Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

The cost of cars

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Are you weighing up the purchase of a new or used car in 2018?

Car insurance is still the number one concern for Ireland’s motorists, according to Carzone’s latest motoring report. While some motorists will have noticed a drop towards the end of the year, not all are so lucky. Insurance premiums are still quite high, particularly for new drivers. The report found that three in four Irish people have noticed a rise in their premium over the last year, with one-third downgrading their policy due to the cost.

It also noted that fuel occupies the second spot of motorists’ financial worries, followed by the cost of motor tax. One-third of those surveyed said they plan to buy a new car in 2018, with low mileage a key factor in their decision, dipping into their savings, taking a loan from the credit union, or entering into a PCP (Personal Contract Plan) agreement.

“Rising insurance premiums remain the key concern for drivers with a third downgrading their policy as a result of these increases,” said Eoin Lally, Carzone’s Operations Director. “Fuel and motor tax are also amongst the top financial concerns for Irish motorists. However, the outlook for the motoring industry remains positive going in to 2018 with 34 per cent planning to purchase a brand new or used car next year.”

Reducing costs

If you’re faced with a big insurance premium this year or next, there are a few steps you can take. Shop around a few providers and compare their offers, pay upfront rather than in instalments (usually works out cheaper), make sure you have the right level of cover (third party may be enough, particularly for older or low-value vehicles), and consider adding a named driver on your policy (this can go either way).

At the end of November, Toyota Ireland announced a partnership with FBD Insurance to reward users of its Face It Down app for Android and iOS, which uses points to incentivise drivers who keep their phone faced down while driving. Initially redeemable in Topaz Re Stores, drivers can now get €50 off a car insurance policy with FBD Insurance when they collect 1,500 points. A point is earned for every kilometre travelled without interacting with your phone.

“FBD Insurance believes that good driving should be rewarded. Toyota Ireland’s new app encourages all drivers to consider their driving habits and create safer roads for everyone,” said FBD’s CEO Fiona Muldoon. “FBD is delighted to work with Toyota Ireland to reward good driving behaviour through lower insurance prices for both existing and new customers.”

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.