First time car insurance
After weeks, months or even years of lessons, you're now ready to hit the road as a new driver without the supervision of anyone else. As daunting or exciting as that might be, buying your first car insurance policy could be more of a minefield if you haven't had any experience with it before.
Typically there are 3 different types of car insurance to choose from:
- Third party only (TPO) - only covers you against damage to other people, cars & property
- Third party fire and theft (TPF&T) - same as TPO, but also covers your car if it's in a fire, or stolen
- Comprehensive - same as TPO & TPF&T but also covers your car against damage it sustains in an accident
A common misconception is that a comprehensive policy could cover your car from general wear and tear (i.e. a head gasket going, or the clutch etc.). This isn't true, it's there to cover your car against damage in the event of an accident, whether that's a small or major accident.
How do I know which is the right policy for me?
This is where it really comes down to you. If you have a budget for the policy, you'll need to make sure whether you pick comprehensive or third party fire & theft, that you're still able to afford it.
Here's some of our tips to think about when buying car insurance:
- If you decide to break up the payments by paying monthly on direct debit, this could end up costing you over 30% extra as some insurance companies offer a cheaper one-off payment option rather than paying interest on instalments
- Adding additional drivers on to your policy isn't necessarily cheaper, and really you should only add on drivers who will be driving the car and need to be insured
- Keep your mileage accurate - try to estimate how many miles you think you'll actually do. Take into consideration how far college/uni/work is, and how many miles you'll cover visiting friends & family etc.
- Some insurance companies offer bonus accelerator policies (BAP), this policy only lasts for 10 months (not the usual 12) but at the end of that 10 months you'll be awarded a full years' no claims bonus. If you can build a no claims bonus up quickly, you'll hopefully see your car insurance premium reduce
If you'd like to know how car insurance is calculated, we've written a handy guide to explain it all.