The car you choose to drive affects the amount of money you pay each month in insurance premiums.
Car insurance is mandatory rather than voluntary – if you want to drive you must have at least a basic third-party policy from an insurer such as 123.ie, otherwise you are breaking the law.
This is to protect other drivers and anyone else who may be injured or have property damaged as a result of your driving. Insurance can be costly, particularly as a new driver when you haven’t yet been able to build up any no-claims bonuses.
To avoid spending more than you can afford on insurance premiums you need to be a little bit savvy about the type of car you drive. You may want a great big powerful engine, but will end up paying somewhere in the region of three times as much money each month for it, and usually for the privilege of sitting in slow-moving traffic for hours on end anyway!
The smaller a car engine the lower the insurance premiums tend to be. A 1.0, 1.1 or 1.2 litre engine will usually fall into one of the lower insurance brackets.
Other features insurers look out for are low mileage, a good safety rating, the cost of repairs, parts and maintenance and the additional safety features that are fitted, as well as the initial cost of buying the car new and the age of the vehicle.
Cars such as the Chevrolet Spark, Fiat Panda and Punto, Ford Fiesta and Ka and the Skoda Fabia range have small engines and perform well in safety tests. Parts are usually relatively cheap and they are quick to repair in most cases.
All these factors significantly reduce the amount of insurance you will have to pay. As you gain more driving experience, you personally build up a better profile with insurance companies.
Your first car needs to get you from A to B – wait a few years before investing in a bigger, more powerful machine and you will save yourself a small fortune.