Spend Less on your Car Insurance - A guide to car insurance. @ Performance Motorcare Products Ltd

Spend less on your car insurance.

Parting with your cash can be hard right now with the recession showing no signs of slowing down. Parting with your cash for your car insurance premium can be downright painful, as it is likely to be one of your most expensive purchases, yet you don't have anything to show for it apart from a few documents. Car insurance prices have risen by an average of 11% in the past year due to more people claiming, even though the number of accidents is decreasing. This doesn't mean that you'll have to pay over the odds for your next premium. Read this guide for hints and tips on how to get the best price, brought to you by moneysupermarket.com

-To Modify or Not to Modify- It's probably right to generalise the fact that most insurers will definitely increase your insurance quote if you make any modifications to your car. If you improve your engine you will be seen to be a higher risk in terms of being involved in accidents as you have the ability to go faster. If you improve the aesthetics of your car you'll be making it more vulnerable to thieves and vandals. Where possible, avoid alloy wheels, spoilers and tinted windows unless it's absolutely necessary. These things could add an extra 10% onto the cost of your insurance premium. The same goes for engine adjustments- you're likely to see increased quotes if you've made an attempt to improve the speed of your car.

-Be Secure. Being extra vigilant when concerning the safety of your car could pay off. Insurers love to see that you're looking after your car as this means you're less likely to make a claim due to a robbery or vandalism. You can do many things to optimise security, such as park your car in a garage. If this isn't possible park your car as near to your house and out of sight as possible. On a driveway with gates or a fence around it is the next best thing. You should also install an alarm if you haven't got one already as this may save your car from being stolen if a thief ever attempts to steal your car. Other security devices like steering wheel locks can also shave pounds of your insurance premium.

-Compare prices. Shockingly, 33% of people don't shop around when they're due to renew their car insurance policy- they simply sign along the dotted line without seeing if there are cheaper options available, even if their quote is higher than last years. Loyalty isn't always rewarded in the insurance world, so see if there are any other companies offering a cheaper price, or ask them to beat your current quote. Many insurers will make an effort to beat other companies as the car insurance is particularly buoyant.

-Other factors. There are many other factors which could affect the outcome of your quote. Your postcode is one of them. If you live somewhere which has a high crime rate this will be reflected in your insurance premium. You're more likely to have your car stolen or vandalised therefore more likely to claim. Another factor to consider is your career. If your car is an integral part of your job and you're likely to ferry around expensive equipment this may also make your quote more expensive. In most cases, your postcode or career cannot be helped. However there are some things that you can do which aren't as drastic as moving house or changing your career…

" Pass Plus. Take a Pass Plus course, which will cost around £150 but could net you a discount of around 10% on your insurance. You will learn how to drive safely in different weather conditions and on motorways. This will show your insurer that you're serious about safety.

" Protect your no claims bonus. A good history of having no claims on your car insurance can be invaluable and can shave a huge chunk off your premium cost. If you should incur any minor damages such as scratches, bumps or windscreen chips don't be tempted to claim. You will save much more in the long run by not claiming and losing your no claims bonus.

" Drive less. If you own a car but rarely drive it, or only drive very short distances you could make massive savings. Some companies allow you to estimate how many miles you will drive in a year. Some companies even refund you the money if you don't drive as many miles as you originally estimated. Also consider 'pay as you drive' insurance if you only drive a few times per year- it saves you from paying a full priced premium for something you won't use.

A guide to car insurance, written by Rachael Miller from moneysupermarket.com