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Buying Car Insurance

Find out more about the process of buying car insurance and what to look for.

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, updated on February 15th, 2024       

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Car Insurance Banner - Woman sitting on the couch with her dog buying car insurance on her laptop.

Looking to buy car insurance in Australia? It's a smart move to protect your vehicle and yourself from unexpected expenses and liabilities, but with so many options available, finding the right car insurance isn’t always about picking the first one you come across. That's why it's important to know what to look for.

You can learn more here about the types of cover you can buy and which might be the most suitable option for you, how to compare them and, most importantly, how to complete your purchase. 

What types of car insurance can I buy in Australia?

In Australia, there are several types of car insurance policies available to suit different needs and preferences. These include:

  • Comprehensive car insurance: this type of insurance provides the highest level of coverage and can protect you against a wide range of risks, including accidents, theft, fire, and damage to your own vehicle, as well as damage to other people’s property.
  • Third party property damage (TPPD) insurance: this can cover the cost of damage caused to someone else's property by your vehicle. It doesn’t cover any damage to your own vehicle.
  • Third party fire and theft (TPFT) insurance: this policy can provide coverage for damage caused to someone else's property, as well as protection against fire damage and theft of your vehicle. However, like TPPD cover, this insurance offers no protection for collision damage to your vehicle (for at-fault accidents).
  • Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance: also known as a Green Slip, CTP insurance is mandatory in Australia and can cover the cost of personal injury or death caused by your vehicle to other people. It doesn’t come with any coverage related to property damage for you or a third party.

It's important to carefully consider your needs, budget and the level of coverage you require when choosing the right car insurance policy for you. Comparing different options can help you make an informed decision on which offers the best possible insurance for your needs.

How do I compare offers when buying car insurance?

When considering car insurance offers, there are many ways you can go about comparing different deals side-by-side. Some of the key factors to bear in mind include the following:

  • Cost of policy: compare the premiums for each policy, considering the affordability and value provided by the coverage. Buying car insurance is about striking the right balance between coverage and cost, so purely going for the cheapest policy may not be the best option for you if it doesn’t offer the cover you’re looking for.
  • Excess requirements: assess the excess amount you’d need to pay in the event of a claim. Compare the excess requirements of different policies and consider how they may impact your out-of-pocket expenses. If you don’t want to pay one at all, consider which insurers may enable you to set a $0 excess.
  • Inclusions and exclusions: carefully review the coverage details, including what is included and excluded in each policy. In doing so, you can more accurately determine which policies offer the most suitable coverage for your needs.
  • Available bonuses or discounts: check for any available bonuses or discounts offered by insurance providers. These may include no-claim bonuses, sign-up offers or discounts for bundling multiple policies.
  • Optional extras: consider any optional extras which can be added to your policy, such as roadside assistance, no-excess windscreen cover or rental car coverage. Evaluate the cost and value of these additional features.
  • Agreed or market value cover: understand whether the policy offers agreed value or market value coverage for your vehicle and compare how each option may affect the payout in the event of a total loss.

By considering these comparison points when evaluating car insurance policies, you can make an informed decision and choose the best available fit for your budget and your coverage needs.

How do I compare and buy car insurance online?

The process of buying car insurance online is simple. Just follow these three easy steps:

Complete your quote form

First, provide information about you and the cover you’re after. This will help generate quotes specific to you. Share details about your car, driving history, where you live and more to paint a picture of your profile.

Compare policies side-by-side

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to see the offers available from a range of insurers, tailored to your answers. Consider offers side-by-side based on their cost, coverage and more before you buy.

Choose your insurance and purchase it today

If you come across a policy you like, you can finalise the purchase. After you’ve bought it, your policy can come into effect as soon as today, so you can hit the road with new coverage!

Top tips to consider before buying car insurance

Consider which type of policy is best for you

Consider which type of policy is best for you between comprehensive, TPFT and TPPD based on your needs and budget. By selecting one, you can refine your search and compare apples with apples.

Think about how much coverage you may need

Think about how much coverage you may need, taking into account factors like the value of your car, your driving habits and potential risks. Consider whether agreed or market value is best for your car.

