Budget & cheap car insurance

A car on a country road.

Do you know how much you spend running your car? Research from KwikFit shows the average driver pays out £162 per month on their cars, while a Myjar study cited by This is Money estimates we spend an eye-watering £206,624 on our motors over our lifetime.

Whichever way you look at it, owning a car isn't cheap, but it's a necessity for many of us. Still, we all want to keep those costs as low as possible, and choosing the right car insurance can help. We've put together this handy guide on cheap car insurance to help you pick the policy that's perfect for you:

What is budget car insurance?

Certain car-related costs can't be changed, like the price of fuel, tax, and to some extent MOT and servicing. But car insurance costs can be brought down, which is why many people take out budget car insurance as a way of keeping overall running costs as low as possible.

Low cost car insurance usually takes the form of a no-frills policy like Hastings Essential. It allows you to pay for the basics, without paying a penny for cover you don't think you'll need.

What does budget car insurance cover?

A policy like Hastings Essential does what it says on the tin: it covers the essentials. If you're involved in an accident, we'll provide cover for damage to your car, and we'll also pay out if your car's stolen or damaged by fire – minus the agreed excess. Hastings Essential does offer comprehensive cover.

But in order to keep your premium as low as possible, your personal belongings inside your car aren't protected and you won't be covered for medical expenses, personal accident or legal expenses.

Benefits of budget car insurance

The main benefit of a budget car insurance policy is it can be cheaper to buy than other types of cover. But that's not to say it's always the most affordable option; in fact, the average price of this type of cover has increased in recent years, due to the number of claims made from drivers on these policies.

The best thing to do is be open-minded when you search for car insurance and compare all levels of cover: third party, third party fire and theft, and comprehensive. That way, you can be sure you're getting the best level of cover for your needs and budget.

How can I get cheaper car insurance?

Aside from affordable car insurance, there are some things you can do that may bring down the price you pay for cover. Here are three top tips:

Improve security

Fitting additional, approved security features to your car could lower your insurance costs, as an insurer may consider it to be at less risk of being stolen. It's one of the only modifications you should make to your car if you want to lower insurance, and not increase it!

Improving security also means keeping your car somewhere safe each night, like on your driveway or in your garage. If you parked your car on the road before, then your insurer could lower your premium.

Change what and how you pay

Increasing your excess when you take out cover could lower your insurance costs. But don't set it very high – you need to be sure you'll be able to pay the excess if you end up needing to make a claim.

Paying for cover in one lump sum is also sometimes cheaper than monthly instalments, as the cost doesn't incur any interest.

Drive well

A clean driving record and claims-free history will help you to secure affordable car insurance year after year.

If you're a good driver, a Hastings Direct YouDrive car insurance policy could give you a better price. YouDrive gives you the ability to affect the price of your policy by sharing your driving with us through the Hastings Direct app, and not just by answering the usual questions like where you live or work.

Get covered with a Hastings Essential policy

If you're looking for basic, budget car insurance, Hastings Essential could provide you with exactly what you need for a price that won't break the bank.

It provides cover for just the essentials, meaning you pay for exactly what you need – and nothing more. Policy features include:

  • Cover for damage to your car (except damage caused by fire or theft) up to its market value
  • Loss or damage by fire or theft up to its market value
  • Legal liability for damage to other people's property up to £20m (£25m total including all costs)
  • Guaranteed courtesy car
  • Adjustable policy excess
  • No claims discount protection option
  • Repairs guaranteed for three years
  • Cover against uninsured drivers provided you can give details of the make, model or reg of the uninsured driver's vehicle.

You can also tailor cover and boost protection choosing from a range of optional extras, including car windows and windscreen cover, and key insurance.

Get a budget insurance quote today with Hastings Direct and see how much you could save!

Car insurance

Our straightforward car insurance is Defaqto 5 Star rated, so you can be sure you're getting a great product. Plus you can choose from a great range of optional extras.

Log in to MyAccount

Log in to MyAccount to manage your policy online. You can view and download documents at your convenience. If your policy number starts with 'XA' you can also make payments and changes to your policy online.