When selecting insurance for your used car it might be tempting to just go for the cheapest option you can find but this is not a great way to select your insurer. Sit down and assess what you need from your insurer first, and come up with a list of minimum criteria before you start looking at prices.
If you have bought your car already, then it’s a case of deciding what you need from the insurer – do you need a courtesy car and legal cover, or are you just looking for the minimum possible cover you can legally buy?
However, if you are still considering which car to buy, then check out the insurance group before you commit to buying it as you might end up with a nasty surprise otherwise. “Some older used cars could end up costing a lot more to insure than you might have realised, due to the engine size so do your research before you buy” said Emily at Big Motoring World.
Once you are ready to insure your used car, make sure you look around – the comparison websites enable you to search using your list of criteria so that might be a good place to start, to narrow down all the possibilities.
Okay, there might well be cheap deals out there but if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Many very cheap deals will actually charge you a large compulsory excess if you do need to make a claim, meaning it will end up costing you a lot more money to get your car repaired potentially.
It might be with some of the cheaper options that you will find some routine things are not included in the policy such as windscreen repairs, or if you want to take your car outside of the UK on holiday for example. Always check the small print before signing up for a policy.
So what other questions should you ask when selecting insurance?
You need to decide how much cover you need as there are three different policies you can choose from – comprehensive, third party only or third party, fire and theft. It’s important to know the difference so that you can see which meets your particular requirements.
- Third party insurance is the minimum you can buy – it only covers damage or injury which you cause to other people.
- Third party, fire and theft provides cover for damage and injury which you cause to other people, but also covers your car if it is stolen or goes up in a fire.
- Comprehensive cover includes damage to your own car as well as other people’s.
Ask your insurer if they restrict the mileage which you are allowed to drive every year as if you have an accident and when you make a claim, the mileage is much higher, your insurer could potentially reduce or invalidate the claim.
Some companies might ask for a large excess to be paid on any claim, depending on your age and experience so always check what the compulsory excess is on the policy before signing up. This is the amount of money you will have to pay towards any claim.
Not all insurance policies include legal or medical cover so check out the details and any extra cost this might incur when you read the small print. You need to know how much cover is included, if any at all.
Courtesy cars are not offered as standard by car insurance companies so if this is something which you need then ask the question – it might be that the insurer can arrange one for you at an extra cost but make sure you understand the position up front so you can avoid any nasty unexpected bills.
If you are going to be using your car in Europe then make sure you ask what cover is provided before you go as you don’t want to receive any nasty surprises. This is not a standard aspect so many insurers don’t insure outside of the UK – you will need to shop around for this cover.
If you already have an insurance history then you should ask them what no claims bonus they will give you and you might need to protect it so ask if there is a cost for this service. It’s also worth asking about any other potential discounts such as for keeping your car in a garage overnight, being a member of a motoring organisation, or reducing the mileage you drive yearly.
There are many aspects to think about when considering UK insurance for a used car but as long as you do your research thoroughly and don’t just go for the cheapest insurance option blindly, you are sure to find an insurance policy which meets your particular needs.