From dash-cams to private vans - your car insurance questions answered


14.07 25 May 2020

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From dash-cams to private vans...

From dash-cams to private vans - your car insurance questions answered


14.07 25 May 2020

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All this week, The Pat Kenny Show is working to get our listeners 'More Bang for your Buck.'

We’re bringing you experts on the best ways to battle your monthly bills and save more for that rainy day.

Today, we looked at ways to save on car insurance with Jonathan Hehir, Managing Director of the CFM group, which runs websites like of


Corrina wants to know: Why is it so hard to get insured on a private passenger van?

I’m a mother-of-seven and I’ve been driving vans for the last 10 years. I used to be able to shop around for the best quote, but every year more insurance companies are refusing to insure nine-seaters.

This is a common inquiry, as the more we rely on technology for insurance prices, the harder it gets for drivers who don’t fit into a particular box.

Nine-seater vehicles on insurance company systems fall between commercial vehicles and the private car.

If you don’t have a commercial reason for the vehicle, the commercial insurance policies won’t give you a quote and the private car policies wont quote as the vehicle won’t be viewed as a private car.

But the good news is that you do have the genuine reason for the nine-seater and once you speak with a good broke, they will be able to get you a quote.

Edward is wondering: I had a claim as a named driver on my wife's car. Why did we both lose our no claims bonuses?  

Without having full details on the issue or claim I will guess that Edward has his own policy that allows him to drive any other car third-party only and his insurance company are dealing with the third-party claim.

His wife might have a comprehensive policy that is covering the cost of the repairs to her own car.

It is a situation that arises and is unfair on drivers and Edward is correct, both no claims bonuses are affected. It is a good reason when buying car insurance to ask for the prices for different levels of no-claims bonus protection.

I would also suggest he try and get both polices with the same insurer and get a quote for both at the same time. A pragmatic approach may be taken where the insurer – to get the business – might quote one of the policies with the equivalent of a full no claims discount.

Cian asks: Is there anything new young drivers can do to get a lower quote? Would installing a front and rear dash cam help to lower it?  

There are various telematics products available and, in some instances, if you agree to have a “box” installed in your car, you can get a discount.

In my opinion the best way to reduce your price is to:

  1. Apply for your learner permit as soon as possible.
  2. Get the compulsory 12 lessons completed.
  3. If you are lucky enough to have a parent that can add you to their policy, do this to build up your verified driving experience.
  4. Do your driving test as soon as the lessons are complete and your instructor believes you are ready to go.

A driver with lessons completed, named driving experience and a full licence will be quoted a substantially lower rate than their equivalent getting a quote with learner permit, no lessons and no verified driving experience.

Marie is looking to know: If you change from comprehensive cover to third party fire and theft will you maintain your no claims bonus record?  

Yes, you will still keep your no claims bonus regardless of the type of cover you have.

You will only lose your no claims bonus if you have a claim or if you don’t hold a policy for a period of time – an example of this would be drivers returning back to Ireland having lived abroad for more than two years.

Paul asks: Is there an insurance company that covers a few cars for one driver only? I have an everyday car and two classics. I am the only driver. 

There is a common myth you can’t have more than one policy in your own name. You can have as many policies as you have cars.

The problem will be that when you insure one car and go to get a second, you will be starting afresh on the second policy and it will be rated without a no claims bonus.

A pragmatic approach will be taken by some insurers and, in a recent case I dealt with, an insurer agreed to allow an introductory no claims discount of three years for the second car, as no named drivers were on the second policy.

But in this case, I would recommend using one of the classic car specialists, as they will be far cheaper than trying to insure them as a multi policy.

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