Friends tend to advise me to use price comparison sites when buying car insurance for my Ford Fiesta 2000, but I have another method. I prefer to head for money saving sites (Martin Lewis's site 'Money Saving Expert' is a good example) to pick up any car insurance deals out there. I am a real bargain hunter, and so I tend to integrate buying my car insurance with snapping up a good deal on a dishwasher or getting some free cinema tickets.
I prefer to buy comprehensive insurance packages, as I like a simple, streamlined, transparent life when it comes to all kinds of insurance cover. When snapping up a deal, I tend to look out for the time limits involved. For example, many companies offer super low prices for a year, and then the price will shoot up once that 12 month period is over. I make a note of these limits down in my year planner, so that I remember to cancel my insurance cover and seek another deal before the price gets too high. My method does involve quite a bit of chopping and changing, as I don't seek out specific companies to ensure my vehicle but rather follow my nose and go for the best deals. That said, I always ensure to read up on the company providing a deal before I commit to anything. I check to see that they are a reliable insurer, that they have positive reviews, and that there are no sneaky loopholes in the terms and conditions. As you can see, price is a very important factor for me, and this is because I am a single mum living on a tight budget. Most deals are require me to pay in monthly instalments, which suits me perfectly as like most people living on lower incomes I find it easier to manage a series of smaller monthly sums than a larger annual lump sum.
One trap you can fall into when you are looking for deals is spending way too much time comparing them (the same goes for finding car insurance on price comparison sites). As I work freelance, earning roughly £9 per hour, an hour spent seeking an insurance deal will lose me £9 of working time on average. Thus, if the insurer is only going to save me £7 on my annual insurance, the whole exercise has been pointless: I have, in effect, just cheated myself of £2 of income. It took a little practice, and it was difficult at first, but I have now learned to work quickly and have developed an eagle eye for good deals which means that I do not waste my (literally) valuable time on money saving sites and manage to save the maximum amount of money on my insurance.