Buying a car, don’t leave insurance till the last minute!

Purchasing a new or used vehicle can be exciting, and car insurance in Portugal is all too often left till the weekend when you plan on collecting the recent purchase. When you finally think of car insurance, you may not only make some bad decisions on the level of cover you go for but also leave your insurance agent with little time to get the insurance put in place or negotiate additional discounts.


1st thing you should be doing is:

Contact your insurance agent to add the vehicle to your existing or new car insurance policy. If you purchase the vehicle over the weekend as most of us will do, your agent’s office may be open but the insurance companies themselves normally have limited staff and departments working which may mean any problems needing solved simply won’t be. We agents have little support from the insurance companies outside 9 to 5 from Monday to Friday. However, vehicle policies can usually be issued at least 7 – 30 days before so there should never be the need to be caught out. Of course some of us may be going to buy a used car privately and go with the intention of rather driving away with the car if it’s all good, try not to do this at the weekend if possible!

What is guaranteed replacement cost?

The value of a new car depreciates quickly, and in the event of a total loss, you may end up getting less than what you paid for the car. If your insurance company offers it, guaranteed replacement cost of a new car is something you should definitely be looking to have, it’s usually till 2-3 years of age that they’ll offer this. If your agent does not offer it, ask and if they cannot give you it then it may be time to look elsewhere, to me, it’s fundamental when buying a new car. Not all insurance companies offer it so your agent may have their hands tied depending on who they use. Obviously with used cars this is not an option available.

Pay attention to excess/deductible – Franquia

In Portuguese you’ll see this written as “franquia”, is something you should seriously consider, the higher the excess the cheaper the insurance, personally I always quote with 250€, zero is possible but I don’t think it’s necessary to pay around 15-20% more on your annual premium just to have zero when you’re never likely to make a claim for a small amount anyway and risk losing your hard earn no claims bonus! Beware of 1500€ excesses, etc being slipped in just to give you a “Bom Preço” aka great price as it’s a damn sore pill to swallow should you have a bump where you’re at fault!

It is also important to protect the driver!

Driver protection, absolutely vital yet so often overlooked! Passengers and driver who are not at fault are covered by the liability insurance but drivers at fault will need to rely on what’s all to often and worrying amount for medical expenses and a capital death that’s not even going to cover a good alcohol fueled send off! That same capital covers incapacity so make sure you’ve got a good level of cover. We all want cheap insurance but sometimes it can come at a heavy cost, you need some quality in there too with cover and a company who has a good network of support.

Yours truly,

Ged Heaney

Get a free quote or ask me any additional information here: