If you’re anything like me, your summer is either spent ferrying family members from house to house (or house to airport) over Christmas, or hitting the road up and down the coast in search of waves and relaxation. But while many Australians will be be giving their cars a real workout over summer, it’s safe to say few will be thinking about their insurance premiums.
A recent analysis from Mozo of over 10,000 different comprehensive car insurance scenarios found that Australian drivers are forking out $1,027 a year on average for their premiums, with plenty of room for savings on offer for those willing to compare and switch.
While anyone who owns a car may not necessarily be shocked by the price of insurance itself, they may be surprised by some of factors that contribute to the cost of car insurance. So read on for the top four you need to consider, plus some tips to help you save:
1. On the street vs in your garage
Not only is it a good idea to park your car somewhere shady in the summer months to beat the heat (nobody wants a blisteringly hot wheel), parking in a cool, secure spot like your garage could actually help you reduce your insurance premium. One of the factors insurers take into consideration when calculating the cost of your insurance is where you keep your car, especially during the day if you’re at work. So keeping it in a secure lock up or garage on your property could seriously help you save.
2. Battle of the sexes
Stereotypes be damned – when it comes to male or female drivers, insurance companies have made it pretty clear who they think the better drivers. Mozo’s research shows that Australian women are in fact likely to pay more than $100 a year less on average for their car insurance premiums compared to male drivers.
3. Your state
Tasmanians, feel free to celebrate – according to Mozo research you pay less than drivers in every other state for your comprehensive car insurance. Drivers from the Apple Isle were revealed to pay just $811 on average to insure their wheels compared to Victorians who shell out a nation-high average of $1,345. It turns out that residents in the Northern Territory ($1,241) and New South Wales ($1,239) also pay some of the highest premiums, while drivers from Western Australia ($824) only paid $13 more than Tasmanians.
4. Colour matters
Most people may think that the colour of their car only changes how quickly it heats up (or how good it looks), but did you know that your colour of choice could also be hurting your wallet? Some insurers will take into account the colour of your car when calculating your premium, with drivers of white cars likely to be charged lower rates than darker cars drivers. Why you ask? Well statistically owners of white cars have been found to be the safer drivers!
Before you start thinking about drastic measures like moving to Tasmania or getting your car repainted in order to save on your car insurance, here are some easy ways to put more back in your wallet (or towards your car):
Top car insurance savings tips
- Shop online: Comparing and signing up for an insurance policy online is an easy way to save anywhere from 5% to 15% off your premium thanks to online discounts.
- Buy older: While it’s not true in every case, Mozo research suggests that car insurance is generally cheaper for older models.
- Bundle together: Ready to switch your home insurance policy as well? Many providers will reward you for your loyalty with a multiplicity discount which could range from 5% to 15% off your premiums.
- Drive safely: One of the best ways to save is simply by driving carefully. Safe drivers are generally heavily rewarded thanks to the no claims discount which could be as much as 70% off your premium.
- Don’t auto-renew: Don’t just pay your renewal notice without some shopping around and a careful review of your policy. No claim bonuses are usually transferrable so you could be surprised to learn that your current insurer isn’t offering you the best deal or that you could haggle them for a price match. Also be sure to check your car’s insurance value is correct, and that you haven’t been moved from a market value to an agreed value policy without realising.
Kirsty Lamont is a money expert and director at financial comparison website mozo.com.au. She is passionate about helping Australians make better, more informed choices about their finances.