By Eamon Moran
Getting car insurance for the first time can be a rite of passage and we know that it can be a daunting experience. To make it easier for first time drivers & drivers under 25, we've put together a few easy ways to save you money before and after buying your first car.
1. Discounts for Lessons
If you are on a provisional license and have never held car insurance but have started your 12 driving lessons, Arachas work with providers that may allow an introductory discount. You will also qualify for a discount if you have been noted as a named driver for a period of a year or more on someone else’s policy. Arachas work with providers that may allow a discount if you have been named for 10 months or more on a policy.
2. Choose Your Car Carefully
If you are a first-time driver with little or no experience, the biggest impact on the cost of your insurance will be the car you will be driving.
Below are some pointers that you can look at while making a car purchase decision:
- Valid NCT -
Make sure your car has a valid NCT when you are looking for car quotes, some providers won’t quote on a vehicle without it. If you get quotes before the vehicle has its NCT you may end up paying more for your insurance.
- Buy a Car that is Less than Ten Years Old-
It doesn’t need to be a brand-new car, but typically the newer the car the lower your insurance will be – of course if you are buying a high-powered or high-performance car this will not be the case
- Size of the Car Matters -
A good starter car is a small to medium sized car with an engine cc of less than 1.4 litres not only will you get better fuel efficiency, but it will be cheaper to insure. It won’t matter whether it is petrol or diesel, but an electric car will generally be cheaper again. Examples of a good starter car would be a VW Polo, Ford Fiesta or Focus under 1.4cc, Hyundai i10 or i20, Seat Ibiza, Toyota Yaris.
- Japanese Imported Cars-
Don’t get a Japanese imported car! These cars can be great value and will meet the criteria of being a small engine size and will have great technology, but insurers don’t like them! It’s very difficult to get cover on a Japanese import for a driver who has 5 years no claims bonus and virtually impossible to get a good priced quote for a first-time driver regardless of whether they have a full or provisional license.
- Older Cars-
If you are getting a vehicle that is more than ten years of age, don’t go more than 15 years old. Stay away from older Honda Civics, Toyota Corollas and Toyota Starlets, – Insurers don’t like insuring first time drivers on older versions of these cars.
- Car Modification-
Modifying your car will lead to most providers not offering cover and those that do will increase their premium significantly
- Adding a Second Driver-
Adding a driver with a full license over the age of 28 will in most cases bring down your insurance. If that individual has a full clean license and is claims free, they will also need their own car
If you are adding a spouse or partner to your policy and they have a newer larger car than yours, most providers will offer 2nd family car discount that will see your premium significantly reduced
- Consider Increasing your Excess
Some providers will allow first time drivers to avail of a higher excess in return for a reduced premium. This does mean that while your premium will be reduced it will mean that in the event of a claim you will have a higher portion of the claim to pay yourself*.
*Typical first-time driver excess is approximately €500 – this means you pay the first €500 of any claim. If you increase your excess to €1,000 this means you pay the first €1,000 of a claim but you will see a reduction in your insurance premium.
3. Shop Around
Don’t just check a couple of online providers, it’s important when taking out your first car insurance that you speak to a qualified advisor. Arachas have agents who specialize in finding first time drivers a great level of cover. They will make sure you are availing of all available discounts and will assist in walking you through the necessary paperwork, they will provide advice on potential ways to reduce your premium and will also discuss what you can afford monthly and help set up monthly payments to help manage the cost.