If you're new to driving, car insurance will be a whole new world for you. Here are some tips to choosing car insurance for the first time.
Types of car insurance available
Look at the types of insurance available and decide which of the three types of car insurance available are best for you:
- Comprehensive Car Insurance is designed to cover damage to all vehicles and property in an accident where you are at fault, including your own and that of others affected. This is the most expensive form of car insurance, but can also provide the most extensive cover for peace of mind. You're also more likely to get added extras, like cover for a hire car while yours is being fixed, and emergency travel and accommodation if the accident happens far from home.
- Third Party Fire and Theft covers damage to other people's vehicles or property in an accident where you are at fault, but not your own. This is a cheaper option than comprehensive cover, but still provides protection for your car if it's been stolen or damaged by a fire.
- Third Party Property is the most basic form of insurance and it covers damage to other people's vehicles and property in an accident when you are at fault, but does not cover your own. While it doesn't protect your car or property, it can ensure that you have no legal liability when you cause damage to others, provided you have adhered to the policy's terms and conditions.
New drivers in QLD and NSW should also note that they will also need to purchase a compulsory Green Slip or CTP Insurance for their car as part of the registration process.
Keeping costs down for a New Driver
If you're a new driver, you'll have no driving record for insurers to assess you by so your quote will depend mostly on your age, gender, the area you live in and the model of your car.
There are some other ways of lowering your car insurance premium though, including:
- Choose a relatively mainstream car that is not modified, high performance, accessorised or prone to theft.
- Avoid cars that are rare or expensive to repair or get parts for.
- Take an approved driving course, like Defensive Driving, as with some insurers this may lower your premium.
Read the fine print
Be sure to read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) carefully before you decide the right policy for you. New drivers should be aware of the Age Excess, which can be charged on top of the basic excess for drivers under 25, and the Inexperienced Driver Excess, also charged on top of the basic excess for drivers over 25 who have not held an Australian drivers licence for at least two years.
Also, it's important to inform your insurer of modifications - or better, avoid them altogether - as this may lead to your claim being rejected.
Finally, keep in mind that car insurers generally will not pay out for damage caused by drunk driving, racing or other illegal activity.
Compare quotes to save money
The best way to save on car insurance for new drivers is to compare your options, as the cost of car insurance can vary greatly between insurers.
These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.