Why is car insurance is important

Unlike some other countries, car insurance isn’t mandatory here in New Zealand, and whilst this can make car ownership cheaper in the short term, the undeniable benefit of having car insurance is that it’s there when you need it the most, and often when you least expect it.

Some of us learn this the hard way, often when we’re younger and don’t really think about the benefit of spending that little bit extra each month to cover the cost of vehicle insurance.

According to the 2020 AA Insurance Lifestyle Survey, just under two-thirds of New Zealanders have been involved in a car accident in their lifetime.

How does car insurance work?

Some policies can protect your car in the event it gets stolen or if you require a windscreen replacement, and some even include extras like towing free of charge. As part of your insurance you get legal liability cover, meaning if you are legally liable for an accident then your insurer will cover the costs (up to a limit).

If you’re involved in a crash with an uninsured vehicle, depending on the type of policy you have you may still be covered (although some companies have a reduced claim limit). It’s always worth checking, particularly if you have a Third Party policy, because if the crash was your fault, your insurance will only pay out for the damage on attributed to the other party’s property.

If the crash was the other driver’s fault, if you only have Third Party insurance then it may be unlikely that your insurance can help you, and it would be up to you to communicate with the driver who caused the crash. They’d need to admit liability and pass you their insurance details (if they have any).

Remember that policies can differ between insurers, so always check to see exactly what the terms of your agreement are.

What are the benefits of getting car insurance?

Crashing your car when you’re uninsured can lump you with a large, unwanted expense and can even leave you financially unable to get your car back on the road again.

If you have Comprehensive insurance and are caught up in a crash, your insurance provider will often do a lot of the legwork on your behalf. They will arrange for an assessor to check on the scale of the damage, and organise for the repairs to be made. If applicable, they’ll also liaise with any other insurers involved.

What types of cover are available?

There are various types of cover available for drivers such as Third Party, Third Party Fire & Theft, and Comprehensive. No matter which you choose, make sure you’re selecting the insurance policy that’s right for you and your car. Speak to your insurer or check out their policy options online to find the best option for you.

A final note

Is is wise therefore to take out a Third Party policy at the very least.

Always remember that if you’re in a car crash and it’s your fault, then you’re responsible for all damage caused. If you’re not insured, these costs will come out of your pocket and it could seriously impact you financially, especially if you’re unfortunate enough to have an incident with something high-end; replacing a small body panel on a super-car, for example, could cost more than your entire vehicle.

New Suzuki Vitara added to our fleet offering high safety rating, great driving environment and designed for today’s road users

New Suzuki Vitara added to our fleet offering high safety rating, great driving environment and designed for today’s road users

What Car Said

“There are plenty of sensible, objective things to say about the Suzuki Vitara, such as the fact that it’s a compact, five-seat SUV that’s designed to be affordable, practical and easy to live with. And that’s all very well and good, but don’t glaze over just yet; it’s not just a boring box on wheels. In fact, we reckon it’s a cracking little runabout.”

Top Gear Said

“Suzuki has a habit of making its cars sweet to drive, often defying the standards of the class they operate in, not to mention their price point. Dedication to lightweight certainly helps – a base Vitara is a Fiesta-like 1,160kg – and there’s a likeable cleanness and simplicity to the way the Vitara goes about its business.”

Study reveals thick fog impacts average driver’s reaction times by 75%, torrential rain affects response times by 30%, and sun strike by 13%

Study reveals thick fog impacts average driver’s reaction times by a huge 75%, while snow impacts reaction times by 34%

To show how much of an impact weather can have on reaction times, we created a quiz that gave drivers the opportunity to  test  their reactions while driving in various weather conditions. From snow to sun glare, it seems every type of weather brings its own set of challenges that drivers must contend with.

Having put the quiz in front of 1,000 drivers, discovered that it takes drivers 75% longer to spot a hazard while driving in thick fog as opposed to clear weather. Snow impacts reaction times by 34%, torrential rain affects response times by 30%, and sun glare by 13%.

