Put a dent in car cover costs

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Owning a car isn't cheap. On top of fuel, rego and maintenance costs, insurance premiums can leave a serious dent in your wallet. Compulsory third party (CTP or 'greenslip') cover may be unavoidable but it also makes sense to have comprehensive car insurance. It offers protection from repair bills if your car or someone else's property is damaged in an accident or your vehicle is stolen. In fact, if you've used a car loan to buy your car, your lender is likely to insist on comprehensive cover. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to trim the premiums.

Shop around and save

An easy way to cut the cost of car cover is by shopping around. It can also be more economical to hold your CTP and comprehensive cover with separate insurers.

Drivers have plenty of choice when it comes to comprehensive cover, and it can pay to look beyond the major insurers for more affordable premiums. A forty-something male driver for instance, could potentially save around $40 annually by comprehensively insuring a 2010 Holden Commodore with Real Insurance rather than, say, AAMI.

Having a No Claim Discount (NCD) in place shouldn't deter you from switching to a different insurer if it means getting a better deal. Many, like GIO, let drivers transfer their existing NCD to a new policy.

Most insurers provide online quotes, which make it easy to compare car insurance premiums. Or source quotes from multiple brands on the RateCity website.

Pay online

Arranging and paying for cover online is another money saver that could cut 10 percent off your premiums. This makes it important to compare your renewal notice against an online quote, which could be cheaper.

Paying for a full year's premium rather than paying by the month can produce further savings – up to around 14 percent with some insurers.

Agreeing to pay a higher excess can lower your premiums significantly. For that same 2010 Holden Commodore mentioned earlier, increasing the excess from $500 to $2000 can see the premium fall from $700 to $470. That's an instant saving of $230 or 33 percent of the premium. Just be sure you could pay the higher excess if you ever need to make a claim.

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