Multi-car car insurance explained

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What Car? Staff
20 Aug 2012 10:17 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Are you a two or three-car family? If so, you are not alone.

Millions of households up and down the country have more than one car parked on the drive.

The residences of large families or groups of young living in shared accommodation could even boast five vehicles.

Whatever the number and combination of cars, however, multi-car households can benefit from multi-car insurance policies that cover all the vehicles registered at that address at once.

This way, there is just one renewal date and one premium to worry about.

Whats more, many firms offer discounts of up to around a third if you insure more than one car on the same policy.

Here, we explain how multi-car insurance policies work and look at who can save money through them.

How does multi-car insurance differ from standard car insurance?
Multi-car insurance policies, which can usually cover between two and five cars, offer all the same benefits as regular ones.

The only difference is that the same policy insures more than one car, while the insurer will probably offer you bigger discounts the more cars you insure.

Put two vehicles on the same policy, for example, and you might earn a 10% discount on the overall price. But put five cars on and the discount could grow to 30%.

Whats more, you can usually choose different levels of cover and different excesses for each vehicle.

However, as with standard car insurance policies, the vehicles covered must generally be for private use only.

While the policyholders do not have to be related, and the cars can all have different main and named drivers, it is also worth noting that all the cars must be registered to the same address.

Finally, just because a car is covered by the same policy as yours does not automatically mean that you are insured to drive it.

You must be a named driver of the vehicle in question to do so.

Is it always cheaper to buy multi-car insurance?
Multi-car insurance policies allow insurers to capture the business of up to five motorists in one go, which is why they tend to offer discounts to those who take out cover of this kind.

However, it is always worth comparing the overall cost with the quotes you get for insuring each vehicle separately as you may find that individual policies still offer better value for money.

Often, this will depend on the cars and drivers concerned. If, for example, one of the vehicles is a high performance sports car, you might be better off buying a separate policy from a specialist insurer.

If one of the motorists is young and inexperienced behind the wheel, or has past convictions, he or she is also likely to bump up the cost for those with clean claims records and no-claims discounts.

Conversely, including one of the older, lower risk drivers living in the household as a named driver (so long as they do sometimes drive the car concerned), could be a better bet in this situation.

What else do I need to know?
Before choosing a multi-car policy, it is a good idea to check the terms and conditions of the no-claims discount. After all, you do not want all the motorists losing their no-claims discounts just because one of the people named as a driver on the policy has an accident.

Other things to check include that you can add cars to the plan as and when the cover they have now comes up for renewal.

Otherwise, you could end up paying twice to insure the same car.

Finally, make sure that you can arrange cover on the same policy should anyone in the household change cars during the term.

Most insurers will do this, although your choice of vehicle could affect the premium.

This article has been researched and written by whatcar.com's car insurance partner, MoneySupermarket