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Auto insurance is expensive. Even if you find a nice discount, you’ll likely see prices creep up with annual renewals. The tactic is simple: you forget to find a new deal, the renewal document comes in with a slightly higher price, and you’re too busy to bother over $5 a month.

Clever tactic, isn’t it? And it’s not just cars and motorcycles. House, life, and even smartphone insurance 5 Smartphone Insurance Plans That Provide the Best Value 5 Smartphone Insurance Plans That Provide the Best Value When a device is as important and as expensive as your smartphone, it probably makes sense to insure it against catastrophes. Read More is treated in the same way (if you opt to use it Should You Buy Smartphone Insurance? Should You Buy Smartphone Insurance? What does smartphone insurance cover? What does it cost? And after all is said and done, is it worth it? Read More , that is).

With comparison tools on your side, you have everything you need to find the best deal for your budget and circumstances. Twelve months ago you were employed as a courier, say; now you have a daily commute to an office. Different insurance is required, and a slow drive to a nearby office park will require a far smaller monthly premium than driving around a city all day long.

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In short, there’s no reason for you to take the quote from your usual insurance provider at face value. Shop around, find cheaper deals, and you’ll save money on your auto insurance.

How to Use an Auto Insurance Comparison Tool

We’ll take a look at some of the top comparison tools below. First, though, some of the basics.

To begin with, you’ll need to share a lot of personal information. It’s important, therefore, that you make sure that the site you’re using offers its services over a secure HTTPS connection What Is HTTPS & How To Enable Secure Connections Per Default What Is HTTPS & How To Enable Secure Connections Per Default Security concerns are spreading far and wide and have reached the forefront of most everybody's mind. Terms like antivirus or firewall are no longer strange vocabulary and are not only understood, but also used by... Read More . You can make doubly sure of security by using a competent and secure browser. If your antivirus solution has a secure browser built in (such as BitDefender Bitdefender Internet Security 2015: The Ideal Choice For Home PCs [Giveaway] Bitdefender Internet Security 2015: The Ideal Choice For Home PCs [Giveaway] Offering anti-virus, privacy protection, safe banking, firewall and parental control for just $79.95, Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 would seem to be the optimum choice for anyone looking to give their home computer security a boost. Read More ), you might try this.

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Information you’ll need to divulge includes your name, address, date of birth, driving history, employment, and make and model of your vehicle. There is a lot here that could be misused by scammers 10 Pieces of Information That Are Used to Steal Your Identity 10 Pieces of Information That Are Used to Steal Your Identity According to the US Bureau of Justice, identity theft cost victims over $24 billion in 2012, more than household burglary, motor, and property theft combined. These 10 pieces of information are what thieves are looking... Read More , which is why it is important to ensure that the price comparison service you’re using is legitimate.

Once the details are input, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re saved to an account with the site. This means you can save time next year. It’s also useful if you need to come back to the comparison when you next have free time. With your coverage type selected, the comparison tool will find insurance policies that meet your requirements. To apply, simply click the link and follow the instructions.

While you should remember that being truthful during the application is the best policy, you might find that changing your employment description (from, say, journalist to writer) can give you a better price. Even a slight change of phrase can make a difference. And adding older relatives with a good driving history to your insurance will lower the quote.

Also, consider things like dashcams for lowering insurance The Best Dash Cams of the New Year for Crushing Insurance Fraud The Best Dash Cams of the New Year for Crushing Insurance Fraud Looking for the best dash cams of 2016? Look no further, we've rounded up the six of the best dash cams for all budgets. Read More .

Auto Insurance Comparison Tools to Try

We’ve taken a look at three U.S.-focused auto insurance comparison tools that should suit you perfectly.

1. Compare.com

Claiming to be the only service accurately comparing auto insurance across the United States, this should be your first choice. It’s easy to use, offers the lowest rates, and works with over 50 top insurance providers to find the best policies.

2. TheZebra.com

Also worth a look, this site finds suitable insurance from over 200 providers. Better still, during application you’ll see prices update as you add personal information. This can help to show you just how your lifestyle and situation affect the price of the policies available.

3. Insurance.com

This site gives you a great chance of finding a policy that fits your budget. However, the results often aren’t available via Insurance.com. Instead, you’ll have to follow a link to another site. This is inconvenient, but the prices available are worth checking out.

U.K. Auto Insurance Comparison Tools

If you have a vehicle in the U.K. that you wish to insure, you’ll need to use a British insurance provider. This is the case whether you’re based in the U.K. permanently or just travel there regularly.

Here’s a collection of price comparison services for auto insurance, each with its own quirky personality.

1. CompareTheMarket.com

This is probably the U.K.’s biggest insurance comparison website. They offer comparison of all types of vehicles for all kinds of drivers.

2. GoCompare.com

This site helps you effortlessly compare quotes from 125 insurance providers. GoCompare has worked hard in recent years to improve its image as being a little more upmarket than CompareTheMarket, and it seems to be paying off.

3. Confused.com

120 providers, including some of the biggest names in UK insurance, can be compared on Confused.com. These are providers who don’t appear on other sites, so this is definitely worth checking out.

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Getting Quotes Elsewhere

While using price comparison sites is always a good idea, it’s worth considering just what it is that these services do. They’re essentially automated brokers. As such, you might find that you get better results from speaking directly to a broker or having one visit your home. Better still, they might know about deals from companies that don’t appear on price comparison sites — or low-cost “secret” deals from those that do.

To truly compare auto insurance offers like a pro, look beyond the comparison websites!

Have you found a great auto insurance deal online? How did it work out for you? Perhaps you found a deal by visiting an insurer’s website direct? Tell us about it in the comments.

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