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Saving money while having fun


INSURANCE… the one thing everyone needs but doesn’t actually want. Luckily, budgeting for it and decreasing your monthly payments couldn’t be easier.

The painful truth is, one cannot live without insurance, especially in South Africa where a bumper-bashing from a taxi is extremely likely!  And don’t be naïve to think the owner of the taxi’s going to pay for it. So the burden of repairing your car falls squarely on your shoulders.

There are several ways of decreasing your monthly car insurance but most are costly on their own, so before attempting any of these, first get in touch with your insurer to establish that the monthly decrease will be enough to cover the expenses. Simple things such as keeping a clean driver’s licence go a long way. It’s obvious that the more accidents or violations the driver has committed the higher his premium will be.

Choosing the car you drive very carefully, is just as important as a car with a higher safety rating. This will decrease your payment and might save your life. Also, older cars are often cheaper to insure than their more modern counterparts. Again, speak with your insurance company to find out the exact rates to insure the different vehicles you’re considering before making a purchase. Installing anti-theft devices such as smash ’n grab windows, car alarms and fitting a tracker so that you are informed of where your car is at all times.

Dropping certain types of coverage can be a slippery slope. After all, no one can predict whether or not an accident will occur. However, if you’re driving an extremely old car, that’s on its last legs, it may make sense to drop the collision damage. Let’s say for instance your car is worth R1 000 and your collision damage is R500 then it doesn’t make sense to have it. If the car is very old, most insurance companies would write it off after a collision.

Even where you live affects your premium. Suburban areas or high accident zones are likely to cost more where quieter, small towns usually cost less. But above all, the best way to decrease your monthly payment as well as decreasing the chances of being in an accident is to take an advanced defensive driving course.

Certain insurance companies provide a discount for those who complete an approved defensive driving course. Make sure to ask your insurance company about this discount before signing up for a class. South Africa, and in fact Johannesburg , is extremely rich in this matter with most of the car manufacturers offering advanced driving courses at many of the tracks, such as Kyalami. These courses usually cost around R2 000 to R5 000 depending on the car used and what the course offers. They usually keep you busy for an entire day. There are many varied versions of advanced driving courses such as: 4x4 courses, high performance courses, skid pad courses, anti-hijack courses and collision avoidance courses. These will not only decrease your monthly payment but increase your driving ability, thereby decreasing the chance of you having an accident in the first place.

All that is required is for the applicant to be 18 years or older and be in possession of a valid driver’s licence.  However, because of the extreme price of some of the cars, certain manufactures would stipulate that an applicant must have had their licence for a year. Your premium may decrease after taking a course, but may not when you decide to take a second course, so choose wisely and pick only one to do, as this will save you money and you’ll have great fun doing it.

I suggest everyone enrols in one of these courses as they’re great fun and will, overall, increase safety on our roads if everyone knows what they’re doing.

Article written by Charl Swart
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