Five ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance in Spain

Five ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance in Spain

Here are five ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance in Spain:

  1. Review your policy every few years to ensure it remains competitive. Use a broker to shop around for you and avoid having to negotiate with various insurance companies. Bypass that tiring task of negotiating between one company and another.
  2. Some insurance companies calculate part of the price of the annual premium based on the number of kilometres you expect to do in a year. If you do not do many kilometres then advise the broker. They can then focus on companies that offer discounts for low-mileage.
  3. If you have a fully comprehensive policy, then you could consider increasing the excess. The excess is the part you pay towards the repairs when an accident is deemed your fault or no one else is involved. The higher the excess the lower the premium.
  4. If your vehicle is getting long in the tooth, then consider what you are likely to get back from an insurance company. Is fully comprehensive insurance still good value for money? What is the reduction in premium for third party fire and theft? Is it worth continuing with fully comprehensive?
  5. Pay your premiums on time and cancel old policies properly. If you do not, then you may end up with adverse credit information. Some insurers use credit reporting agencies and this can influence whether they will allow you to pay in instalments. A bad rating may lead to an increased premium or could affect whether they are prepared to issue a policy at all.

Do I need insurance if I am not using my car in Spain ?

Do I need insurance if I am not using my car in Spain

If you have a car in Spain then you must have insurance. This is a legal obligation. If you have parked up the car in your underground parking because you are not using it you still have to maintain a car insurance policy. It doesn’t matter that you are not going to take it on the road or it is broken and unable to be driven.

At least a third party insurance is needed in case your vehicle causes damage to others. Although the car is in the garage there is still a possible risk of an electrical short circuit, for example. The Spanish law states that all owners of motor vehicles in Spain must have an insurance for each of those vehicles with at least the minimum obligatory cover required by the law.

A car without insurance could incur a penalty of between 600 and around 3,000 euros. It could also be that the authorities take the vehicle to a municipal compound if the position is not rectified within a few days.

The only time a vehicle in Spain is not obliged to have insurance is when it is registered officially with the traffic authorities as off the road either temporarily or permanently.

Courtesy car in Spain

If your vehicle is off the road because of an insurance claim then it can be very inconvenient to be without transport.  With your car insurance in Spain, it is possible to include a replacement vehicle when taking out the insurance.

Courtesy car after an accident

Depending on the insurance company, the provision of a replacement or courtesy vehicle could be available from the first day the car enters the repair workshop and where the car repairs will take longer than 24 hours.

The length of cover will depend on the insurance company but for example, one popular insurer provides a courtesy car for up to 35 days consecutive days in the event that the car is under repair.

The type of vehicle provided for the period will vary also from company to company but generally, you will receive a fairly standard or small car. The car provided under the insurance is to help you get-about, to get to work, pick the children up from school and it not intended to be a like for like replacement for your actual car.

You can of course ask the hire car company, which provide the replacement vehicle, if they can upgrade you. Any upgrade will be subject to agreement with the hire car company and at your expense.

Courtesy car in the event of a breakdown

Some car insurance companies in Spain will also provide a courtesy car if your vehicle has to go into a garage for repair, even if it is not related to an insurance claim. We are all responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of our vehicles and cannot expect our insurance company to provide a car because we have not looked after our vehicle.

With this in mind, your car insurance in Spain will probably state that you have to wait until your car has been in the garage for a minimum time. This could be seven days, for example, after which time they will provide a courtesy car if it was included in the policy.

Again, depending on the company the cover could be for up to 35 consecutive days.

Courtesy car after fire or theft of vehicle

Your car insurance in Spain may also include a provision for a courtesy vehicle in the event it has been stolen or it is damaged because of attempted theft with violence.

A courtesy car is available, in some cases, for a period of up to 45 days consecutive days.

If life without the car is going to be inconvenient then your car insurance in Spain should probably include some kind of replacement vehicle cover.

Personal accident cover car insurance Spain

Car insurance Spain can include the added protection of personal accident cover for the driver and/or passengers. Some companies include an amount as standard whilst others will allow you to pick and choose the level of cover you want to contract.