Assess your budget

Assessing your budget can help you determine how much you can comfortably afford for premiums and any potential excess payments, which will help dictate which policy options are suitable in this area.

Compare your options

Consider offers side-by-side so you can explore different policies, coverage levels and pricing to help you make an informed decision on which is the best fit for your requirements.

The pros and cons of buying car insurance

PROS

Financial protection

Car insurance can provide much-needed financial protection against the cost of repairs to your car in the event of an accident, theft, or damage caused by natural disasters (depending on your policy’s terms and conditions).

Peace of mind

Having car insurance can provide you and your family with greater peace of mind knowing that you can be protected financially against a wide range of events as outlined in your policy documents.

Diverse options available

There’s no one-size-fits-all car insurance policy; you’ll be able to compare a wide range of offers from insurers across the country with different coverage levels and inclusions online.

Additional coverage options

Car insurance policies can also often offer additional coverage options, such as roadside assistance, rental car benefits and coverage for personal effects, providing you with added convenience and support.

CONS

Not always cheap

Comprehensive car insurance, which covers the greatest number of claimable incidents, isn’t necessarily cheap, particularly if you pay top dollar for several years without any claims.

Exclusions still apply

Car insurance doesn’t cover anything, meaning that there are inevitably going to be incidents or events which aren’t covered by even the highest-level comprehensive car insurance policies.

Frequently asked questions about buying car insurance

What factors can impact the cost of my car insurance when buying it?

There are many factors can impact the cost of your car insurance when buying it, including:

  • Your age
  • Your driving experience
  • Where you live
  • The type of vehicle you own
  • The type of coverage you choose
  • Your claims and driving history
  • Where you park your car
How can I buy car insurance for my business?

If you need car insurance for your business, you can typically purchase either a business or commercial car insurance policy. Business car insurance is designed for vehicles which are used both for business and personal purposes, while commercial insurance is typically offered to specialist business vehicles such as trucks and vans which aren’t used privately. Check with your insurer to determine what they may offer and which option is more suited to your needs.

Can I get temporary car insurance to drive home from my car purchase in Australia?

There isn’t a specific temporary car insurance product which you can buy for taking your car home from your dealership or private seller. Cover note insurance was available in Australia for those who had bought a vehicle but were yet to decide what type of insurance to buy but isn’t offered any more.

If you want to be covered for your drive home, you could buy a policy even if you haven’t settled on the best one for your needs and cancel it using its cooling-off period if you find another better one.

Will my car insurance premium be impacted if I have a used or new car?

Whether you have a used or new car can impact your car insurance premium. Generally, new cars can have higher insurance premiums due to their higher value and potential repair costs. However, other factors like the make and model, safety features and security devices also influence the premium. Insurers consider various factors when calculating premiums, so it's best to compare quotes and speak with insurance providers to understand the specific impact on your premium.

Can I buy car insurance through a broker?

Yes – there are many traditional car insurance brokers operating across Australia today who may be able to help you find a suitable car insurance policy. However, drivers in Australia can now purchase policies through online brokers, which allows them to do so from the comfort of their home and without the need to book any appointments or pay any service fees.

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Compare car insurance policies with Compare the Market

Savvy is partnered with Compare the Market to help you compare a range of car insurance policies from a panel of trusted providers.

Explore car insurance options by make

Select your car make and find out how much it may cost to insure, read helpful guides and compare quotes.

Disclaimer:

Savvy (ABN 78 660 493 194, ACR 541 339) provides readers with a variety of car insurance policies to compare. Savvy earns a commission from our partnered insurers each time a customer buys a car insurance policy via our website. All purchases are conducted via our partners’ websites. The integrity of our comparison service is unaffected by our partnerships with those businesses and our effort remains to bring further brands that do not already use our comparison service onboard.

Savvy’s comparison service includes selected products from a panel of trusted insurers and does not compare all products in the market. Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy. We always recommend readers to consult the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of different policies before purchasing your car insurance.

Car Insurance Banner - Woman sitting on the couch with her dog buying car insurance on her laptop.

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