If you're shopping for a new car, chances are you're considering things such as mileage, vehicle size, comfort and even that all-important CD system. But have you checked on the cost of insurance?
A quick call to us might help you narrow your choices -- and avoid a second case of sticker shock after you drive your new car home.
The reason: Along with your own driving record, your Post Code and the demographics of the drivers in your household, the make and model of your vehicle can have a big effect on your insurance bill, Of all of those factors, the type of vehicle you put in your garage is the only variable you can change immediately.
The choice of the car itself is going to affect, in particular, what you will spend for comprehensive or third party insurance.
Why some cost more
Collision-damage costs are one of the main factors in differentiating the cost of insuring one type of car over another. To a lesser extent, you also want to look at how attractive the car is to thieves. Vehicles that top the insurance-cost list tend to be either high horsepower, high value or expensive to repair. An expensive choice: "Sporty cars that are favoured by young drivers who are risky drivers, so they are crashing a lot."
Many of the vehicles that are expensive to insure share a common problem, and that is horsepower. Higher horsepower means the driver is more likely to be going faster and getting into more accidents. That will send insurance rates up for everyone who owns a similar car.
Some think that a smaller, more manoeuvrable car is able to outrun trouble and avoid crashes. It's a myth, and if you look at the statistics and insurance claims, small sports cars tend to be in more crashes, adding to the problem these cars to be engaged in faster driving.
From a statistical standpoint, the safest models tend to be the full-sized family sedan-type cars.
A few other special circumstances can also send rates through the roof. If a car is a popular target for thieves, your insurance company might charge you higher rates.
If you're driving a high-priced car, it will likely cost more to fix after a collision. As a result, your insurance bill will go up when you add it to the policy, Rader says. Likewise, some luxury or high-end cars feature aluminium body panels that are more expensive to fix or replace than sheet metal, he says.
One other factor to consider: How much damage is your vehicle likely to inflict in a crash?
As sport utility vehicles have become more popular, insurance companies have had to study and factor that issue into premiums. As a result, if you drive an SUV, your third party premium (which covers damage to other vehicles), could be higher because of the increased damage a vehicle of that size can cause in an accident, she says. The car itself could also be expensive or just expensive to repair after an accident, which would increase insurance costs.
High insurance rate is a red flag to ask a few questions. For instance, if a car has a lot of horsepower and is involved in a lot of crashes, that can also send insurance rates up, even if the car itself is relatively inexpensive.
So if you're getting ready to buy your teenager that dream model and the insurance rate comes back sky high, it may be a tip that it's time to search for another make and model.
Sometimes the driver really does make all the difference. Insurance companies and crash analysts have noticed that vehicles most often associated with family transportation - such as minivans, station wagons and family sedans -- get in fewer crashes than the high horsepower hotrods that appeal to young male drivers.