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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C
cheaper car insurance

Land that deal: How to get the best car insurance rate

Motor insurance costs are the biggest issue facing Irish drivers – we’re here to help.

Shutterstock / Benny Marty Shutterstock / Benny Marty / Benny Marty

ACCORDING TO THE latest SIMI/DoneDeal Review, motor insurance costs increased by 30.7% in 2015 and a survey by AA Motor Insurance, reports that the cost of car insurance is the biggest issue facing Irish motorist this year.

The rise in premiums is in part due to fraudulent claims, high legal costs and poorly resourced regulation and all of this is costing motorists when it comes to car insurance.

Monese Monese


What increases my insurance:
The type of car you have plays a huge part in the cost of your insurance.

Smaller engined cars are usually cheaper to insure than cars with more powerful engines due to the risk high performance cars carry of being in a collision.

The type of job you have also affects insurance premiums. Those who spend a lot of time in their cars are deemed a greater risk to insure. However, other variables are also taken into consideration.

When declaring your occupation, be as specific as possible to make sure you are not deemed riskier to insure than you actually are.

If you park your car in a high crime area your premium is going to be more expensive.

Sergey Mironov / Sergey Mironov / /

If you park your car on the street it is going to be deemed riskier to insure than a car parked in a garage or on private property.

The age of your car also affects insurance costs with Allianz and Aviva both refusing to insure cars over 14 years old.

Ten-year-old cars and their drivers are deemed to have a higher risk of theft and accident than average.

New cars are also expensive to insure as the cost of repairs and parts are high.

So what’s one to do? Is there any way of getting cheaper car insurance?

Well, yes there is and we have some tips to help you land the best car insurance deal.

Value your car accurately:

Over or under valuing your car can affect the price of your premium.

When making a claim the insurance company looks at the open market value (OMV) of your car and not how much you claim it is worth – you have to take depreciation into account, you see.

Check the OMV of your car using the Revenue’s VRT Calculator and use this as a guide when valuing your car with the insurance company.

However, if you undervalue your car it may be difficult to replace your car it is a write-off.

Choose the correct level of cover:

By law, the minimum level of motor insurance required is third party cover. Fully comprehensive cover is usually a lot more expensive than third party and third party, fire and theft.

Consider your car’s age, value and how often you use it. Perhaps fully comprehensive insurance with all the bells and whistles is a bit much for older, cheaper cars that don’t do many miles.

Check out what is covered with each level and work out what you realistically need. You could save a lot by downgrading your cover.

Gain driving experience:

Get your full licence as soon as possible as it costs more to insure provisional learners. Build up driving experience as a named driver or on your own policy. The longer you hold a full driving licence the cheaper your insurance will become.

Rack up the no-claims:

The more years you have with no insurance claims the cheaper your premium. The magic number seems to be five years no claims to see the real discounts.

Calculate annual mileage:

The more kilometres you do the higher your premium. Try to accurately estimate your annual mileage as the less you drive the less chance there is of you being in an accident and making a claim therefore the cheaper you are to insure.

Pay more excess:

Excess is the cost of the claim you pay before the insurance company pays out. If you increase the excess your premium will decrease as the insurance company has less to cover. If you have been claim free for years maybe increasing your excess is worth considering.

Rethink named drivers:

The cost of your policy may rise if you add additional drivers, especially inexperienced or young drivers.

Be a good driver:

The more penalty points you have the higher a risk you pose and therefore the more you will have to pay to get cover.

Shop around:

Shutterstock / Shutterstock / /

Get some initial quotes online and always add your phone number so insurance companies can call you back and you can talk to someone and go through your quote in detail. Tell each company the cheapest quote you found and ask them to better it. Try local insurance companies too but make sure that they are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has created a handy ‘motor insurance shopping around checklist’ and you can download it from here.

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