CAR insurance prices are soaring and drivers are being warned they could save hundreds of pounds by rejecting renewal quotes.

The cost of car insurance has jumped 14% in the last 12 months, with drivers now paying £586 a year on average for cover, up from £514, according to Willis Towers Watson.

Ryan Fulthorpe, Go Compare's car insurance expert said that motorists can still save hundreds every year by switching insurers.

He says you should ALWAYS reject renewal quotes and shop around to see if you can save money.

Ryan said: "We advise drivers to never just accept a renewal quote regardless of the percentage increase, as it’s always worth spending a few minutes shopping around to see if you can get a better deal that gives you the cover you want and need. 

"Insurers use a number of factors to calculate an insurance quote and appetites to risk differ from insurer to insurer, so it’s always worth comparing policies to see what’s out there.

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"It's also worth checking whether you could get more cover at the same price, or even save some money."

The money saving tip can be used by all motorists to slash their costs since all drivers by law must insure their vehicles.

Those that don't insure their vehicle or fail to renew their policy could be fined £300 and get six points on their driving licence.

While car insurance is there to protect you from a large repair bill if you get into an accident, thousands of motorists get slapped with hefty renewal quotes every year.

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And many drivers have reported seeing their renewed bills hiked above the rate of inflation which is currently stood at 10.5%.

And customers can still save by switching even if their renewal quote is the same as the cost of last year's cover.

Ryan also noted the importance of paying your car insurance annually – a move which can save the average driver up to £60 a year.

He said: "There are a few other things you can do to save money on your car insurance, such as paying annually if you can afford it and not adding any modifications to your car."

We've explained how you can look for cheap car insurance below.

How can I get cheap car insurance?

Always search for cheap car insurance deals online – and it pays to do this even if you've received a renewal quote to see if there are better deals elsewhere.

A comparison website is a good place to start as you can compare car insurance policies by the type of cover and level of excess you are willing to pay.

It's worth using more than one though, as different sites have different relationships with each insurer.

Some insurers, such as Direct Line and Aviva, don't use comparison sites, so you should contact them directly to see what they'll offer.

You may also get discounts for adding two cars to a policy, known as multi-car insurance.

This isn't always available on comparison websites so you will need to check with an insurer directly.

When it comes to renewal time, insurers rely on you not bothering to shop around.

You can knock hundreds of pounds off your annual bill by spending just a few minutes comparing other deals.

Once you've found the best deal – contact your existing provider to see if they can beat it.

Make sure you tell them the new cheaper price that you've found.

If they can't match it, then switch.

You can also reduce the cost of your car insurance premiums by tweaking your job title.

For example, saying you work in software rather than computer games can save £100.

But don’t lie about your job as it may invalidate your insurance if you need to make a claim.

It might sound counterintuitive, but adding another person to your policy can bring down costs.

A young driver, for example, may see their premiums fall if they add a parent as a named driver.

Make sure the main driver on the policy is the one who drives it most often though – otherwise this is known as "fronting", an illegal practice that could land you with a hefty fine.

It's also important to understand what type of cover is on offer and which is best for your needs to ensure you're not paying over the odds.

What type of cover is available?

There are three types of car insurance.

The most basic is third party.

This is the minimum level of cover you need to legally drive on UK roads. It is not necessarily always the cheapest car insurance though.

It provides cover for claims against you following an accident causing damage to someone else’s vehicle and injuries you may have caused to others.

It doesn't cover any injuries to you or repairs for your car if you were in a crash.

You can also get third party fire and theft.

This covers damage or injury that you caused to someone else but you may also get a pay-out if your car is damaged due to fire or theft 

Fully comprehensive cover will cover everything above, along with damage to your own vehicle. 

Fully comprehensive car insurance is the highest level of cover available and usually covers:

  • Damage caused by fire
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Accidental damage caused by negligence e.g. reversing into a pillar
  • Any personal injuries to others that result from an incident involving your vehicle where you are at fault

Don’t assume that fully comprehensive cover is the most expensive cover, that’s not always the case.

Which type of cover should I pick?

This is very much down to your own circumstances.

The cover provided by a third-party policy is very basic, as it doesn’t cover repairs to your vehicle, theft or fire damage.

However, it may suit you if you drive an older vehicle that you can afford to repair or replace it if it is damaged.

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Additionally, fully comprehensive car insurance may be more suitable if you are driving a newer car as it may be more expensive to repair and replace if stolen.

It’s always worth comparing the deals available at the different cover levels to ensure you find the best policy for your needs.

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