Imported car insurance
If you've imported or are looking at importing a car into Australia, it's important to consider the additional costs that this will incur. Apart from compliance modifications and maintenance costs, you should also look at insurance costs for imported cars, as they can be more expensive than for domestic cars.
Why is imported car insurance higher?
One of the main reasons insurance for imported cars is higher than for domestic cars is that they are manufactured to meet the standards of their country of origin, and may need to be modified to meet legal requirements within Australia before they can hit the road. Modifications will always increase the cost of car insurance, as it is more difficult for insurers to determine their value.
Also, imported cars can have performance modifications and reach higher speeds than domestic cars, and these cars are more likely to be involved in an accident. When this happens, spare parts and repairs for imported cars are usually more expensive than for domestic cars, and these costs are taken into consideration when calculating your premium.
Before signing up, read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) carefully so you're aware of any specific terms and conditions that could affect a claim you make for your imported car. For example, some insurers may offer imported car insurance with restrictions in the age of drivers and the number of modifications.
Also be aware of any additional excesses that are applied on top of your basic excess, like an age excess (dependent on the age of the driver) and an inexperienced driver excess (for drivers over 25 who have held their Australian drivers licence for less than two years).
Tips for affordable imported car insurance
Firstly, choose an imported car with lower performance gains as they are generally cheaper to insure. If you choose a turbo car, expect that you may pay a higher premium.
Also, reduce the risk of theft by keeping your car in a garage and equipping it with a quality car alarm and immobiliser, as insurers will look kindly on these measures.
Another way that you may be able to reduce the cost of your insurance could be to take an approved driving course, like Defensive Driving, which insurers may take into account.
Finally, the best way to find affordable imported car insurance is to compare different options, as quotes can vary greatly between car insurers.
26 Apr 2012