I'm divorced with three children so I have to look at every penny. When buying car insurance, I tend to use the price comparison websites that can search for multiple quotes after you upload your information. This means you only have to enter your information once to receive several quotes. There are some insurance brokers that are not available on price comparison websites, so I will also use the internet to search for those sites and enter my information in order to obtain a quote. Some sites are better to use than others. Many require you to enter a password and set up an account before you are able to view quotes. Personally I find this off-putting as I don't want to enter my email address unless the quotes interest me in order to avoid spam emails.
When shopping for car insurance, the number one criteria for me tends to be the price. I will look at five or six of the cheapest quotes that are returned and then compare what they offer to make a decision as to what insurance I take out. I tend to go for cover that offers both windscreen cover and courtesy car in case of an accident or need for repair. Those are my other two main criteria when shopping for insurance. I will not take out a policy unless all of these criteria are met.
Additional things I look for are legal expenses cover and key cover. Although I prefer the insurance to have these, I know they are not included as standard and often there is an additional premium to pay for them.
I have found that over the years, the cost of my car insurance has risen despite now having a family car and nine years no claims bonus. My first car was a 2L petrol, sporty car. My current car is a Ford S Max diesel with seven seats to fit the children in. The cost of my insurance now it's roughly the same as I paid when I started driving around 14 years ago.
When searching for insurance, I will see if I can reduce the premium any further by adding an additional driver. On a couple of occasions, adding my dad, who is 70, to the policy has significantly reduced the cost of the car insurance. Also adjusting the level of excess will change the cost of the insurance. I will try different levels of excess to see how much the price of the insurance changes. Yes it takes time but with four mouths to feed including my own it's worth while.
I used to pay for my insurance monthly, although with interest added it worked out very expensive. As I said earlier I have to budget carefully. Now, I try to pay for the insurance annually in one go when it is due for renewal. That saves me worrying about having large amounts of money coming out of my bank account every month for the next year.