Autosaint car insurance review
Getting cheap car insurance if you’re young is almost impossible; getting even affordable cover is devilishly difficult.
Thank heavens, then, that Autosaint car insurance is here to help.
Or are they? Read our Autosaint review to find out.
Spun out in 2011, the Worcestershire-based broker is a trading name of parent company Fresh Insurance Services Group, which dates back to 2002.
Autosaint works with a panel of insurers, including big names like Aviva, to match insurance products to the needs of young, provisional and newly-qualified drivers.
Central to Autosaint’s offering is black box technology (more on this later).
Autosaint can talk the talk: it claims it’s 40,000 policyholders benefit from prices that are “up to 40% cheaper than standard car insurance”.
But youngsters priced off the road by eye-watering insurance costs will hope it can walk the walk.
If you’re a driver aged 17-24 (or a concerned parent), try our do’s and don’ts to slash the cost of teens’ car insurance.
Autosaint’s speciality: telematics technology
This is, if you like, Autosaint’s raison d'être.
The reason young drivers’ insurance is so pricey is because they’re statistically a higher risk; more likely to drive fast, get into an accident and make a claim.
But why should sensible young drivers pay the price because of a few boy racers?
By using technology called telematics, also known as black box insurance, Autosaint hopes they don't have to.
The company will – free of charge – install a little black box under your car's dashboard, which tracks your speed, acceleration and braking, as well as mileage and the times you drive.
This data is then fed back to Autosaint, who use it to work out what kind of driver you are and calculate your insurance.
Drive badly and you’ll get hit with higher premiums.
Drive well and you'll get a discount and Autosaint say it will cut your premium by up to 25% at renewal time (you should still be wary of auto-renewal).
Interestingly, Autosaint offer a low premium to young drivers from the word go. It’s then up to the driver to reward that trust or risk paying more when premiums are reviewed.
Using the black box data, Autosaint provides tips on how you can improve your driving. Neat!
The black box means your car can also be tracked if it’s lost or stolen.
Autosaint is far from the only broker or insurer to offer a black box, though; the Co-op, the AA and Insurethebox, for example, all offer telematics technology.
But we like that Autosaint's offering comes with no curfews, where you can’t use your car at certain times during the evening (it does admit that frequently “driving at night may affect your score with some insurers”).
Other companies who offer a similar type of insurance policy also charge every time you do something wrong.
Read more about how high-tech can save you money on your car insurance.
Will you have to pay to have the black box installed?
Autosaint likes to trumpet the fact that its black box is free.
It insists the “cost of the box installation and data handling is included in the price you pay”.
But dig a little into the Terms & Conditions and you’ll see the cost of installing the box is £183.50 for new policies.
Autosaint will bundle this all up in your final price, but you’ll still be paying, just in a more roundabout way.
There’s also a sneaky £78 charge to remove the box, which (surprise, surprise) is not mentioned in Autosaint’s marketing.
Types of Autosaint car insurance policy
Like most insurers, Autosaint offers the three main types of policy: Third Party, Third Party Fire & Theft and Comprehensive.
For more information on what these cover, read: car insurance explained – which type of policy do you need?
Autosaint’s comp cover is pretty extensive. It includes: Personal effects cover; EU cover; courtesy car as standard; personal accident cover and windscreen cover.
What about Autosaint extras and add ons?
You can add optional extras such as: breakdown cover; windscreen replacement; Platinum Claims Management Service and key cover up to £1,500.
These add ons aren’t refundable after the 14 day cooling-off period.
Before forking out any extra cash, ask yourself, are car insurance extras worth it?
Autosaint policies for provisional drivers
Autosaint also specialise in providing policies for provisional drivers.
Provisional drivers can get a quote from as little as £350 and we like how Autosaint lets you practice in your own car, saving money on driving lessons.
Autosaint also guarantee there will be no increase when you pass your test.
Autosaint customer service
With precious little information available, it’s difficult to say how good Autosaint’s customer service is.
Autosaint’s parent company, Fresh Insurance, received 17.1 complaints per 1,000 policies between February and July 2016.
A solid 80% were resolved within 3 working days.
General admin and customer service were the most common cause of complaints.
Fresh’s data, however, includes all its subsidiary companies, so it’s hardly an accurate reflection of Autosaint’s performance!
If you need to make a complaint, you can also get in touch with A Spokesman Said. We’re in your corner.
Watch out for Autosaint hidden charges!
Hidden fees you need to watch out for are part and parcel of getting insurance, no matter which provider.
Autosaint’s are far from excessive - £10 to provide hard documents, for example. But it’s still worth keeping an eye on them.
The full list can be found in Autosaint’s T&Cs.
WHEN DID YOU LAST SWITCH YOUR CAR INSURANCE PROVIDER?
Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.