How to Get Cheap Car Insurance in Ireland?

There is much discussion in the media and online around what impacts the affordability of car insurance in Ireland. We want to help keep you informed on what drives cheap car insurance quotes, so we have put together one ultimate guide that you can use to understand what is impacting the cost of your premium.

What factors influence car insurance premiums?

Insurance companies take a wide range of factors into consideration when pricing premiums. Some of the most common are:

1. Horsepower of your car

The horsepower of your car will affect your insurance premium. Someone with a lower engine size will receive a cheaper car insurance quote than someone driving a more powerful car. This is something worth considering if you are changing your car soon. Do you need a 2.0 litre engine or would a 1.6 suffice? This will very much depend on how far and often you need to drive. If you do a lot of long distance driving on motorways, then a 2.0 litre engine may make sense for you. If you are a city driver, consider a smaller engine size that should be more efficient on short journeys around town.

2. Your age

Not something we can control but the age of a driver is usually taken into consideration when pricing a premium. Inexperience and over exuberance make younger drivers a greater risk to insurance companies. According to the National Travel Survey 2019, young males (aged 18-24 years) had the highest collision rate at 4.3% of that age cohort. As you become a more experienced driver you should benefit from a reduced premium. In the meantime, check out our telematics insurance for young drivers.

3. How your car is used?

The more you use your car, the greater your risk of having an accident. Premiums for drivers who use their car to get to work are generally higher. If you want to knock some money off your premium, try use public transport, cycle or even walk to work.

4. Where is your car parked?

The location of your car when it isn’t being used could save you money. Most car insurance companies want to know your car is as secure as possible when it isn’t being driven. Preferred locations include a driveway in front of your home or in a secure underground car park. Parking on-street or away from your home may cost you more to insure your car.

5. Your address

Where you live is another element that is taken into consideration when pricing car insurance. Usually urban addresses are more expensive than rural, on the basis that there is a higher risk of crime or damage to your vehicle. However, this isn’t always the case; some rural counties have higher claim rates than their urban counterparts so having an address in one of those counties might be impacting your car insurance premium too.

Find out the cheapest place in Ireland to insure your car.

6. Your level of cover

There are two levels of car insurance cover:

  • Comprehensive car insurance
  • Third party fire and theft policy

What’s the difference between third party fire and theft and comprehensive insurance?

In Ireland, you are only legally required to have third party fire and theft insurance. This covers another driver’s car in an accident where you are at fault. This insurance will also cover your vehicle for theft or fire.

Comprehensive cover will also cover the cost of accidental damage to your car. Although the premium is likely to be more expensive, fully comprehensive car insurance can save you money in the long run if your car is badly damaged in an accident.

7. The amount of excess

Car insurance excess is an amount you pay before your car insurance covers a claim. This amount can vary. The higher it is, the less your premium will cost on an annual basis. Accepting a higher excess is a way to reduce your premium but, be aware, you must be able to pay this amount yourself if you claim on your policy.

8. Multiple policies with one insurer

Larger insurers that offer multiple insurance products sometimes offer discounts if you hold more than one policy with them. For example, if you have home insurance and travel insurance with the same company, they may offer a discount if you take out a car insurance policy with them too.

What You Can Do To Get A Cheaper Car Insurance Rate

Not all the factors that impact your car insurance premium are going to be within your control but some are:

1. Check your car’s insurance group before you buy

Most car insurers put cars into one of 50 insurance groups which impacts the premium for each vehicle. If you have your eye on a make and model of car but want to keep your insurance reasonable, check which of the insurance groups it belongs to.

Tip: the smaller the engine, the less expensive your premium is going to be.

2. Value your car accurately

When filling out your renewal form, ensure you value your car accurately. Remember the question is asking for the value of your car today, not how much you paid when you bought it. Use a depreciation calculator to estimate the current value of your car. 

3. Get as much experience as possible

Key to becoming a great driver is getting as much experience as possible behind the wheel. Although every learner driver must take a minimum of 12 lessons, take more if you can afford to. Practice driving with a fully licenced driver.  Some insurance companies will count time spent as a named driver when calculating your no claims bonus.