Having a quick reaction time is key to being a responsible driver, and you need to be aware of the conditions around you and be able to respond to them in time. It’s interesting to see from our research that drivers have different reaction times depending on the weather condition, with fog and snow affecting them the most.

“The Highway Code sets out in its advice for driving in bad weather, that – you should make sure you’ve always got time to react to a potential hazard by keeping your distance from the car in front. Tailgating is illegal and should never be done in any weather condition, but you should always allow for bigger gaps between you and the car in front of you in more difficult weather conditions.

“It’s also important to carry out correct vehicle checks before setting off on a long journey and make frequent stops too. Another tip is to have regular eye checks to ensure you meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving.”

WoF – Remember to get your car booked in

WoF – Remember to get your car booked in

driving lessons

If your WoF/CoF expired anytime from 1 January 2020 the NZTA has granted an extension until 10 October 2020 to get your WoF/CoF renewed. We recommend that you don’t wait until the deadline, as we expect it to be busy. Either drive up to one of our AA Vehicle Testing Stations, or book your WoF at an AA Auto Centre site today! Plus, AA Members can save $7 on a WoF.

Tourists not to blame, road toll stats show

Tourists not to blame , road toll stats show

An article in the NZ Herald in July 2020 reported that during the lock down there were near to zero foreign drivers but there was little change to the road toll figures.  Overall, across New Zealand, foreign drivers were involved in under 4 per cent of crashes in 2017.  Inspector Peter McKennie (acting national road policing) said visiting drivers make up only a very small proportion of serious crashes on New Zealand roads and crash reasons are the same for locals.  Factors that are a major factor in fatal accidents remain the same – failure to wear seat belts, excessive speed, driving when tired, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol & distractions such using cell phones.

Along with experience a sound understanding of driving and the correct way to drive is an essential tool to help reduce the road toll on the roads.  Continued education once qualified helps to maintain the required standards also

Learning to Drive

Learning to Drive

Average driver takes three years to feel confident behind the wheel research by a leading Insurance Company found. The average new driver only feels truly confident after three years behind the wheel and after clocking up more than 20,000 miles*, new research by The Co-operative Insurance reveals. According to the study into driving confidence, it also takes the average motorist four months to pluck up the courage to drive on a motorway and four and a half months before they feel ready to drive long distances.

It also takes three months before new drivers will attempt to park in a multi-storey car park and two months before they’ll leave their local neighbourhood.The study also reveals that even long after passing their driving test, many drivers still struggle to get to grips with the road, with motorway driving a cause for worry amongst a quarter (25%) of motorists. Night-time driving is another confidence barrier, as nearly a third (30%) of people struggle to drive in the dark. A quarter (25%) of drivers also say they lack confidence in their ability to park. At Enhanced our highly experience driving instructors knowledge of this area of learner uncertainty – and it is not just learners who need help with driving confidence – help to develop the pupils confidence over numerous road types and weather condition. We pride ourselves on our calm and positive tutoring to enhance the confidence of our pupils. “Our findings remind us that the road can be a daunting place for new drivers and that many motorists lack confidence despite clocking up hundreds of miles on the road. This shows that whilst driving lessons give people the basics in how to drive, the real learning and confidence-building only happens when the L plates are removed.” And when it comes to the sexes, men have more confidence behind the wheel than women do, with eight in 10 men (80%) agreeing that they are confident drivers compared to just six in 10 women (64%). According to the findings, men also believe they get to grips with the road quicker than women, with just one in five males (19%) believing that it takes ‘a long time’ to master the road compared to more than one in four (28%) females. However, whilst men have more confidence in their driving abilities. Insurance company’s own data shows that women drive more safely. According to information collected from insurance schemes, which gives discounts to motorists who drive well, twice the number of new female drivers get the top score for good driving compared to new male drivers. At Enhanced, by giving regular feedback and guidance on how to improve driving, as well as by imparting knowledge and experience, we aim to help create a generation of safe young drivers who can tackle the road with the right level of confidence.