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Cut your insurance bills

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Cut your insurance bills
31Dont automatically renew your insurance policy or accept the first quote you find, or youll be throwing money down the drain. Use comparison websites to whittle quotes down to the cheapest few, and then ask your insurer to beat the cheapest ones to save even more.

32Adding older drivers to your policy can bring premiums down, so try putting relatives on the policy, even if they wont drive the car. Having access to other cars in the household can also reduce your insurance costs, so dont hesitate to list those that your partner or children own.

33Try knocking the value of your car down a little (without being dishonest to your insurer, of course). We found that by reducing the value of a car by just 5 from 10,000 to 9995 had a beneficial effect on the quotes we got from insurers.

34Look into increasing the excess on your insurance policy, as this will result in the premium coming down by a considerable amount of money, but dont go too high with the excess, or some repairs could end up costing you a lot of money.

35Dont accept a policy based on a set amount of miles a year (say, 12,000) if you dont drive this much. Get the mileage lowered. If you do fewer miles, youll be exposed to less risk, so your policy should be cheaper.

36Covering your car with all sorts of manufacturer options, aftermarket equipment or modifications will have the unwanted side effect of raising the price of your insurance cover, so keep the bells and whistles to an absolute minimum.

37If you pay your insurance policy through monthly instalments, it will certainly be costing you a lot more money. If at all possible, always make sure you pay your bill in one lump sum and save yourself loads of lovely s at the same time.

38Dont grab the first finance figure you get (unless its a 0% deal, of course) get online, get on the phone and get down to the high street. Remember, you can haggle on finance just as you can on price.

39Look at our top five loan rate deals each month to see if youre being offered a good deal. If you cant get close and dont understand why, get in touch with credit scoring companies such as Experian or Equifax to see if there are mistakes on your record that need to be taken off.

40There can be massive differences in the cost of service and repair work between workshops. Spend some extra time calling around a few to see which will do the work for less and see if you can cut prices down. It's also worth considering looking further from home, too.

41Dont forget that you dont have to use your dealer for servicing or repairs independent garages are perfectly entitled to work on a car within its warranty period, provided they follow the service and repair schedule and use original parts or those of equivalent quality.

42If you run a company car, its likely that your firm will provide cost-effective options for you to choose from, but remember that your monthly tax bill will shrink if the cars list price is low, if it doesnt have many options fitted to it and its carbon dioxide emissions are low.

43If your mortgage interest rate has come down, you should have some spare cash, so use it to clear you car finance early. All loans of 25,000 or less taken out after May 31, 2005 are covered by the Consumer Credit Act, which means your lender has seven days from your request to provide a settlement statement calculated using a fair formula. There may be penalty payments on other loans.

44If your finances are stretched and you need to stop paying for your car, you can hand the keys and car back, and not pay another bean provided youve paid 51% or more of a hire purchase agreement (with or without a final balloon payment). Other types of finance, such as PCPs, are settled according to rules in the Consumer Credit Act, so there may be fees to pay.