Beginners’ guide to car insurance

Finding the right car insurance policy can often seem daunting, especially to new drivers. To make it easier to understand, we’ve put a simple list together to help you make sense of all the different factors that relate to car insurance

The Legalities
It may seem obvious to some but every motorist is required by law to have insurance for their vehicle. Insurance provides the owner with appropriate cover should you get into an accident – it can also cover other named drivers on the vehicle in the event of driving-related damage or injury.

There is only one exception and that is if the vehicle is registered as off road (meaning you do not drive the vehicle on public highways) with a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN).

What factors you need to consider?

Age – Knowing how old your car is can be important because the older the car the more likely there could be issues with it!

Use of Vehicle – How often will you use the car? if your planning on committing due to college, school or work then you will need to ensure you get a car that meets your needs.

Repair costs
The cost of vehicle repairs accounts for a huge chunk of the money paid out in car insurance claims. The cost to repair the vehicle is considered before being assigned to a car insurance group. The time it would take to repair the car is also considered as this would lead to higher repair costs.

The value of the car
The value of the car as new is used as an indication of how much the car will cost the insurer to repair or replace.

Driving History – This is vital as you will want to check if the car has been in any accidents or has it had any issues in the past? If so is it still safe to drive.

Common types of policy

Telematics – A new type of cover allowing you to have a black box or mobile phone app to calculate your premium based on the standard and nature of your driving.

Third party only (TPO) – Is the minimum level cover required by law in the UK.

Comprehensive – Provides you with the most extensive level of cover, including Loss or damage to your vehicle, windscreen cover, accidental damage and medical expenses.

With Excess remember to watch out for the compulsory and voluntary excess costs when obtaining a quote. These costs are what you are liable to pay towards your claim!

Don’t forget about your no claims bonus – a reward for people who don’t make a claim on their policy for each year they have been driving. Having a no claims bonus will often bring your policy down so it’s always worth including this when you get quote.

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