Calling All New Drivers! Six Car Insurance Myths You Need To Put the Brakes On
24 May 2023
Any type of myth has the power to prevent progression, which is why it’s crucial they’re debunked at the earliest opportunity.
This is particularly important when it comes to cars and car insurance, as following something that isn’t true can cause serious problems for a driver – especially one new to the road.
For example, driving a car that isn’t yours – because you believe the myth that comprehensive cover automatically allows you to drive anything – is illegal. If you’re caught, you could be hit with six to eight penalty points and even a £300 fine. While this was once upon a time a standard feature of the policy, it’s now far less common.
Without insurance, you, your vehicle, and other motorists aren’t protected against liability in the event of an accident. Not only is it against the law, but it’s also dangerous and irresponsible. But you don’t need us to go on about just how important car insurance is. You might be a new driver, but we trust you more than that.
What you do need is an expert to set the record straight and debunk more common myths that could harm you. Michelle Rigler, head of portfolio at First Response Finance, has everything you need to know here.
Myth #1 Red cars are more expensive to insure
Colour has no impact on your insurance. So, not only are red cars not more expensive to insure, but neither are blue, green, yellow, or even rainbow-coloured cars. Insurance rates are calculated using factors such as your age, driving behaviour, and the make and model of your vehicle. When you’re in the process of finally choosing your long-awaited first car, pick a colour you like as opposed to a colour that might get you cheaper insurance. Because chances are, it won’t.
Myth #2 Keeping your car in the garage means lower insurance costs
This is technically a myth because there’s no guarantee that keeping your car in the garage means cheaper insurance. It might be true; it might not be true. Ratings provided by insurance companies are based on claims data, so, if you live in an area where a significant figure of claims have been made because of garage-related accidents, your monthly price could in fact go up.
In a similar way, if you live in a region where more claims have been made due to road-related incidents, parking your car in a secure garage could see your price go down. It’s not a one-size-fits-all process.
Myth #3 If my car was stolen, I can claim for the valuable contents inside
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, which is why it’s strongly encouraged you never leave valuable items in your car while it’s unattended. If it does get stolen and as a result you lose expensive possessions such as your smart phone, laptop, or designer handbag, you may be eligible to claim for only part of the cost.
Make sure you thoroughly read your policy documents to figure out exactly what you’re protected against. Oh, and take your valuable items with you whenever you leave the car! As a new driver, you have a good chance of making this a positive habit from the get-go.
Myth #4 Minimum coverage is enough
Minimum coverage is enough for what, exactly? Insurance covers can be extremely varied because no two situations are the same, so why would the policies be? Minimum coverage may be the legal requirement, but it won’t always protect you.
Michelle said: “Consequences of being underinsured in the event of an accident include personal liability, repair costs, and legal costs. It’s your responsibility as a driver to determine exactly what your individual policy should cover. No insurance – or the wrong insurance – is a criminal offence. Speak to the professionals, submit the right and honest information, and do what’s right for you and other road users.”
Myth #5 Your credit score doesn’t impact your insurance premium
Ah, that scary little number that can dictate so much of our life! The figure can affect our mortgage opportunities, credit card chances, and various other lines of credit should we ever find ourselves relying on it. But does it impact insurance premiums?
In many cases, yes. If you’ve asked to pay for your insurance in monthly instalments, for example, your provider may carry out a ‘hard search’ on your credit report. By doing this, they’ll be able to dig a little deeper into your financial history to get a better idea of how well you manage debt. As such, it’s always wise to maintain a good credit score.
Myth #6 You don’t need car insurance if you don’t drive often
Absolutely untrue! Whether you drive your vehicle once a day or once a year, car insurance is a must. It’s illegal to drive on a UK road without appropriate cover, and the law doesn’t care how often you do or don’t drive. However, you could have the opportunity to get a “pay-as-you-go” or usage-based insurance policy tailored to how much you drive, and therefore possibly cheaper. No insurance at all, however, is illegal.
Take care and consideration from day one
Everybody remembers their first car, and everybody remembers how free and elated they felt when driving on their own for the very first time. As a new driver, you have a clean, sparkling slate that should encourage you to do everything right from the very beginning. Be wary of picking up any bad habits that could put you in financial or physical danger and do your own research when it comes to insurance policies.
Information can be misinterpreted, not to mention the rapid speeds at which things change within the UK’s driving regulations. Don’t take everything you hear at face value; you might trust your cousin who said Y about comprehensive policies, but they might have missed the part about X which counteracts everything they thought. If you’re ever unsure, consult the government’s vehicle insurance page.
Congratulations on getting yourself out on the road! It’s time to fuel your wanderlust…be safe and good luck.
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