Cheap car insurance? really?

Getting cheap car insurance is easy. Easy that is provided that you are:

What if you are an 18-year-old part time DJ driving an old banger and living in the middle of Liverpool, Manchester, London or Birmingham? You might save a few pounds and pay monthly with a low (?) deposit at this decent car insurance site – but in the end you will still have to pay a four figure sum. Your insurer will probably lose money by having you as a customer too, because the hard cold fact is that there is far more chance of you having an accident, and a more expensive one, than your parents or even grandparents.

So why can't you get one of these really cheap policies that expensive TV adverts tell you over and over again are right within reach?

It's all down to the way that insurance companies calculate their premiums. We are all shoved into a multitude of little boxes. Their statistics tell them what proportion of people in your postcode have accidents, how many with your type of car have expensive ones, how many in your profession are likely to be out late at night when accidents are at the peak, how much more likely a single person is to be careless than a married one, and whether or not your car will cost more to repair than your next-door neighbour's. It is all down to statistics.

What they haven't looked at in the past is just how safe or careful you are as an individual. We can't blame them because they couldn't have any way of knowing if you didn't have a track record. Nowadays though we have blackbox systems that can monitor every second of your driving; the problem is they are just not perfect.

They monitor whether or not you ever exceed the speed limit. Have you ever been on a motorway driving at just below the maximum speed with a huge lorry a few feet from your exhaust pipe? They monitor how often you brake hard. So what are you supposed to do if a lunatic cuts in front of you? They don't like it when you accelerate hard. How do get out of the way of the cars coming onto the motorway from a slip road?

I am willing to bet that the average, safe, highly experienced driver would score extremely badly on most of these devices, and be penalised by having to pay a lot more for insurance than the 85-year-old pensioner with a large hat on who drives in the middle of the road at 20 mph complaining to an equally aged passenger about how inconsiderate all the other drivers are for trying to overtake.

In the end there is a fair chance that your premium will go up or cover will be withdrawn completely. You can always complaint the insurance ombudsman of course but good luck with that.

We might as well accept it. If we're going to enjoy our motoring we gonna have to pay high insurance fees until a better and fairer system comes along. At the moment it doesn't exist so besy pay up with a smile. In a few decades it will be much cheaper.

Between the wars
The American market
The aborted Ford deal
Other products
The last chance saloon

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