The insanity of the car insurance industry

The conversation went like this…

Me: I’ve received my renewal notice but I need to let you know that I’ve started work
Insurance company (Ins):  What are you doing?
Me: Shop assistant. Part time
Ins: That will add £60
Me: Why?
Ins: Because you’ll be driving more
Me: No I won’t
Ins: You will because you’ll be driving to work
Me: I won’t be driving to work.
Ins: But you could
Me: I won’t be. If I did it would cost me £10 to park so I most definitely won’t be.  And, in fact, I’ll be driving FEWER miles because I won’t have as much free time. (I actually drove only 5000 miles in the last 12 months and that included driving around Shropshire, the Lake District and Devon for a week each).
Ins: It makes no difference.
Me: So, the additional charge is actually nothing to do with driving extra miles. It’s because I’m a shop assistant.
Ins: That’s the way it is.

That was last year. Annoyed though I was, I paid the extra because the current company still worked out as the cheapest quote. When I went back into a HR role, I informed the company and have just received my renewal quote at almost £50 less  than last year. But I am the same person whether I work in a shop or in an office! The insanity doesn’t end here. If I insure with my existing company via Compare the then the same cover is a further £84 less than insuring direct with the company. Crazy!  I wonder if car insurance might just be the next target  of the Financial Services Authority

It’s been an expensive few days in car terms:
Repair £70
MOT £30
Interim service: £96
Road tax: £20
Insurance: £224 (via Compare the of course)

I think the “shall we go down to one car” conversation is about to happen again 🙁



    • Public transport is ok in big cities in UK but not very practical elsewhere. I was recently looking at getting from home to a destination in Essex by train. The reality would be…taxi, four trains then another taxi taking almost six hours. It would take a little under three hours to drive. No wonder people don’t bother!


  1. We need the two cars. I work shift and won’t expect the spousal unit to leave in the dark of night to pick me up at work.

    However having said that, he really could downsize his vehicle but won’t.

    I need 4 wheel drive because winter last six months here.


  2. It’s a right royal rip off! Madness. We have one car, we’ve only ever had one. It makes sense if you are working part-time and even more so if you don’t drive to work. One car, save money and help save the planet, too.
    Margaret P


  3. I feel your pain! I have had exactly the same experience as stephdoe86 – twice! When we’re in France we happily share one car but the thought of only having one car in th UK fills me with dread!!


    • It fills me with dread too but, as my husband is retired (and has been for five years), most of time there is one car sitting outside the house which makes no sense at all. We still can’t quite give in though.
      I really hate the way consumers are played by the big companies.


  4. I agree. It’s ridiculous. We are retired and went down to one car. It works well but there is adjustment in the process after having 2 cars. Best wishes


  5. I have the same conversation with my insurance company every June.
    “If I cancel with you and rejoin via Compare the Market it’s £60 a year cheaper.”
    “Well yes that’s a new customer offer.”
    “Fine, I won’t renew with you. But I’ll just join again as a new customer.
    Thankfully on each occasion (the last three years) they’ve just given me the discount automatically to save the hassle. But yes, on the whole, they are a pain every single year!


    • I really do hope the FSA start investigating this. It’s immoral and essentially no different to banks charging customers account fees but failing to tell them when there is a cheaper alternative. Since the FSA took up the mantle on this one, millions have re dived refunds, myself included.


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