Car Cleaning & Insurance

There are plenty of factors that affect car insurance premiums. From the vehicle you drive, to your address; and from your personal circumstances to your annual mileage; insurers take into account a host of different features when assessing your premiums.

However, arguably the most important factor is your driving history –including whether or not you have been involved in accidents or motoring related convictions in the past. In this category, keeping your car in good condition could be the key to savings.

How Can Car Care Help My Insurance Premiums?

It’s easy to assume that avoiding accidents is all about driving carefully and not being unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, good preparation before you get behind the wheel can also help to prevent accidents. Here are a few ways in which keeping your vehicle clean can help you avoid accidents:

  • Spotting hazards: You’re much more likely to see danger ahead if your windscreen is clean – and other motorists are more likely to spot you if you keep your lights clean and free of dirt and grime.
  • Avoiding breakdowns: Sometimes accidents are prompted by vehicle faults – and keeping your car in good condition will help in keeping you abreast of any problems. For example, if you clean your wheel arches regularly you’re likely to spot any problems with the tyres such as small splits or bulges that could ultimately cause your tyre to burst. Similarly, by cleaning the underside of your vehicle you can avoid the corrosion that could cause your vehicle to break down.
  • Routine: It’s good to get in the habit of carrying out spot checks on your vehicle, and car cleaning can be part of this process. Every time you clean your car make sure you check the oil, water and tyre pressures too.

Car Care - What is most important?

Keeping your car in good condition is always advisable but which aspects of car care are particularly beneficial when it comes to avoiding accidents?

  • Bodywork: Not only can cleaning the tyres and wheel arches alert you to any tyre-related problems, but keeping the lights clear is also vital so you are easily spotted by other motorists.
  • Keeping the interior clear: You may have heard of the Toyota recalls in 2010 that were prompted by floor mats getting stuck under brake pedals. Well many more accidents are caused by unnecessary waste in the floor area of a car. So make sure you keep the area clear of litter and vacuum regularly.
  • Polishing metal: Keep metal components such as kidney grilles and exhaust tips polished regularly – doing so may help ensure that you’re quick to react if there are any noticeable issues.
  • Upholstery: Check your seats, carpets and car mats regularly for wet patches that indicate water penetration. If these problems are left alone the point of water entry may lead to serious corrosion and may require expert attention.
  • Window cleaning: Your windows and mirrors should be cleaned regularly to maximise your vision.

How is Car Care Reflected in My Car Insurance Premiums?

Nobody wants to get involved in a car accident at any point because of the stress and emotional strain can be involved. However, there is another added incentive for steering clear of accidents in the form of the no-claims discount.

A no-claims discount rewards drivers that do not make claims on their policy and could be worth as much as a 60 per cent premium reduction after four or more years. However, bear in mind that your no-claims discount will be affected whether you are at fault for the claim you make or not, unless the insurer is able to recoup all of its costs from the other party, or unless you take out no-claims discount protection. For every claim you make you will typically lose two years’ worth of bonus.

It’s not just in avoiding accidents that car cleaning and car care can be beneficial. Some specialist car insurers will reward drivers that take good care of their vehicles with discounts if they are members of an owners’ or manufacturer’s club.

Further car insurance savings

  • Don’t forget that building up a no-claims discount is just one way to earn cheaper car insurance. Other ways to bring your premiums down include:
  • Boosting security: Such as fitting insurer-approved alarms and immobilisers.
  • Increasing voluntary excess: This means that you will pay more in the event of a claim so keep it at a level you can comfortably afford.
  • Paying annually: Avoid interest charges by paying car insurance premiums upfront.
  • Shopping around: Use a comparison website to compare quotes from as many as 120 car insurance companies to ensure you’re receiving a competitive deal.