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Mark Bower

Mark founded MoneyMaxim in 2008, with the aim of delivering an impartial and independent service. Mark is a regular money saving expert in the press and writes regular news and articles for the MoneyMaxim news pages sharing his views on banking, personal insurance and the utilities (gas, electricity, mobile and home phones, broadband and pay TV) market with customers.

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A third of UK drivers can’t pay for insurance excess

29% of British motorists admitted in a recent survey that they won't be able to afford car insurance excess if required by their provider.

The UK motor insurance firm AXA has revealed that a rising number of Brits are currently struggling to pay for their car insurance excess.

Specifically, the study found that 29% of UK's drivers don't have sufficient cash or savings to pay for insurance excess if required. A further 48% of respondents admitted to having available savings of less than £500 while 34% of them had less than £200.

This is becoming a worrying problem as more and more drivers are increasing their levels of excess in an attempt to bring the costs of car insurance down.

"We can understand consumers looking at ways of saving a bit of money. But if this means that they can't afford their excess, it is a completely false economy,” warned Sarah Vaughan from AXA.

Increasing excess might reduce car insurance premiums, but this method ends up being useless if customers are unable to authorise repairs to their damaged cars due to lack of money.

Vaughan stressed that around one in ten motorists will have an accident each year so there is a real likelihood that they will need to find the money at some point. Therefore, she advised drivers to ensure their excess is at a sensible level for them.

Drivers in the dark about policy breakdowns

Further findings from the research revealed that 17% of drivers even confessed to being unaware of what type of excess they have. Another issue frequently ignored by drivers is what happens to their policy if they modify their cars.

By performing car modification -such as installing turbocharging or exhaust system changes; your car insurance company might argue that your contract is no longer valid.

The better understanding drivers have of their car insurance policy, the better use they will be able to make of it.

While many car insurance providers would cover vehicles with modification, without charging additional price, others might have specific policies for this type of car. The best idea is to find out what the different offers available in the market are and then compare deals online.