How we carried out our tests
We carried out price comparisons for an imaginary person using a range of ages and driving experiences for the same person. These comparisons were carried out using four different popular price comparison sites. The criteria we used are listed at the bottom of this page.
What our results indicated
- In many cases the extra cost of paying with a low deposit (especially for young drivers) was considerable
- insurers seemed very reluctant to offer low deposits to younger drivers or those with little experience
- in many cases the cheapest insurers were not prepared to offer monthly payments at all
- in most cases the insurer offering the lowest quote was not the one offering the lowest initial deposit
- No comparison site consistently produced the cheapest quotes
- the cheapest quotes for both upfront payments and monthly payments were dominated by a very small number of insurers. This means that these results could be extremely volatile in the future, depending upon the policies of these insurers.
What does all this mean?
According to our figures:
- Younger drivers are extremely unlikely to be offered initial deposits of less than about 20 percent of the total premium.
- Over 50s not only get the cheapest car insurance but also the lowest initial deposits; in some cases less than 10 percent of total premium.
- Many motorists who want to pay monthly will not only pay interest charges, but will also have to buy a more expensive policy than they could have bought if they paid the full premium upfront.
- It could pay you to compare prices on more than one comparison site, since many of the prices are different, even for identical policies.
* Please note that:
(1) We selected a totally arbitrary list of criteria for our imaginary motorist. Different criteria may well result in completely different results from those we have printed;
(2) some of the quotations we have listed were from insurers who provide Telematic (i.e. black box) policies
(3) We have ignored value-changing factors such as compulsory excesses and extras such as legal representation, courtesy car, etc.
The criteria we selected for our imaginary motorist were:
- Car: Vauxhall Astra SRI NAV VVT 100 1400cc manual
- Any modifications: no
- Is a dashcam fitted: no
- How long owned: Not bought yet
- Value: 7500
- Marital status of driver: married
- Age: varies
- Postcode: SK8
- Employment: filing clerk
- Industry: insurance
- Licence: full UK manual licence
- Medical issues: none
- Number of cars at home: 1
- Children: none
- Homeowner: no
- Claims or convictions: none
- policy start date: tomorrow
- Type of policy: Comprehensive
- Voluntary excess: £250
- Usage: social and commuting
- mileage: 7000
- Where car is kept: at home on a driveway
- No claims bonus: varies
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