Old cars charged more by insurers as ‘NCT ignored’

By Eamon Quinn

Owners of older cars are facing paying higher insurance, despite holding recent NCT certificates, the managing director of an online broker has said.

Jonathan Hehir, of insuremycars.ie, said the main insurance companies were usually the strictest for charging more, or not quoting at all, based on the age of vehicles, even when the cars have recently passed the NCT, the EU-wide car-testing system.

“In effect, some big insurance firms are ignoring the NCT system”, Mr Hehir said.

However, he said that the “myriad of other insurers on the market, which most motorists aren’t aware of,” will quote for older vehicles.

An example of this was a case from earlier in the week, whereby a motorist with a ’02 mini got fully comprehensive motor insurance for €498.

"The advice for drivers of older cars is not to be put off if they get prohibitively high quotes, or rejected for quotes, by two or three insurers,” Mr Hehir said.

He said that having a valid NCT still has a big role to play in motor-insurance pricing, because most insurers have the technology to check whether or not a vehicle has a valid NCT and they won’t give a quote if it hasn’t got an NCT.

Separately, a survey by insuremycars.ie found older drivers were being quoted insurance that could vary by up to €800.

“When it comes to insurance, it’s widely known that the older the consumer, the less likely they are to shop around, mostly down to a fear of change and/or a sense of loyalty to their current provider.

"As brokers, we have noticed this, but we are not the only ones — insurers, too, are aware of this buyer behaviour, and it seems that, in certain instances, they are capitalising on it,” Mr Hehir said.

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