What Affects Your Premium On Used Car Insurance?

Thinking of protecting your new second hand car? There are a number of factors which could have an effect on your insurance premium.
Jason Snyman
2018-05-08
When purchasing a used car, it’s vitally important to be informed. You need to know exactly what you’re looking for in order to ensure that you’re not driving away with a skorokoro. If you’re lucky, you may even find the car of your dreams at a good price. When financing any car, though, you need to get insurance. Apart from the annual licence renewal, insurance might be the biggest grudge-purchase a car owner can make. If you’ve just shelled out a bunch of hard-earned money on a vehicle you haven’t put to the test yet, it’s still a good idea to get it covered. What’s the difference between the cost of insurance on a new car and the cost on a second-hand car? Does this affect your monthly premium, and if so, how? Most importantly, how can you keep that cost as low as possible? How much your premium ends up costing you is determined by a complex system measuring up circumstances and probabilities. When combined, these factors determine how much of a risk you and your vehicle are to insure. Let’s take a closer look.
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Factors To Look At When Considering Insurance

It’s important to bear in mind that newer, more expensive cars are also expensive to insure. As a general rule, you want to make sure that you’re adequately insured, with the right amount of protection for your car. It might not be brand new, but it’s still new to you. So, it’s better to buy a car you can afford in order to insure it properly, than buy an expensive car and not be able to afford insurance at all. Older cars, on the other hand, require more attention and maintenance than newer cars. So, depending on what you’ll be using the car for, how often you’ll be using it and so forth, you’ll have to weigh up which will work out more affordable. Perhaps, in the long run, a new car might prove the better option for you. Here’s where things get a little more involved. You may choose to get a new car and still keep your old car. Dealers, after all, are renowned for low-balling the customer when it comes to trading in an older car as a down payment for a newer one. You may decide to use that old car as a back-up or hand it down to one of your children. Luckily, there are many usage-based or low-mileage affordable insurance options for cars that are seldom driven. New drivers that are planning on purchasing their first car might want to add the car to their parents’ existing policy. In such a case, you’ll have to report that information to the insurer within a certain time window.  

The Cost Of Used Car Insurance

There are many things which can and cannot be done in order to keep costs to a minimum. Let’s be realistic. It might be impractical or simply unaffordable for you to move to a low-risk area. Nobody can control the state of traffic or the behaviour of other moronic drivers on the road. You can’t foresee a sudden accident. You can, however, be smart with your choice in vehicle. Drive to the best of your ability, maintain your vehicle properly and keep a clean record. Choose the right insurer and the right product. These can go a long way toward saving you money. Let’s take a look at the factors which influence the cost of your used car insurance.

1. Value of the Car

The more expensive the car, the higher the cost of insurance.

2. The Cost of Repairs

Older cars aren’t always cheaper to repair than new ones. The availability of car parts might be a problem. If your car is a rare model, or the manufacturer has limited representation in the country, or a particular level of skill is required to fix it – expect to pay. Uncommon = Expensive.

3. Performance

A high-performance vehicle inherently carries more risk. It’s driven faster, it’s driven harder, and it’s built for power. Mathematically, it only increases the chances of smashing through a wall somewhere.

4. Enhancements

Enhancements make your vehicle attractive. Not just to you, but to thieves too. A state-of-the-art sound system, fancy rims, etc. all factor into your risk factor.

5. Safety Features

Most cars from the last two decades have been fitted with anti-lock brakes. Newer systems are even better, with parking assistance, driving assistance, drowsiness and lane departure alerts and so on. Having these systems in place alleviate the risk of an accident. Older cars just don’t have them. On the flipside, once the car is out of warranty, those same systems cost an arm and a leg to repair. On lower-value cars, once the airbag has been deployed and needs replacing, an insurer might consider writing the car off. Even if the actual damage was minor. This is because with such old cars, the cost of replacing the airbag outweighs the value of the entire car.

6. Historical Data

How many accidents has this vehicle been involved in? An insurer will dig deep into the history of that car and model. VW Beetle’s for example, are prone to catching fire. Certain SUV’s have a history of rolling. Uno’s crumple like a soda can in a collision. Certain models are even favoured by criminals.

7. Frequency of Usage

How often will you be driving your car? How many KM’s will it cover per year? Will it be driven in rush-hour traffic surrounded by impatient imbeciles or only over the weekends?

8. You, the Driver

The demographics of the person operating the vehicle play a much bigger role in determining the cost of insurance than the vehicle itself. Key components include:
  • Whether or not you live in a high-risk area;
  • Your age. The younger the driver the higher the risk;
  • Your gender. Men are more likely to crash their cars;
  • Marital Status. Married couples or parents are more careful in their driving habits;
Insurers also look at your driving history and claims record. The more often you’ve claimed, the riskier you’re perceived.