safer a driver you are the cheaper your insurance is. You can also pay a small amount to protect you no-claims discount, this means that if you do make a claim you will not lose your entire no-claims discount.

For "DOs and DON'Ts" on car insurance, follow this link.

Details of tips to save money on vehicle insurance is available from MoneyMagpie.

Key Documents

When you have applied for motor insurance there are three key documents that you will receive:

  • The certificate, this will contain details of the insured vehicle, the insured driver and the period of .insurance for which the policy is valid. This document provides legal evidence of insurance cover and needs to be kept with the vehicle at all times.
  • The policy, this document will set out the full details of the policy and the terms and conditions.
  • The schedule, this gives details of your agreed excess, your no-claims discount and which parts of the policy apply to you.

You must check all of these documents and make sure they are completely correct, you may also be issued with an insurance cover note which facts as the above documents until they are produced.

A guide to car insurance policies is available from MoneyHelper.

Insurance while driving abroad

For information on insurance for driving your car or a hire car abroad, follow this link.

A guide to Car insurance when driving abroad is available from AdviserBook.

The rules around driving in the European Union (EU), and EU nationals driving in the UK have changed now that the UK has left the EU.- full details are available here

Making a claim 

If you are involved in an accident with another road user you must give your own address and name, as well as the vehicles owners name and address, and the registration number of the vehicle. You must also report the incident to your insurer even if you do not intend to make a claim.

Further information, advice and frequently asked questions about making a claim on your motor insurance, can be found at the following links:

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver you should report it to the police as well as your insurer as you may be eligible for compensation.

Further information, advice and frequently asked questions on what to do if an uninsured driver is involved in an accident is available from uSwitch.

Further information on making a claim in other circumstances is availabe from Citizens Advice:

For a complete guide to making a claim follow this link.

Young Drivers

For specialised information for younger drivers – follow this link to understand the costs of running a car.

Top tips helping young drivers get the best insurance deal at the right price, are available at the folowing links:

.Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) 

If you’re planning to buy a new car your car dealer may try to sell you Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance to cover a write off.

Full details of GAP and advice on whether you should purchase it is available at the following links:

Buying and Running a car

A complete guide to Buying and Running a car is available at the following MAG sections:

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