4. Protect your no claims discount

This is a discount you will receive from your insurance company for not claiming on your policy in the previous year. Consider step-back no-claims protection when taking out car insurance so you don’t lose your entire discount if you need to make a claim.

5. Become a named driver or add an experienced driver to your policy

See if you can be added as a named driver on someone else’s policy. Some insurers, including  AIG, will count named driving experience towards a no claims bonus when you take out a policy in your own name. You could also add in a secondary driver to your cover and can easily save you money. First get permission then add a more experienced driver with a clean driving license and decent no-claims history to your insurance. For younger drivers looking to apply for your first policy, we have provided a list to get the cheapest car insurance for first time drivers.           

6. Follow the rules of the road

For your own safety and the safety of other drivers, stay below the speed limit, don’t ‘amber gamble’ and remember to indicate when and where appropriate. Along with following the many other rules of the road.

If you need a refresher, you can download the rules of the road for Ireland from the Road Safety Authority.

Cheaper car insurance for young drivers

Getting cheap car insurance as a young driver is difficult, there is no doubt, but there are things you can do to keep your premium as low as possible:

1. Become a named driver

Although taking out your own policy may be financially out of reach, see if you can be added as a named driver on a parent or sibling’s car. Some insurers, incudingincluding  AIG, will count named driving experience towards a no claims bonus when you take out a policy in your own name.           

2. Telematics Insurance Policy

Check out AIG BoxClever, our affordable car insurance for younger drivers. If you are under 27 you could get big policy discounts for installing a telematics box in your car that tracks how you drive. The safer you drive, the more rewards you will receive. Find out more about how you can save with AIG BoxClever.

Can Women Get Cheaper Car Insurance?

There was a time when women were considered safer drivers by some car insurers and offered more affordable premiums. However, in December 2012, the European Court of Justice ruled that discrimination based on gender was incompatible with gender equality legislation. Since then insurers cannot use gender as a basis for offering a lower premium. We do, however, have policies that offer tailored benefits for women.

What affects car insurance policies in Ireland?

Unfortunately, there are some reasons that car insurance is more expensive in Ireland that we, as consumers, cannot control:

1. High award levels

We have the highest claim award levels in Europe. As an example, the average whiplash award in Ireland is €15,000 compared to €3,000 in Spain or Italy. This difference will directly affect your insurance premium. The possibility of landing a large amount of cash encourages people to overstate or fake claims. Insurance fraud costs the insurance industry an estimated €200m a year and this impacts your premium.

2. The book of quantum

Although it sounds like it, this is not a book of spells from Harry Potter! It is a book guiding how much should be awarded in compensation. The problem in Ireland is the book of quantum is out of date and is rarely used by courts in Ireland. As there isn’t a clear outline for awards, it is up to the judge to decide, so payments can vary a lot. When we include high legal fees, costs can be huge.

3. Legal fees

One of the recommendations of the Troika committee, in the dark days of the recession, was to cut legal fees, this has not happened in Ireland’s courts. Until it does, we believe giving the Injuries Board greater power to deal with personal injury cases will help. The Injuries Board was set up so people attending did not need to bring a solicitor. Now, almost everyone going to the Injuries Board (90%) brings one and 40% of cases are sent on to court. The Injuries Board needs to go back to basics, so people feel happy to attend without a solicitor.

This is not right or fair on the consumer. So, here are 3 things AIG are doing, on your behalf, to change the insurance market and, in time, reduce the amount you pay for your insurance:

a. Lobbying the government

AIG General Manager and Head of global consumer have both petitioned the Irish government regarding high award levels to encourage change.

b. No tolerance of insurance fraud

We’ve adopted a zero-tolerance approach to insurance fraud. We have lots more people spotting, stopping and examining false claims. Our work with An Garda Síochána has resulted in a number of people who made false claims being convicted and sentenced to prison.

c. Sensible trading

AIG have and will always be sensible when it comes to guaranteeing payment and pricing, so we are here to protect you when you need us most.

Get an online car insurance quote in just minutes with AIG and enjoy free benefits included as standard such as breakdown assistance, driving of other vehicles and step back bonus protection.

Visit our Content Hub for more Tips & Advices for Cheap Car Insurance Premiums.

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