Smarter, safer cars could cost you when it comes to car insurance

Ben Tosi

Thursday 01 February 2018

We love our new cars, in fact, we’ve never loved them so much. According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Aussies purchased a staggering 1,189,116 brand new vehicles during 2017 - but what does this mean for your car insurance?

We love our new cars, in fact, we’ve never loved them so much. According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Aussies purchased a staggering 1,189,116 brand new vehicles during 2017 - but what does this mean for your car insurance?

The data, released in early January, went on to reveal that this was the fourth time in five years that the record had been broken, indicating that our love affair with a fresh set of wheels is set to continue.

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber, said that economic conditions had primed the Aussie automotive market for another record year.

“Clearly Australian consumers recognise the value for money that is on offer in the new vehicle market, and responded accordingly,” he said.

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New gadgets, new premiums

According to Mozo’s Car Insurance Buyer’s Guide, the average comprehensive car insurance policy currently sits at $1,027 but, with the influx of new cars on Aussie roads, that number could steadily increase over the coming years.

At least that’s the case in the US where the host of nifty, new gadgets tacked onto each new iteration of motor vehicle is causing premiums to steadily increase.

But if these technological features are making cars smarter and safer, why are they becoming more expensive to insure?

According to James Lynch from the Insurance Information Institute, the answer is a simple albeit frustrating one.

“If they're damaged, they're much more expensive to repair,” he told the USA Today Network.

“You can't just go to a shop and pick up a part that you can jerry-rig on.”

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How this could affect Australian car insurance

The most popular vehicle in Australia last year was the Toyota Hilux which sold close to 4,000 units in December alone and features a reversing camera as well as rear, front and side sensors.

While all of this might sound like an added bonus when you’re in the car yard, the truth is that these features could plump up your premium when the time comes to get your new wheels insured.

This is especially the case given where these technologies are located on the body of your car - the front and rear bumpers and side mirrors - areas which are easily and often damaged in an accident.

Car shopping with insurance in mind

While you can’t avoid upgrading your car forever, budgeting for the bump in your premium when the time comes to trade in your old pride and joy is key.

“Just in the way you would prepare a car loan, you should be preparing a comprehensive car insurance policy so that you’re insured from the second you drive your new car off the lot,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.

“Before even heading to the car yard you can get a range of quotes that will give you a rough idea of how much your premium will rise if you do go ahead and bag yourself a bargain on a new set of wheels.”

To start that process and compare a range of comprehensive car insurance policies that might fit your budget while offering you a great level of cover for your new car, check out Mozo’s car insurance comparison tables.

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