What type of car insurance should I get?

If you’re looking for car insurance, you might assume that a third party policy will be the cheapest. This isn’t always the case. It’s worth comparing all your car insurance options to find the deal that’s right for you.

Third party

Third party insurance is the minimum level of insurance you need by law. You’d expect third party only to be the cheapest option as it offers the least protection of all the types of cover available, so you might be surprised to learn otherwise.

Typically covers:

  • Damage to someone else’s car or property
  • Injury you may cause to others
  • Injury to your passengers during an accident

Doesn’t cover:

  • You
  • Your car

Watch out:

In the event that your car is stolen or damaged in an accident, you’ll have to pay to replace it.

Your policy won’t cover you if you’re injured in an accident.

Third party fire and theft

Third party fire and theft covers everything a third party car insurance policy does, but with added protection against fire and theft. It’s useful if you’re looking for more than just the bare minimum of cover or if you live in an area that’s considered high risk for crime. It’s worth noting that damage caused by attempted theft may not be covered by some policies, so think carefully about what you might need.

Typically covers:

  • Damage to someone else’s car or property
  • Injury you may cause to others
  • Injury to your passengers during an accident
  • Fire damage**
  • Theft (and possibly damage caused by attempted theft)**

**After paying any agreed compulsory and voluntary excess

Doesn’t cover:

  • You
  • Your car (except for fire damage and theft)

Watch out:

Bear in mind that this won’t cover your car for accidental damage.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive insurance offers the highest level of car insurance available. If you have a new or expensive car or often travel with expensive tech or belongings in your car, this could be the type of policy for you.

Typically covers**:

  • Damage to someone else’s car or property
  • Injury you may cause to someone else
  • Injury to your passengers during an accident
  • Fire damage**
  • Theft (and possibly damage caused by attempted theft)**
  • Chipping/scratching**
  • Malicious damage and vandalism**
  • Damage to your car**

**After paying any agreed compulsory and voluntary excess

Watch out:

Comprehensive car insurance doesn’t necessarily mean everything. Extras such as a courtesy car, windscreen cover and personal belongings (like a sat nav) might not be covered by your policy. It may not always cover personal injury you cause to yourself, so remember to check with the provider when you get a quote.

How does it impact cost?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that comprehensive insurance is going to be the most expensive level of cover because of what it includes. But you might be surprised to hear that’s not the case for the average quote on our site.

The average comprehensive policy premium with comparethemarket.com is a little over £712. But the average third party fire and theft policy is just over £1,080. For third party, the minimum level of cover, the average price was £1,654, more than twice the cost of comprehensive.

This is because insurance providers know that drivers who take out third party policies are generally higher risk drivers, such as young drivers or drivers with convictions, compared to those with comprehensive insurance.

The type of car insurance that’s cheapest for you will depend on your personal information. For example, how old you are and where you live. It will also depend on the make and model of your car, the insurance group it is in, how much your car is worth and how many miles a year you drive.

How can I find car insurance that’s right for me?

Our price comparison service is an effective way to compare more than 100 insurance providers and get an overview of deals on the market. Remember, we’re here to help you get the right cover at a price you can afford.

All average premiums are based on comparethemarket.com data in April 2017 and are based on all our customer quotes, from people with different age ranges, addresses and driving histories. You may find a cheaper or more expensive quote based on your personal circumstances.

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