Once you’ve found your ideal car, the next step is to get the right type of car insurance. Here’s a guide to car insurance options and how to choose the best one for your driving needs.
There are three main types of car insurance in Ireland:
The type of cover you choose will depend on the level of cover you need and how much you can afford to pay.
Third party cover is the minimum legal level of car insurance you can get in Ireland. By law, you must have at least third party insurance to drive your car on the road.
This cover has all the benefits of third party insurance and adds cover for fire damage and theft. This means if your car is stolen or damaged by fire in an accident you can claim for damages.
Comprehensive car insurance offers the most complete financial protection for you and your vehicle.
This type of insurance is often the most expensive because it covers you and your car most extensively.
As well as covering third parties, fire damage and theft, you’re also covered for damage to your car in the event of an accident or vandalism.
Plus, unlike the other types of car insurance, if you cause an accident or damage your car you’re covered regardless of whose fault it was.
Some comprehensive policies also cover personal injury as standard, but this isn’t always the case, so always check the policy schedule and add it as an extra benefit if required.
Some extra benefits come as standard with a comprehensive policy, but others you’ll have to pay more for, so it’s worth comparing details before choosing a policy.
The sort of extra benefits on offer are:
The average cost of car insurance in Ireland in 2020 is €676, with comprehensive cover the most expensive and third party insurance the cheapest.
|Type of insurance||Average cost|
Source: NCID Private Motor Insurance Report 2020, Central Bank of Ireland
Besides the type of insurance, the price of your cover will depend on several other factors. Here’s several examples, but check out our car insurance comparison for a full list of factors.
Costs and benefits vary between insurers so always shop around to get quotes from different insurers before you buy.
Besides the three major types of car insurance, there are other types of cover to fit specific circumstances.
If you’re under 25, car insurance is more expensive, but there are ways to make it more affordable. For instance, by getting black box insurance.
Visit our Young Drivers page to find out more about cheaper car insurance for new or young drivers.
Black box car insurance is cover that uses a telematics device to monitor your driving habits and set your premiums based on how safely you drive.
Telematics devices operate with GPS technology and capture:
When you take out a black box car insurance policy, your insurer will arrange for the installation of the black box device in your car.
You may qualify for classic car insurance if you have a vintage car or it’s over 25 years old.
Classic car insurance is usually cheaper than standard car insurance due to the lower likelihood of an accident or damage occurring.
Insurers will have different definitions or rules for eligibility, so it’s worth gathering quotes from several insurers to find the best insurance for your classic car.
If you have more than one car registered at your address you could save money by insuring all vehicles with the same insurer.
This is known as multi-car insurance and could earn you a discount of up to 10% on the second car.
The best type of car insurance depends on several factors:
If you have just bought a brand new car and commute a long distance to work or drive as part of your job, then a fully comprehensive policy could be the best choice.
However, if you drive a used car that’s not worth much or you only drive your car occasionally, third party insurance might provide adequate cover.
On balance, if you can afford comprehensive cover and want peace of mind, then it’s worth spending more for the best insurance and any extra benefits you need.
Buying car insurance is a case of weighing up the pros and cons of each type and deciding how much you can afford.
If you’re still not sure which insurance to buy, consider these questions:
It depends on the insurer. Some insurance policies include this benefit as a standard feature, but other’s will require you to add it as an optional extra.
A policy excess is the part of a claim that is paid by you, not the insurance company. For example, if you have a policy excess of €200 and claim for car damage which costs €1,000, the insurance company will only pay €800 towards the claim.
An excess-free claim is when you don’t have to pay anything towards the claim yourself.
It’s a discount based on the number of years you’ve held a policy without making a claim. The reduction in your premium is based on the number of years you go without making a claim on your policy. For example
|No.of years with no claims||% discount|
No Claims Discount Protection is a type of benefit you can opt into if you have a good claims history, for example, at least 5 years of no claims discount.
No claims discount protection means if you make one claim in the insurance year your no claims bonus will not be affected.
Short term insurance is defined as between one and 28 days.
At the moment there are no brokers or insurance companies offering short term insurance to drivers in Ireland.