Personal accident cover for passengers

Accidental death as a result of a traffic accident or as a result of the injuries sustained from that accident. This could include the immediate release of some of the funds to help the family with the expenses incurred as a result of the death.

The cover could also include Accidental permanent disability. This element of the insurance will provide some financial respite in the event of the loss of a limb or an accident resulting in the permanent disability of a limb or organ.

The amount paid out depends on the type of disability suffered and whether it is a total permanent disability or partial.

Health care expenses may also be included in your car insurance in Spain. A typical scheme may provide financial help for up to 12 months from the date of the accident.

Personal accident cover for the driver

If the driver of the vehicle was to pass away as a result of the accident then with this cover the car insurance company in Spain would provide the contracted lump sum in case of death to the heirs of the driver.

In addition, the cover may include a monthly indemnity amount over an agreed period of months or years that is also paid to the heirs.

A similar lump sum could be included in the car insurance in Spain for permanent and total disability of the driver as a result of a road traffic accident. Again there may also be an annuity over an agreed period whereby a monthly sum is also made to the injured party.

You car insurance in Spain contains other useful benefits such as breakdown and accident recovery.

Breakdown recovery Spain / Accident recovery Spain

breakdown recovery spain

Most car insurance in Spain will automatically include accident and breakdown recovery. However, there are differences in the cover provided. Some companies offer a comprehensive package in their cover as standard. Others offer more flexibility but if you don’t make enquiries you could end up with very limited service.

A few companies will only provide breakdown assistance, for example, if you are a minimum distance away from your home. So if you wake up and need to get to work or the airport to pick up relatives and the car won’t start you are on your own. Other companies offer cover from 0 (zero) kilometres. This means in the situation above they will come at get you started or tow you to the garage.

Limited towing distance

Other differences you might come across is the maximum distance that the insurance company will tow you. Alternatively, the distance the tow truck will travel might be calculated by the cost of the tow truck. So the insurance company might provide the service up to a limit of “x” amount of euros.

You can usually ask to be taken to your destination, your home address or your chosen garage within the limits set out in the breakdown recovery service stipulated in your policy. If the distance exceeds what you contracted, then the Spanish car insurance company recovery service will take you to the nearest garage for assistance instead.

Time to reach you

These days the majority of companies will get the recovery vehicle to you within the hour. They seem to have this well organised now. Perhaps why a few now offer compensation if the tow truck (Grua) arrives late. Whilst that might be welcome after the event it is hardly the reason to choose your car insurance in Spain.

Various companies may well try and fix the car where it has broken down. If it is something minor that can be done safely at the side of the road, for example, and within a short period of time. Remember your insurance breakdown recovery will try and help you get back on the road but they are not responsible for the cost of replacement parts.

Again depending on what level of breakdown recovery service you purchase, if it is not possible to repair the vehicle the same day then you the insurer may make a contribution towards hotel expenses. The amount, the length of stay and other conditions are dictated by your policy. This type of cover for breakdown and accident recovery could also include other European countries. If you travel abroad this might be an important consideration.

Hire car or taxi

There may be times when the vehicle remains immobilised for several days as a result of an accident or a major breakdown. Depending on what you have contracted in your policy then you might have the option to obtain a hire car to get you home or to your final destination. Or perhaps the insurance provider will organise a taxi.

Each insurance company is different so it is not possible to give a definitive guide here. The purpose of this article is to get you to think about what you might expect from your accident and breakdown recovery service. Discuss it with your Spanish insurance broker when you are looking for quotations for your car insurance in Spain.

Bear in mind, that the Spanish companies that tend to focus on expatriate clients usually offer a more complete package as part of their standard pricing. Other insurance companies will have maybe three levels of accident and breakdown recovery options you can choose from. Remember to check what is included because if you do not ask then you might find you are given the cheapest to make the insurance premium more attractive to you.

Make sure you know what you are buying

Remember, you only find the true value of your insurance when you need to use it. Skimping on a few euros now may lead to a real headache when the kids don’t get to their holiday destination or you have to dig deep in your pocket to get home.

Remember that if you are legally required to have certain things in your car in the event of a breakdown. See our post about warning triangles and reflective jackets.

