Car insurance: if you’ve got a car, there’s no way of escaping it. And it can be one of the biggest bills you’ll have to pay all year.

The good news is that financial comparison websites have made it nice and easy to shop around for a competitive price. But once you’ve run your search and found a list of the cheapest quotes, how do you decide which companies are likely to be there when you need them to?

That’s where Fairer Finance comes in. Follow our five steps to maximise your chance of getting the best value car insurance policy.

When we say best value, we don't mean the cheapest deal. We mean one that’s competitively priced but is also highly rated by its customers and our researchers.


Take a look at the Fairer Finance rankings

Fairer Finance’s ratings help you understand which companies treat their customers well, and which ones don’t. We rank companies on four factors – customer happiness, customer trust, how good they are at dealing with complaints, and how transparent they are.

Start your car insurance search by making a note of the insurers that are ranked most highly, before carrying on to get a quote.


Use a good price comparison site

When you click on a Compare Rates link alongside our tables, you’ll be taken to one of our panel of trusted comparison site partners. We only use sites who we believe make an effort to search as much as the market as possible for their customers.

Once you get your personalised list of prices, look for the companies who have been awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze ribbons by Fairer Finance.


Don’t forget to check direct

Some companies in our tables are not on comparison sites. NFU Mutual and Aviva, for example - both of which receive Fairer Finance ribbons for car insurance - do not appear on comparison sites.

You may want to get a quote from them directly to check if they can offer you a better deal.


Keep your eyes open as you buy

Once you’ve found a policy that is both highly rated by Fairer Finance, and offers a competitive price, push ahead and buy your policy – but proceed with caution.

Be careful to select an excess that you’re comfortable with, and make sure you don’t get automatically opted into paying monthly. You’ll be charged high rates of interest for the privilege if you choose to pay in instalments.


Put your renewal date in the diary

Sadly, most insurers don’t reward you for loyalty. Instead, most will try and increase your premium significantly if you stay on as a customer for a second year.

Make sure you put a note in your diary to start shopping around for a new deal next year. The best time to look would be a few weeks before your policy comes up for renewal.