Hello Dear Reader,
People around the world, where they have real snow, must be laughing at the UK in our current light dusting as we grind to an almost standstill. All round the world, they get real snow. You know, the kind that falls every year, lasts all winter and the cold can kill you if you go out in it. Consequently, drivers have their winter tyres put on, have snow chains and know how to drive on ice. I have a sporty car with low profile tiles and haven't a clue how to drive safely on ice and snow.
I got up early and heard, almost immediately, that the
track of death A38 was impassable at two points in my journey before I had even got dressed. I decided then and there that it was not worth my £500 excess to have a crash, right my car off or even worse hurt anyone else. Luckily, I live in sliding on the ice and shuffling distance from the railway station and just had to wait until light and some of the sheet ice to have thawed and then made my way there. The return trip just to work and back is £8.50 which is a lot less than paying for a hire car whilst my car is fixed, losing my no claims bonus and the excess which I keep high to keep the costs down as low as possible. We all have our own decisions to make when keeping motoring costs down and if you live in a region like mine, not owning a car would make life extremely difficult.
I take car insurance and economical car maintenance seriously and think long and hard when using it at all and certainly about insuring it. I certainly didn't when I first passed my driving test, didn't shop around for the best deals until I was a lot older and certainly wished I'd thought about the advice below before I just went and got the first insurance policy I could fine. The following is a guest post but it's certainly poignant after the scenes on the A38 this morning that saw motorists shuffle into work as multiple crashes blocked the carriage way.
Legal and Ready to Buy a Car? Here's Where to Start
Once you have reached the legal driving age, the first thing you will want to do is get behind the wheel of your very own car. Although you might just be thinking about what kind of car to buy and what colour will look best, there are a few other things you need to keep in mind. Car insurance, for example, is a big monthly expense for new drivers. The most expensive demographic of drivers to insure are new drivers under the age of 25, so you will probably have to pay a good deal more than your parents or older friends. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to cut down the monthly expense of your insurance policy. The kind of car you buy, paying a higher excess, shopping around for insurance and keeping a clean driving record are all significant ways to limit what you have to pay. Read on to get a better idea how a new driver can reduce their expenses.
How Slower and Cheaper Might Be Best
When you start looking at the perfect car to buy after getting your license, you might immediately look to the newer cars that have plenty of power, and all the bells and whistles. However tempting as this kind of car might be, it’s important to realise that the price of insurance can be shocking on these kinds of vehicles, especially for younger drivers. Insurance companies see young drivers with fast, expensive cars as a high-risk liability, and they will in turn charge more to insure this group. If you want to keep insurance rates as low as possible, it might be a better idea to look for a more modest car. Second-hand cars that are in good condition are often considered to be the perfect car for a new driver because they are so affordable to insure.
Benefits of Safety Features
You probably already know that safety features like dual airbags and anti-theft devices are great items to have on your car, but you might not know that they can actually reduce your car insurance premiums. Since safety features often discourage thieves and reduce the likelihood of a collision, insurance providers are often willing to pass savings on to the driver in the form of lower insurance rates.
Paying a Higher Excess
If you find that even after buying a modest car with safety features you are still paying a monthly premium that seems too high, you might want to pay a higher excess. An excess is essentially a deposit that you pay over the required amount. By paying this, or promising to pay it in the case of an actual collision, your insurance provider may be able to reduce your monthly rates. However, this can mean a larger upfront expense or less coverage in the event of an accident.
Keeping a Clean Driving Record
When you first get behind the wheel as a legal driver, you may not be thinking about the long-term consequences of your driving record. Speeding, or receiving traffic violation fines, is not just expensive when you have to pay the tickets, however. It can also be a reason for insurance providers to increase your monthly premiums. Think about that the next time you are tempted to race your friends to your destination or drive faster than the sign-posted limit.
Shopping Around For Car Insurance
Even drivers who follow all of these tips exactly may still end up paying too much for their insurance. A great way to find out if you are overpaying is to compare car insurance quotes on the Internet. Shopping around online can take just a few minutes, but it could be a way for you to save a substantial amount over the course of the year. Another way to potentially reduce what you spend is a payment plan. Instead of paying for a full year of coverage upfront, you can pay one month at a time. As long as you are not late on these payments, it can be much easier to afford these smaller amounts than one large lump sum.
Getting your license and buying your first car is a memorable experience, so don't let the cost of insurance ruin it. Use these tips to find the most affordable insurance policy available to you.
Now over to you, Dear Reader. Do you keep your excess as high as possible? Where do you find the best deals for insurance and did anyone else let the train take the strain instead of risking spinning out on sheet ice?
Love Froogs xxxxx