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I passed my driving test in January 2003 and bought my car in the February of that year. I chose a Peugeot 206 (1.1 – small engine) but as I was under 21 at the time, I did not qualify for the year’s free insurance offered with the car and so had to go about finding my own (sigh).
I had seen many adverts on the television for Diamond “cheap car insurance just for women” and as they had a website, I visited to see what they would offer. The premium I was quoted was £1,095.29 over 10 months, with the first payment due immediately of £246.37 followed by 8 instalments of £109.24 with a payment holiday in June. Being a new driver, I expected the premium to be high and thought this was good. I also took my Pass Plus and expected that this would bring down my premium somewhat. I was wrong! They reduced the premium by £32.19!
Six months down the line, however, I just happened to be browsing the Internet and came across an advert for Tesco Insurance with 10% discount when bought online. What the hey, I thought. I only wanted a quote and if I didn’t want it, I didn’t have to take it. And boy, am I happy I did come across that advert.
Tesco quoted me £636.50 for a new driver of six months without No Claims Discount, with a voluntary excess of £250, which lowered the premium considerably. A saving for me of over £450! Of course I took it! I had to make an initial payment of £124.95, followed by one instalment at £55.19 and 9 further instalments of £55.23, giving me one month’s payment holiday. In an instant I was paying 50% less for my car insurance even though I was still a relatively new driver. (Tesco class an inexperienced driver as a person who has not held a full driving licence to drive for at least 1 year if issued in the United Kingdom or for at least 2 years if issued elsewhere).
I am still with Tesco Insurance today. My premium was recently renewed and has gone down to £498.75 (basic premium plus 1 years (30%) No Claims Discount). The only thing that bumped my premium up was the fact that I now do more mileage than I did a year ago, but the increase was minimal (something silly like £3).
In addition, my monthly premium includes an interest charge of 7.0%, but it could be anything up to 15.9% APR and I consider this relatively minimal considering the amount I pay monthly and the amount I used to pay.
The premium offered by Tesco also includes a charge for a “Temporary Replacement Car” where they will provide you with a quality replacement car for up to 14 consecutive days while you’re making a claim and your car is off the road. Fortunately, I haven’t needed to use this service yet, but I’m sure that if I did, Tesco wouldn’t disappoint.
I have recommended Tesco Insurance to others, in particular my friend who has been driving for 3 years more than me but pays around £800 for a similar, low insurance car. Her face was a picture when I told her how much my premium was, so I’m sure she will be checking out what Tesco Insurance can offer her soon!