Car Insurance Premiums

They say that car insurance premiums in the UK are too high. Well my UK insurance is fully comprehensive and costs me £115 per year. Here in France it is €350 third party only! Someone is making a huge profit. Any thoughts?

I have 8 years no claims bonus in the UK but have not had a car (or insurance) for 6 months (whilst working in India) will this have an impact on my french insurance (when I need it) or will the 8 years NCB be taken into consideration?

Graham - yep, sometimes it isn't worth claiming as the end result is more expensive, the insurers seem to win everytime!

Andrew - I knew it was something like that but lost out 2 years with a minor accrochage and having the car at a reduced premium in my lock up garage, not having been told by GAN that the NCB would be suspended for that period of non-use!When I eventually moved to France officially, I had to start French car insurance from scratch and then lost all my accumulated NCB after a bad accident in Glasgow on holiday in 1982. (My fault - no other cars involved, but fully comp on a Fiat 124 estate, which ended up being repairable - I would have been better off scrapping the car and keeping the NCB!!)

you need 13 years ncb to get the 50% - the country doesn't matter, it's written proof that's needed ;-)

hi Graham, i'm sorry but someone is giving you false info.when i had my little accident i lost 2 yrs off.i would think if you had a big one you could lose the lot.but i think that would be the same the world over.i see you have lived here since 1971.that rule must have been changed since then as you can see by my answer.

Hi Jenny - I should clarify the French NCB - as far as I understand, if you have an accident in France where it is proved to be partly or fully your fault, it (used to) take 15 years to get the 50% back again. However, if for instance, you've been with a pan -European insurance company in the UK such as AXA, you can transfer your NCB to your new French insurance company. When I changed companies from GAN to AXA I had to demand a document from GAN ( it wasn't offered) that attested to my accumulated NCB in France. (Having driven French reg cars here since 1971)

your wrong on this do not need to have driven in france for fifteen year.we have 50% NCB & have had it since we first moved here.

maybe it depends what department you are in as we had no trouble getting our insurance.all we had to do was prove we had no claims in the last fifteen it happens we did have a mini bus stolen but were told this did not count.

you've hit the nail on the head, Jonathen, most insurers are making a loss on car insurance at the moment in France!

Thank you everyone for your advice and info. My UK insurance is with SAGA and it does cover me for 12 months in the EU and breakdown cover too. I am awaiting a price for renewal (I suspect they didn't charge enough last year!) I hadn't realized the differences between insurance cover in the UK and France so thanks for the info. I guess I will just have to pay up like the rest of you for my French car ;-) Thanks again.

Julia Grange - I had one major problem with this type of Insurance with GAN some years ago, which is why I changed to AXA. I discovered on my return to France from a period in the US and having reduced my car insurance to the absolute minimum as it was in a locked garage, (over a 6 month period) that they didn't tell me my NCB would not accumulate while on minimum insurance rate, so I lost out 1 whole year! I was seriously p****** off! So it could be something to check in advance?

French insurance also includes breakdown, which you have to pay for separately in the UK. But if you only live here part-time and don't drive miles when you are here, get a quote from Amaguiz. They do a "pay as you drive" insurance. You have to pay a minimum each month (around 10-12€, depending on car), a special computer is fitted to the car and you then pay per Km driven. So if the car stays in the garage all year, you only pay the min of 100-120€. We use it and it's slashed the cost of our insurance.

I recently tried to insure my car (now it has it's nice shiny French plates). Although some insurers were happy to accept the letter from my current insurer about my max no claims bonus others like my own bank said I needed letter from all the last 9 years worth of insurers to get my nine years malus/bonus thingy here. In the UK we swapped insurer alot to get the best deal the bank saw this as a sign we were a bad risk and the lady was horrified to think everyone in UK shops around. However we finally got covered and although it is 0ver €500 we are happy to be covered and you do get breakdown cover and can drive anywhere in EU so these add ons make it better value in the long run. Was a palarva though as our lovely Toyota Corolla GTi does not seem to exist on any insurance database as so few were made so it took a while to get the right cover! (Same palarva at the garage when we went for a service.) Oh well c'est la vie!!

Ley, there's often very little difference between TFT and fullu comp here in France. There is also a huge difference between companies and it's worth shopping round. plus the points already mentioned below

bonne route ;-)

Hi Ley. There are a couple of differences between French and UK insurance. Firstly in the UK the policy holder is insured, in France the vehicle is insured. As such anyone over 25 can drive your car and will be covered. Secondly you get full EU cover in France 365 days per year with the same cover in France. If you were to try and get an equal cover in the UK it would cost you much more than the £115 you currently pay. I appreciate that not everyone wants these extra benefits, but I am sure it results in less people driving uninsured due to confusion or misunderstandings.

Ley - it depends what car you have, the age of it, what your third party really consists of and which zone you're in? The reality is if you have a 50% NCB (French) you can seriously negotiate with your insurer to cut the cost, but you need to have driven in France for at least 15 years! You can't compare with UK insurers - the parameters are completely different!!