Car Insurance Spain additional cover

When shopping for car insurance in Spain also bear in mind other useful protections. Some companies actually now include some or all of these as standard, but not all. Remember to ask.

Accident and breakdown recovery Spain

In Spain it is illegal to tow a vehicle. Most insurances these days automatically include a breakdown and accident recovery service. However, it doesn’t hurt to double check when you are buying a policy. A lot, but not all will include windscreen protection as well. A car is now a very important part of most people’s lives. It may be that you use it to get to work or drop the kids off to school. Perhaps it is just to make our life easier whilst here on a regular visit to a holiday home. If your car is off the road then it might also be worth including a courtesy car in your insurance.

Courtesy Car

If your insurer include a courtesy car then find out in what circumstances it is available. Usually it will be provided in the event of a claim where your vehicle has to be in the repair workshop. There is usually a minimum number of specified days before the car is provided. That will depend on the insurance company. There will also be a maximum number of days a courtesy car will be provided.

If you breakdown some insurance companies will also make a courtesy car available. Again there is usually a minimum number of days that your car must be unavailable before a courtesy car is provided. A maximum number of days will also be detailed in the policy.

Please bear in mind that the insurance companies will not provide a like for like vehicle. If you have got a seven-seater don’t expect the insurer to offer a substitute vehicle of the same size. If you drive a Lexus don’t expect the insurance company to provide you with a temporary one.

You might be able to make an arrangement with the rent-a-car where you pick up the courtesy vehicle. That is if they have something available and you are willing to pay the difference.

Fully Comprehensive Car Insurance Spain

If your car is new or fairly new then you will probably want to consider a car insurance in Spain that has additional protections. Fully comprehensive car insurance in Spain is available. These types of policy cover your third party obligations and also protect your vehicle, even when the incident is your fault. Fully comprehensive insurance policies also include fire and theft cover.

With a fully comprehensive car insurance Spain has a lot of options. For example you can choose the excess you are prepared to pay. The excess is the amount you agree to pay towards any damages caused to your vehicle if the incident is your fault.

For example, if you ran into the back of another vehicle it will almost certainly be deemed your fault. With a fully comprehensive policy in Spain the insurer pays to repair the other parties vehicle. They will also pay for the damage to your car if the cost of the repairs to your vehicle are more than the excess you have taken. You will just be liable for the amount of the excess.

For new cars you can often opt for a policy that has no excess. The premiums you pay for the fully comprehensive car insurance in Spain will then fall as the excess increases. However, if you damage your car the greater the amount you have to pay towards the repair bill. If the accident was not your fault then your insurance company will claim the damages from the other driver’s insurance company. The would be no excess for you to pay.

Fully comprehensive insurance and older vehicles

Some insurance companies in Spain are reluctant to provide fully comprehensive car insurance in Spain for vehicles over ten years old. It is still available but the number of insurers that offer it is lower. You need to think about how much an insurer would pay out for a vehicle that is getting older. Would the premium for fully comprehensive still be good value?

What else can be included in a fully comprehensive car insurance policy?

If you are looking for information on Third party car insurance in Spain then try here.

Third party car insurance Spain

third party car insurance spain

Third Party/Third Party Fire and Theft

The cheapest cover available is third party car insurance Spain. This is the legal minimum. As the name suggests this protects a third party in the event of a claim. For example, if you were to run in to the back of another vehicle and cause damage to that person’s vehicle. This type of policy covers your legal responsibilities to the other parties. Damage to your own vehicle is not covered.

In addition, this type of basic car insurance in Spain does not protect you if fire destroys your vehicle. Nor is it protected if someone steals it.

The next step up from this type of cover would be third party, fire and theft. This provides you with the legal minimum of cover plus the addition of protecting your vehicle in the event of a fire or if it is stolen.

An additional cover can be added to this called total loss. So it is possible to buy a policy called third party, fire, theft and total loss. The added benefit is that in the event that the vehicle is written-off by the insurance company they will make a payment to the insured.

What else can be included in a fully third party car insurance policy?

If you are looking for something with more cover than third party car insurance Spain then take a look at Fully Comprehensive Car Insurance in Spain .