Our experts rate the best and worst car insurance policies and tell you which car insurance companies give the best customer service.

How do I find the best car insurance?

Car insurance can be expensive – but you don’t have to sacrifice great cover just to get the cheapest price.

Which? is here to help. Not only do we rate 73 elements of a car insurance policy, we also ask thousands of real customers who’ve claimed how they rate their insurer in our analysis.

In addition to using our reviews, you can also save money with a few simple tricks:

Shop around for car insurance

Don’t just renew – your existing insurer may not be the cheapest option, especially if you haven’t switched for a while.

Start with price comparison sites but bear in mind not all insurers are on them – Direct Line and NFU Mutual are prominent exceptions. Also make sure the price comparison site is listing your details (such as profession) correctly.

If you’ve got a complicated claims history you could use a broker to find cover, through the British Insurance Brokers Association. Watch out for fraudulent ‘ghost brokers’, particularly on social media; these claim to offer cut price cover but leave you with little or no insurance.

Watch out for extra car insurance costs

Increasing your car insurance excess can reduce your premium – but is effectively a reduction in your cover. Check the excess you’ve chosen is an amount you’d be able to afford in a claim.

It’s also worth checking which admin fees your policy comes with. These can apply if you change any details on your policy or cancel it.

Add-ons, such as personal accident cover and key cover, are highly profitable for insurers – but may be of less value to you.

Car insurance for younger and over-50s drivers

Younger drivers could benefit from black box insurance, multi-car insurance and by adjusting their policy – find our tips here.

Whilst specialist over-50s policies exist for older drivers, they may still find that standard insurers are cheaper. Make the most of your no-claims discount, which can be eroded by rising premiums, and if switching, check your new insurer will recognise it.

Best and worst car insurance companies

Our customer surveys and policy analysis is used to rank car insurance providers. The top scoring providers become Which? Recommended Providers, if they can meet certain conditions:

  • Be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Be available to the general public
  • Have received responses from 30 or more customers in our survey
  • Must achieve high scores in our Customer Satisfaction survey.
  • Must also achieve an average or above Policy Score

 

 

Brand Customer score Policy Score Total Score Min / Max Age Clarity of Policy Dealing with queries Ease of managing policy online Value for money

NFU Mutual

More info
90% 81% 86% 17 – 80 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 5 out of 5 4 out of 5

LV

80% 76% 78% 17 – 110 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 4 out of 5

Saga

More info
78% 78% 78% 50 – No limit 4 out of 5 3 out of 5 5 out of 5 4 out of 5

Direct Line

More info
79% 72% 76% 16 – 95 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 4 out of 5
AXA 71% 71% 71% 18 – No limit 3 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5
Churchill

More info
71% 68% 70% 16 – 95 3 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5
Quote Me Happy 80% 57% 69% 21 – 75 4 out of 5 4 out of 5 5 out of 5 4 out of 5
Tesco Bank

More info
74% 64% 69% 21 – 99 4 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 4 out of 5
AA

More info
69% 67% 68% 17 – 99 3 out of 5 3 out of 5 3 out of 5 3 out of 5
esure 64% 69% 67% 21 – 90 3 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5
Aviva

More info
66% 65% 66% 17 – 84 3 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5
Hastings Direct

More info
66% 63% 65% 17 – 99 3 out of 5 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 3 out of 5
Admiral 68% 57% 63% 17 – 90 3 out of 5 3 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5

Table notes: Customer score data based on a survey carried out between October and November 2021 of 1,876 policyholders

 

 

 

Which car insurers are Recommended Providers?

NFU Mutual

NFU Mutual has achieved the highest customer and policy scores in our survey, offering superlative cover.

Although you won’t find it on comparison sites, a phone call to one of NFU Mutual’s 300 branches will help you buy a truly comprehensive policy.

It comes with no fees and 0% APR on monthly payments, and its policy scored more points for the policy elements we consider the most important than any other provider’s.

Unfortunately NFU Mutual may not offer a policy to customers in all postcodes, particularly major cities.

LV

LV was the second highest-scoring provider for customer service and its policy was within the top five (of 40) when it came to its levels of cover.

It stands out by offering protection for no-claims bonuses against unlimited claims and unlimited cover for the theft or loss of your car keys as standard.

Saga

Over-50s specialist Saga held the second highest policy score (behind NFU Mutual) with its ‘Plus’ policy, and customers lauded its value for money, policy clarity and ease of managing their insurance online.

Customers of its ‘Plus’ policy receive a ‘fixed price promise’ – which guarantees that unless their risk changes (for instance through making a claim or receiving a motoring conviction), their premium won’t go up for three years.

Direct Line

One of the largest insurers in the market, Direct Line retains its place as a recommended provider.

It achieved the third highest Customer Score of 79%.

Unlike its sister brands Churchill and Privilege, Direct Line doesn’t appear on price comparison sites but it is well worth contacting them or visiting their website to get a quote.

 

 

Which car insurers are Recommended Providers?

NFU Mutual

NFU Mutual has achieved the highest customer and policy scores in our survey, offering superlative cover.

Although you won’t find it on comparison sites, a phone call to one of NFU Mutual’s 300 branches will help you buy a truly comprehensive policy.

It comes with no fees and 0% APR on monthly payments, and its policy scored more points for the policy elements we consider the most important than any other provider’s.

Unfortunately NFU Mutual may not offer a policy to customers in all postcodes, particularly major cities.

LV

LV was the second highest-scoring provider for customer service and its policy was within the top five (of 40) when it came to its levels of cover.

It stands out by offering protection for no-claims bonuses against unlimited claims and unlimited cover for the theft or loss of your car keys as standard.

Saga

Over-50s specialist Saga held the second highest policy score (behind NFU Mutual) with its ‘Plus’ policy, and customers lauded its value for money, policy clarity and ease of managing their insurance online.

Customers of its ‘Plus’ policy receive a ‘fixed price promise’ – which guarantees that unless their risk changes (for instance through making a claim or receiving a motoring conviction), their premium won’t go up for three years.

Direct Line

One of the largest insurers in the market, Direct Line retains its place as a recommended provider.

It achieved the third highest Customer Score of 79%.

Unlike its sister brands Churchill and Privilege, Direct Line doesn’t appear on price comparison sites but it is well worth contacting them or visiting their website to get a quote.

We’re working with Confused.com to help you get a great deal on your car insurance. Search for a new policy now.

How we find the best car insurers

Customer scores

The customer score is based on a survey of 1,876 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.

Policy scores

The policy score is our assessment of the quality of standard cover comparing 73 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.

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 January 2023.

Total score

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.