What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down in a Remote Area
Posted by: Lydia on 29/01/2020
Buying a car is a big financial commitment. In addition to the hefty upfront cost, there are also the ongoing regular expenses of fuel and maintenance. Most buyers know to factor in these expenses before they commit to buying a vehicle – but sometimes the cost of insurance can be overlooked.
Obviously, buyers know they'll have to pay for insurance, but the exact premium cost is discovered after the car has been purchased. Sometimes this means that buyers who prioritised affordability in their vehicle search find themselves facing an unexpected expense because their chosen vehicle has a high insurance premium.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way – you can find many terrific cars with low insurance premiums as you search for your next ride. Here are five great picks to check out.
1. Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry is among the best vehicles to buy when seeking a solid ride with an affordable insurance premium. Camrys are reliable, very popular, and have a strong aftermarket parts network, which means insurers will always look upon them favourably. And because they have a reputation for lasting so long, you can look to negotiate your premium down as the years go by.
2. Toyota Hilux
The Hilux is another fantastic pick. Because it's selling so brilliantly, notching up over 5,000 sales across Australia in June of this year alone, the popularity of the vehicle reduces its rarity. This means it has a lower risk of being stolen – and, accordingly, a lower premium.
3. Kia Cerato
2019 has seen Kia closing in on 100,000 sales across the nation – and the Cerato has been driving many of these sales. With Kia's competitive pricing and a 7-year warranty on all its new cars, the South Korean manufacturer has been winning many fans across Australia. A sedan with a solid reputation for reliability, the Cerato is a great vehicle to buy for all its features – and its low insurance premium.
4. Mazda 3
The Mazda 3 is a magnificent vehicle in so many ways. It's quality-built, with an engine that delivers smooth Sunday cruising but also has some real power behind it when you want it. Compact cars commonly find it difficult to obtain the same safety ratings as sedans, making their insurance premiums higher – but the 2019 Mazda 3 holds a 5 star rating from ANCAP, ensuring that you can have an economy car with a sporty style and A+ safety, too.
5. A late model Ford or Holden
This generation of drivers is likely to be the last one that can easily buy an Aussie-made Ford or Holden as they become rarer and rarer. But for now, it's easy to find one. And alongside being great choices for the wide availability of aftermarket parts, an Aussie-made Ford or Holden can also be very affordable to insure.
That said, it’s important to try and find the right model. Fords or Holdens made over ten years ago may attract a higher premium due to age, and ones made in the final year of local production may also attract a higher premium due to rarity and higher theft risk. Ideally, try to find a Ford that was built between 2010 and 2015, or a Holden built between 2010 and 2016.
What factors lower an insurance premium?
In addition to considering a vehicle known for its low insurance premiums, it also helps to understand what goes into calculating the cost of an insurance premium so that you can try to avoid a high one.
Every car and every individual's circumstances will alter the cost of a policy a little, but there are some common factors that’ll help keep costs down from one driver to the next.
For example, a sedan will cost less to insure than other types of vehicles, as it's viewed as one of the safest to drive. Speaking of safety, any vehicle that has a 5 star ANCAP safety rating will have a lower premium than a car that’s otherwise identical but couldn’t obtain the 5 star rating.
A car make that has a strong aftermarket presence will also keep costs low. Even though manufacturers like Ford, Holden, and Toyota have stopped making cars in Australia in recent years, they continue to be good value for money from an insurance perspective, given the huge availability of parts for these vehicles.
What makes a premium go up?
The rarer and less safe a car is deemed to be, the higher the insurance premium it will have. Because there are so many different cars out there, what this means in practice can be more complex.
But in general, as mentioned above, if your vehicle has less than a 5 star ANCAP safety rating, it will have a higher premium. If your vehicle is a rare classic car, or even if it's a new model but just very distinctive, the same applies. This is not only because of how those cars are used and driven, but also because of the risk of theft that certain models attract.
Also be mindful that power upgrades and modifications to your car – whether they are visible or not – will be factored in by your insurance company and will likely mean a higher premium. Basically, if you can imagine James Bond driving the vehicle – or a Bond villain trying to steal it from him – it’s likely going to attract a higher insurance premium.
Remember the price of fun
It’s always wise to pay attention to a car's insurance premium when you're looking to buy. But if you’re a real petrolhead, keep in mind that the enjoyment factor is important, too. Yes, a convertible sports car will cost a little more to insure over some other cars, but if you love nothing more than spending a summer weekend on a long road trip, nothing will beat the warm breeze in your hair with the convertible’s top down.
So be sure to factor in your love of driving if you’re looking to purchase a vehicle and find yourself wrestling between a car with a lower insurance premium, and a car you really love with a higher premium. Remember, if it does come down to buying a car you love with a slightly higher premium, you can always try to negotiate the car's price down to save some extra cash, and look to reduce your premium over time with a good driving record.
That way, you can have the best of both worlds: a car you love, and a lower insurance premium, too.
What other great cars do you know of with low insurance premiums? Let us know in the comments below: