The Joys of Car Insurance as a Young Driver

Here is a piece I’ve been meaning to write for a long time. Especially as a young driver in Ireland, I have to put up with a lot when it comes to car insurance. Honestly, I’m pretty fed up with it at this stage but my love of driving and for cars is just too strong to just give up driving. So therefore, I must pay the price.

First off here are my circumstances; I am a 21 year old Male student living with my parents in Dublin. I have my licence for 3 years and have been driving in Ireland for 3 years. I have 1 years no claims bonus. Now, up until November last year I had a clean licence. I now have 3 points. I drive a 2002 1.2 SEAT Ibiza.

Before I tell you about my current insurance, I will tell you about a time when I almost bought an e46 BMW 318i Touring. Yes, I turned down an e46 Touring because of insurance. The car was a friend of mines and he was in the market for a new car anyway and wanting to get rid of it. He was pushing me and pushing me to consider it and I really was. The time came when he purchased his new car, another e46 estate. Long story short, the 318i got clamped and he offered the car to me for €200 plus the price to take the clamp off. I could have been in a, pretty clean and well maintained, 318i Touring for €280. I rushed home and got straight onto the insurance companies. The first quote that I got:

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I immediately assumed this was a mistake and did the same quote again about 20 minutes later. Exact same result. How? How on earth does one get a quote of between €17,428 and €20,981 on a 14 year old BMW estate. I never followed up on it because I didn’t want to waste my time. I knew I wouldn’t get anywhere with it and didn’t bother. In hindsight, I should have because its absolutely ridiculous.

I did do some shopping around the cheapest quote I got was around €2200, I still didn’t think it was worth it. But if you take anything from this piece, it is you MUST shop around. You will get no where by just opting for the first quote you get.

Here in Ireland, there are three different types of insurance coverage available; Third Party, Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT) and Comprehensive (Comp). Generally people will  go for the fully comp cover as it offers the best coverage in case one needs to claim. But, of course I was only offered TPFT on my Ibiza. The price I paid? I pay monthly installments of €102.14 which works out to be €1328.37/annum. Do bear in mind, I bought the car for €1050. The sad thing about this is that that is the best price I got from any of the insurance companies I called and it is still considered to be a great price.

My renewal for next year came through last week. Honestly, I was surprised at the price.  I will be looking at paying €1589.49. Although this is still absolutely outrageous, its only price hike of around €260. I’ve heard of a lot worse. Maybe this is because they realise they are already milking me for everything I have.

Apparently, why insurance is so expensive in recent years is because they are cleaning up the mess of companies like Setanta Ireland. Setanta were an insurance company that went bust in 2014. They went bust because they thought they could offer very low insurance and survive. Well this wasn’t the case because they ended up paying out more in claims than they were getting in in premiums. Thanks to this monumental screw up, people are now paying up to 80% increases on their insurance because current insurance companies are cleaning up Setantas mess. I have read about one person who was paying €450 last year on a diesel Volkswagen Golf. This year he was quoted €900. To be honest, I would not complain about paying €900 for insurance only because I have to suffer almost €1600.

I am currently in the market for a new car. Specifically, an R53 Mini Cooper S. What I thought would be an easy car to find, turns out to be the complete opposite. Pretty much all the cars here are “Paddy spec” and colossal mileage. Anyway, I will be having fun with some of the insurance companies when I do decide to buy one. Some of you will probably be thinking; “Why not go for something more sensible/easier to insure?” and I would ask “And what insurance company do you work for?”.

I will update you on my adventure.

Ian

***UPDATE***
So since publishing this piece less than 30 minutes ago, a good friend got onto me to mention that he too got a renewal.  Set up for a laugh, I ended up being gobsmacked. This friend drives a 2007 1.3 Suzuki Swift. This is no ordinary Swift, he has it lowered, on BBS alloys and a few other cosmetic mods. You will expect his insurance to be through the roof? Yes so did I. We both have 3 points on our licence, both have 1 years No Claims Bonus and have both been driving for roughly the same amount of time.  He pays €994. This is for a modded Jap hatch, I pay almost €600 more for a 1.2 bog standard SEAT Ibiza. I’m outraged. Not at him but the insurance company. We are with the same company. I well and truly believe they are picking these numbers out of the air at this stage. This makes zero sense.