What to decide with car insurance – higher excess or higher premiums?

For everybody choosing their level of car insurance cover, one of the key decisions being made is whether it is worth the risk of paying an enormous excess for the sake of lower premiums, or whether the little extra per-month is worth bringing that potential excess cost down.

The world, both real and digital, is teeming with offers for drivers when going to insure their car, but is there a proven ‘best approach’ to taking out insurance? Is an unaffordable excess really worth the risk?

Is there a ‘one size fits all’ solution?

Let’s just jump to the question that the vast majority will seek in all aspects of life. Is there a simple, minimal effort, way of balancing excess and premiums?

The answer is no. Although things like comparing car insurance online have made the process considerably simpler for drivers, finding the correct balance between monthly costs and the one-off payment (if the worst should happen), it is down to you.

Take, for example, that you have been driving for 20+ years. You haven’t ever needed to claim and your driving record is excellent, perhaps then it no longer seems to be as risky to opt for the higher excess.

A younger driver, however, should certainly consider shelling out a little more than they could a month, as the potential of an incident in which the driver will have to claim is statically much higher.

How much difference does location make?

This more would boil down to your understanding of where you live. Typically you’re more likely to have a collision in highly urbanised areas, so trying to tighten the purse strings by dropping your premiums here could prove futile for you, as time progresses.

Again, unless you’ve recently moved then you will somewhat understand the area in which you are driving. One key thing to remember here though, is something many overlook – the weather.

Is the weather significant?

A few years ago, perhaps this section wouldn’t have even been written. But if you glance over some of the unpredictable weather the UK has seen in 2018 alone, maybe it is time to have more of a conversation about the weather.

Would you even be covered for a freak weather occurrence?

This year alone has seen Beast from the East, freezing over the country and grinding society to a halt.

Then, what felt like literally minutes later, there has been the hottest summer in over 40 years. Britons are unfamiliar with the climate we have all seen this summer, and hot weather can create numerous potential dangers to your car, and to you as the driver.


For those looking for one single answer to this debate, ultimately it is down to personal circumstances. You know how often and far you drive. You know the areas you’re going to be driving, and you know how reliable your car is to you. Weigh these up, and don’t end up forking out excess in excess, for the sake of a small saving in the short term.

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