Don't let the myths about car insurance drive you off the road

Car insurance premiums are climbing at their fastest rate ever, according to the AA's latest Insurance Price Index. The price of a typical comprehensive car insurance premium, currently about £704, soared by a massive 30.9 per cent over the past 12 months.

It's leading to more people than ever illegally driving without insurance, risking having their car seized by police and crushed or sold if it is not claimed within 14 days. Uninsured drivers also face a £200 fixed penalty, six penalty points and £150 car recovery charges. And they will only be able to get their car back if they can prove they have bought valid insurance.

With some 160 people killed every year by uninsured drivers, police are cracking down on them. By using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, which is linked to information on the Motor Insurance Database (MID) – the central record of 34 million insured vehicles in the UK – police are able to detect and seize uninsured vehicles at the roadside.

In fact police report that 180,000 vehicles were seized last year, taking the total to more than 600,000 since laws were introduced in 2005. Even more good news is the fact that last year 194,000 people were convicted in court for uninsured driving – that is one conviction every three minutes.

But the insurance industry says that some people fail to get adequate cover because they're put off by some of the insurance myths floating around. Some are ridiculous, while others sound plausible. Here we examine the most common misconceptions people have about car insurance.

Red cars cost more to insure

Many people believe that insurers automatically associate red with youth and aggressive driving but there really is no truth in that. In fact the AA says that there is no statistical evidence at all that a red car will increase your insurance premium.

Insurers use a variety of factors to calculate the cost of cover – such as the make and model of the car and its age and engine size, as well as taking into account your driving record and location. They don't take into account the colour of the car.

I will be covered if my car is stolen or vandalised

You will be covered, but only if you have fully-comprehensive insurance. Some third-party, fire and theft insurances do offer an element of cover for stolen vehicles or damage caused to a stolen vehicle that is subsequently recovered, but not all. You need to examine the policy's small print to discover what level of cover you have.

The police did not charge me so my no-claims is unaffected

Sorry, this is not always true. The police may not have been called, or have not deemed you criminally responsible for an accident, but it's your insurer which has the final decision as to whether your no-claims discount is affected or not. The accident will go on your permanent record and could become a factor on your rating.

If I get a speeding ticket my insurance rates will go up

Not necessarily. A first minor speeding ticket may not affect your insurance rate. However, the speed you were travelling will be noted and – if excessive – could lead to higher premiums. A second or third ticket will suggest you're a bit of a racer and premiums could start to rise steeply.

Anyone can drive my car as I have comprehensive cover

Not true. Insurers cover the driver, not the vehicle so anyone who drives your car must have their own comprehensive insurance in their own name or they will be uninsured. Even then, they will only be covered on a third-party basis so if anything happens to your car while they are driving it, you will not be covered for the damage.

My vehicle is worth what I paid for it

If your car is damaged beyond repair, vandalised or stolen, your insurer will only pay what it costs to replace it with a similar model that is on the market today, not what you paid for it. It doesn't matter if you splashed out £10,000 for it, your insurance only pays for a replacement vehicle, not a new one.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

    Market Risk & Control Manager

    Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

    SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

    £320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

    Head of Audit

    To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam