Top car insurance firms and policies revealed
15th February 2023
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Car insurance can be expensive, but you don't have to sacrifice great cover just to get the cheapest price.
Which? can help you find the best car insurance providers. Not only do we rate 78 elements of a car insurance policy, we also ask thousands of real customers who've claimed how they rate their insurer.
In addition to using our reviews, you can also save money on your car insurance policy with a few simple tricks:
We’ve partnered with Confused.com to help you get a great deal on your insurance.Compare car insurance
Our customer surveys and policy analysis is used to rank car insurance providers. The top scoring providers can be named a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP) if they can meet the following conditions. They must:
In addition, we won't award a provider our WRP endorsement if they have a poorer than average claims score.
The first list compares only those car insurers we were able to rate for both policies and customer experience. It's ordered by total score.
The second list compares car insurance policies - an insurer may offer more than one.
|79%||77%||78%||17 / 110 years old|
|78%||76%||77%||17 / 80 years old||-||-|
|78%||68%||73%||16 / no max age|
|71%||75%||73%||45 / no max age|
|72%||71%||72%||18 / no max age|
|75%||66%||71%||16/ no max age (80 through PCW's)|
|74%||66%||70%||17/ 84 years old|
LV was best rated by claimants in our survey, scoring 79%, and its policy was the highest scoring (77%) when compared against other providers' standard policies. It's one of a minority of providers guaranteeing repairs for a vehicle's lifetime, and one of just 11 offering the policyholder a temporary replacement car if theirs is stolen.
It also stands out by offering protection for no-claims bonuses against an unlimited number of claims.
Customers in our survey gave LV praise for its ability to deal with queries and offer value for money. Some 35% of LV claimants in our survey felt they were getting a cheaper price with it than what was on offer from other insurers - a sentiment shared by 26% of claimants overall.
NFU Mutual holds the singular honour of never having lost its WRP status since we launched the scheme more than a decade ago. It did consistently well in our analysis this year - just behind LV both for its customer score (78%) and policy score (76%) - achieving second place overall.
It's one of just two providers we reviewed that doesn't charge a cancellation fee, or interest if you want to pay monthly.
You won't find NFU Mutual on comparison sites. You can get a quote by calling one of its 300 branches.
Unfortunately NFU Mutual may not offer a policy to customers in all postcodes, particularly major cities.
One of the largest insurers in the market, Direct Line retains its place as a Which? Recommended Provider.
It achieved a customer score of 78% - joint second with NFU Mutual.
Churchill received the third-highest customer score (75%) this year. Its standard policy had a slightly-above-average score (of 66%) in our analysis.
Like its sister brand, Direct Line, we liked its fairer approach to customers' no-claims discount. For example, it won't hack at the discounts of those who have claimed because their car was vandalised.
Aviva is our fifth WRP - with a strong customer score of 74% (placing it sixth of 15 brands). Its standard policy merited a decent 66% in our analysis.
The insurer sells slightly different variants of its cover through comparison sites - called 'Aviva Online' (scoring 65%) and 'Aviva Premium' (66%).
We’re working with Confused.com to help you get a great deal on your car insurance. Search for a new policy now.
The customer score is based on a survey of 2,454 policyholders who have recently made a car insurance claim. The score reflects how satisfied customers say they are with their provider and how likely they would be to recommend it.
Providers must receive a minimum sample size of 30 to be included.
Why only talk to customers who've claimed?
You'll only know how good an insurer's customer service really is when you have to make a claim.
That's when good insurers will show their ability to deal with problems, quickly process your claim and get you back on the road as soon as possible.
As it can be difficult to find the requisite number of customers who've claimed for some insurers, in some cases we're only able to provide our expert policy scores.
The policy score is our assessment of the quality of standard cover comparing 78 elements of a car insurance policy. We weight certain features of cover or costs (fees and excesses) based on the impact we think they generally make, from courtesy cars to breakdown cover.
Among the highest-weighted elements are the insurer's guarantee on repairs, cover for glass damage, conditions of its no-claims discount, whether it'll provide a replacement vehicle, its fire, theft and accidental damage excesses, and interest rates charged for paying premiums in instalments.
We carry this analysis out every 12 months. The next update will be in February 2024.
Where customer and policy scores are available, insurance providers are ranked by their total score. This score is made up of 50% of the customer score, and 50% of the car insurance policy score.
Getting a cheap car insurance deal can be tricky, but we’ve partnered with Confused.com to help you compare policies and buy insurance from one of their 100+ providers.
Yes. When you take out a car insurance policy it is standard for your agreement to auto-renew after 12 months.
Your provider will let you know between 21 and 30 days prior that your policy is up for renewal, and if you take no action it will auto-renew with the same details including excess, no-claims bonus, add-ons, fees and charges.
Some policies have a 10-month option, so it is important to double check your agreement to see how many months until your auto-renew kicks in. Sticking with your current policy may not be the best option for you. Find out why you shouldn't allow your policy to auto-renew.
Yes. Your car insurance policy can be transferred to your new car even if you are midway through your 12-month policy. Once the transfer is complete, your new car will be covered in the same way as your previous model.
Some insurance providers will charge an admin fee to change your details. These changes should include your car make, model and mileage. It is important to remember that your new car could have an impact on your car insurance premiums.
Your insurance provider will need to know the date to switch over the policies. The best time to contact them is once you know when you are collecting your new car from the dealership or seller. This way, you can collect your car and drive it home that day with your new insurance applied.
The main three types of standard car insurance are third party, third party fire and theft, and comprehensive.
Third party is the most basic level of cover and is the legal minimum. It covers damage you cause to other drivers on the road, but not damage to your own vehicle.
Third party, fire and theft is the next band of insurance up. This also pays out if your car is stolen, vandalised or severely damaged.
Comprehensive car insurance offers the widest coverage for you and your car. It will cover both you, your car, the other driver and their car in an accident.
As of February 2023, the average car insurance premium paid by drivers was £470, according to the Association of British Insurers.
This was 8% higher than in the previous quarter, with insurers blaming rising repair costs.
The average paid for new policies was £531 and the average for renewing a policy was £428. Bear in mind your excess, car model type and your age can increase your car insurance premiums.
From haggling with your provider to using comparison sites, there are a number of ways you can find cheap car insurance. It is important to shop around and do your research to gain a strong understanding of what a competitive price looks like before making a decision.
Insurance companies are no longer allowed to offer better deals to new customers, so it is in your best interest to find out what your current provider is willing to offer you as well as checking out the best deals on price comparison sites.
We’ve partnered with Confused.com to help you get a great deal on your car insurance.Get a quote now