Buying a car

Estimating the cost of car insurance before you buy your car

30 January 2019

There’s no way around it – buying and owning a car can be incredibly expensive. It’s not just the amount you pay (or borrow) to purchase the vehicle, or the potential hidden costs like stamp duty, there’s also ongoing considerations like registration, maintenance and services, and, of course, car insurance.

If you’re still in the shopping stage, figuring out how much car insurance could set you back can be super helpful for creating an accurate budget. There’s also the fact that your chosen car make and model will influence how much you need to spend on car insurance, so being able to estimate the price before you make your big purchase might even make a difference to how you approach your shopping.

What influences the cost of car insurance?

It’s super important to understand the considerations insurers make when they’re working out your quote. By knowing what factors can drive up your premium, you can potentially make smarter decisions and get a car that isn’t going to burn an unnecessarily large hole in your pocket.

The main factors are:

The value of the car

If you’re forking out a lot of money on a car, you can usually expect to do the same for the insurance. It makes sense if you think about the fact that if you total your car or it’s stolen, and your insurance covers you for a replacement car or payout, there’s a higher amount for them to cover.

The cost of car repairs/parts

In the same way that an expensive car is often reflected in a higher premium, a vehicle that has notoriously costly car parts and repairs can have the same affect. The two might not be mutually exclusive, either; you might find a reasonably affordable car but be surprised to learn that, if needed, replacing a certain part would cost an arm and a leg. That’s usually the case when it’s a specialised vehicle, has carbon fibre parts, is foreign, or is rare to our roads.

The age of the car

Cars that are either very old or very new can sometimes attract higher premiums, for different reasons. Brand spanking new cars tend to be more expensive to buy, and so, for the reasons already outlined, can result in higher insurance premiums.

Older cars, although generally cheaper to buy, can sometimes end up making your insurance quote higher. That’s usually if they have specialised parts that are going to make repairs a costly headache. So even if you think you’re saving money by going for an older model, you might want to be careful with classic or less common vehicles.

The body type

You might think that choosing between a sedan and hatchback is just about personal preference, but it can actually make a difference to how much you pay on your premium. That’s because insurers have to take into consideration things like heavier cars (such as SUVs) inflicting more damage in accidents and therefore being costlier to cover. Flashy, sporty cars can also come with the precaution that they’re more likely to be driven in a fast, reckless manner (although factors like the driver’s history, age, and gender can change this).

Included safety features

When a car has certain safety features – like a reverse camera or anti-theft system – insurers generally have greater peace of mind that it’s less likely for something to go wrong with your vehicle (as should you, for that matter). So not only does finding a car with added safety benefit you, for obvious reasons, it can potentially benefit your back pocket, too.

Likelihood of theft

Some cars tend to catch the eyes of thieves more than others. According to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council*, Holden Commodores topped the list of stolen cars in the last financial year, with Nissan Pulsars, Toyota Hilux’s, and Ford Falcons all commonly being picked up by burglars, as well.

So if you’re on the hunt for a new car, it can be worthwhile doing some research into whether other people are on the hunt for that particular make and model, too. It might save you money on your premium, not to mention the misfortunate of your car doing a disappearing act.

Driver information

The cost of your car insurance doesn’t all just come down to the vehicle itself, of course. The driver (or drivers) listed on a policy can have an impact as well. Things like age, gender, driving and accident history, and location (i.e. where the car will live also) can all make a difference. Obviously this is something you can’t influence when buying a car, but it’s still something to be aware of.

Working out which car insurance is best for you

There are various levels of car insurance cover you can choose from, depending on your individual circumstances. It goes beyond just choosing between comprehensive and third party insurance, too.

You can consider optional covers that you pay extra for like roadside assistance, excess-free windscreen protection, hire car cover, and more. Whether it’s for peace of mind or from the understanding that preparing for risk can be more cost-efficient than not and facing consequences down the track, it’s worth weighing up your options and deciding what cover is going to work best for you.

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Ways to save money on your car insurance

Taking into consideration all of the factors that insurers use to determine your premium can be a great first step in making some money-savvy decisions. Things like opting for a car that’s less likely to be stolen, has additional safety features, and isn’t incredibly costly to get spare parts for are all ways to potentially bring your premium down.

There are even more ways to save on your car insurance, though. For example, you could take advantage of Suncorp’s discount for buying car insurance online. You could also look into adjusting your excess, driving less, driving safely to benefit from reward programs, and combining policies.

Check out 6 ways to save on car insurance for even more ideas.

Getting a car insurance estimate

So, you’ve considered all the factors that might influence your premium. You’ve decided what type of cover is going to best suit your needs. You’ve even thought about some savvy ways you can save on your car insurance. Now it’s finally time to estimate the cost of insuring your potential new car.

Luckily, you don’t have to prove you own a car just to get a quote. As long as you know vital information about the make and model of the vehicle, your own details, and where you’ll park the car, you’ll be able to see exactly how much you can expect to pay.

Suncorp makes it incredibly easy to get a quick, instant quote online for Comprehensive Car Insurance. You can also get a quote in less than a minute for CTP Insurance in Queensland. Get a quote today and estimate your car insurance before you make your big purchase!

*Source: National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council

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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.