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Insuring A Lotus EliseThere is a certain prestige about driving around in a vehicle manufactured by the likes of Lotus. However driving a premium vehicle like a Lotus does come at a price and it is not just the price tag that can leave a sting, as insuring a Lotus can also prove to be very costly.
What Are The Options For Lotus Elise Owners?As with all cars in the UK there are three options for car insurance, third party only (TPO), third party fire and theft (TPFT) and comprehensive. It is highly recommended that you go for comprehensive insurance as it will provide the most protection.
Due to the nature of the car and the potential repair costs, Lotus Elises fall into high insurance groups with the majority of models falling into insurance group 20. There are two models that aren't quite as high, which are the 'Elise Convertible 1796cc' (standard Elise) and the 'Elise 111 S Convertible', which are insurance groups 17 and 18 respectively. The reasons for them being in such a high insurance group are:
As a consequence, finding a cheap deal can be difficult. The best approach is to shop around, try a comparison website to compare car insurance quotes from mainstream insurers and specialist insurers. Specialist insurers may provide exclusive options that may not be available through mainstream insurers. Due to their experience of dealing with the needs of sports car owners, they may be able to offer better policies and cheaper premiums.
Which Insurance Companies Cover Sports Cars?Most mainstream insurance companies will offer a premium for a Lotus Elise however some may not offer any cover at all. There are however, a growing number of specialist insurance companies for sport cars including:
How Do You Reduce The Insurance Premium?
Driving CarefullySounds like an obvious tactic, however by building up 5 years no claims bonus can earn you a discount of as much as 70%. Also speeding and other road offences can lead to points on your licence which can load your premium and in certain cases may lead to insurance companies even refusing insurance due to the high insurance grouping of the Lotus Elise.
GPS Vehicle TrackingGPS vehicle tracking can be used to locate a vehicle and provide data on the journeys it has made. GPS vehicle tracking can therefore be used as a security measure on high performance vehicles, allowing them to be tracked and recovered when stolen and even immobilized remotely, depending on the system in place. Having such technology installed will lead to many insurers offering a discount on your premium. Some insurers offer their own tracking technology which records your driving and road use and calculates your premium on a pay as you drive basis.
How You Use Your CarMost car insurance policies will offer a "social, domestic and pleasure" use with an option to include one place of commuting. There is also "Business use" which generally refers to travelling on your company's behalf, such as to meetings, etc. Be sure to clarify with your insurer exactly what you use your vehicle for and don't pay for more than you need to.
Mileage LimitIf you use your Lotus solely on the weekends as a fun car then make sure you limit your mileage to a sensible figure. Insurance companies will take the view of the lesser miles you do each year the smaller the chance of being involved in an accident, hence a lower premium. This is something I do for my Fisher Fury R1 as I rarely exceed 2000 miles per year.
Security EnhancementsEvery new Lotus Elise will come with an immobilizer as standard, but adding extra features such as wheel locks, and parking your car in a locked garage at night will slash your premiums. Best thing to do is ask your insurance company which security features they recommend and which ones they offer discounts for.
Where You Keep ItInsurance companies will ask you where your car is normally kept. Cars parked on a public road are a higher risk. Cars parked on a drive or in a locked garage are less likely to hit accidently.
Pay AnnuallySpreading the cost of car insurance may seem like a good idea but, interest charges can add as much as 20% to the cost. If you can afford it, it is best to pay upfront.
Increase Your Voluntary ExcessThe excess refers to the amount you pay in the event of a claim. The higher you set this, the lower your premium will be, however be careful not to go overboard, set it to a level you can comfortably afford.
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Copyright © Rob Collingridge 2009 - Last updated 15 Mar 2012