Car insurance is one of the biggest running costs for motorists of all ages, so it's always worth looking at ways of getting the best deal.

Older drivers aged 60-69 do pretty well, paying an average premium of £291.56 a year, according to the AA's British Insurance Premium Index, compared to the average for all age groups of £504.29.

But with the squeeze on pensions and savings, it's more important than ever for older drivers to cut their costs.

Mature motorists also get a bad press when it comes to accidents, thanks to a few high profile cases, but the truth is quite different.

There were 10,974 accidents involving drivers over the age of 70 in 2011, says the Department of Transport. That compares to 11,946 accidents involving drivers aged 17-19 and 24,007 in the 20-24 age group.

Below are some specific and general tips for older drivers to keep the cost of insurance as low as possible.

Top tips for cutting car insurance

Shop around or stay put?

Six out of 10 people renew their motor insurance without shopping around for a better quote, losing £137 on average, according to Comparethemarket.com research. Half of all drivers could save 23% on their premiums in this way.

However, the older you get, the narrower the choice, so it’s often easier to stay with your current insurer. Sometimes mature drivers are forced to switch because they have reached the age limit with their current insurer, in which case you should be pointed towards brokers who can help.

About to retire?

Update your insurer if you're about to retire and you've finished your daily commute. A lower mileage and a change of policy from commuting to social and domestic use should result in a lower premium.

Choose the right car

With kids grown up and retirees no longer doing the daily commute, it could be a good time to downsize and buy a car with a low insurance group to keep your premium down. The Money Advice Service has some useful tips on how to buy the right car for you. Insurers prefer popular small models which are not as expensive to repair. Use a free online tool like the Car Costs Calculator to check running costs.

Lower your annual mileage

Check that your insurance cover reflects your usage. If you’re retired and you mainly drive at weekends or for short distances, you should be able to agree a new lower limit, resulting in a cheaper premium.

Specialist insurers

As age increases the number of policies on offer decreases, so older drivers should get quotes from specialist car insurers. Find insurance brokers in your area on the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) website or contact well known providers such as Saga and Age UK.

Safety first

The more secure your car, the lower your premium, so if years of working have allowed you to buy a house with a garage or driveway, make sure you are using it and making your insurer aware.

Black box insurance

Some insurers offer policies based on your day-to-day driving by monitoring you via a black box under the bonnet of your car. Popular with new drivers, it's also an option for older motorists who travel relatively few miles, usually during off-peak periods. Three out of five (62%) drivers over the age of 65 would be interested in participating in black box scheme, according to new research by techonolgy solutions provider, SSP.

Pay annually, buy online

Older drivers may have been ringing up the same insurer and sticking to the same payment plan for years. This may have developed a relationship with an unbeatable rate, but bear in mind that it's cheaper to pay for your annual car insurance in one payment, rather than monthly, which incurs interest charges and admin fees.

Some insurers also offer a discount to customers who buy their insurance online because the applications are cheaper to process.

Add a voluntary excess

Most policies automatically include a voluntary excess - the amount you must pay towards any claim (eg £150). Offering to pay more can result in a lower premium. Just make sure you can afford the higher amount in the event of a claim.

Drive safely

Avoid making claims - a long no claims bonus (NCB) is the best way to keep your premiums low. You can also protect your no claims bonus so you’re able to claim without losing it.

Don't break the law

The cleaner your licence, the lower your car insurance premium. So look out for those cameras and avoid speeding which accounts for nearly two-thirds of driving offences.

Security measures

Fitting an alarm, immobiliser or tracking device can attract a discount.

Live in a safer neighbourhood

A 2013 study by HonestJohn.co.uk found that your car is more at risk at the centre of a city - with an average of 242 crimes per 10,000 cars compared to an overall average of 121.

Ask for a discount

In the run-up to your renewal, contact your existing insurer and say that you'd like to stay, but you've had a lower quote elsewhere and see if they can match it.

Get extra driving qualifications

Insurance discounts are available for drivers with extra driving qualifications. A discount may be available if you join the Institute of Advanced Drivers and take the Advanced Driving Test.

Get more tips on how to get the best car insurance deal and choosing the right level of cover, plus a complete guide to buying, selling and running a car on the Money Advice Service website.

All information accurate at time of publication

The Money Advice Service is an independent body set up by government to help people manage their money through free and impartial advice.