Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dreams and practicality

When you look at all the movies, television shows and mainstream magazines, the successful people in our society are all supposed to be mercenary, interested only in demonstrating their wealth by conspicuous consumption. That means they must have one of these detached homes with enough room for a 9-hole short course in the master bedroom and a swimming pool on the roof, while the garage is full of all those dream motors. Anyone who is anyone must drive something exotic from Italy or Germany or some place where people know the name but never quite worked out where it is on a map. So, when all the rest of us fantasize about suddenly hitting the big-time with the latest lottery ticket, the first thing people think about buying is one of these top-of-the-range cars. So, the ,000 question (the minimum price tag on some of these cars after a dealer discount) is how much they cost to insure.

There's a new survey out (as always). A dedicated research team set out to find the top ten of the most expensive cars to insure in 2011. Interestingly, we have all the usual suspects from Mercedes, BMW, Aston Martin and Porsche as the makes, but curiously not Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Bugatti, Lamborghini or, even, the Saleen S7 which, as all dreamers know, is America's top supercar. It seems the retail price is not the only factor taken into account when setting the premium rates - the Bugatti Veyron is currently the most expensive car to buy. Yet, perhaps, it's all slightly academic since all these top insurance rates are clumped quite close together. Probably, the missing models are just off the edge of the screen.

Anyway, the top average annual rate quoted is ,543 for the Mercedes SL65 AMG. This must be the rate for an older driver not likely to try driving it on a public road with the acceleration and at the speeds it is capable of producing. If anyone younger and pumped full of testosterone wanted to get behind the wheel, we suspect the rate might be rather higher.

So here we come to the point of all this. This model of Mercedes sells for around 0,000 and yet only costs an average of ,543 to insure which is about 1.5% of the retail price. Let's now go to the other end of the scale. The cheapest vehicles to insure start with a Chrysler Town & Country LX. This costs about ,000 to buy and ,091 to insure which is 2.4% of the retail price. If we are to believe these insurance figures, it seems the average driver pays more to insure their lower priced vehicles and so subsidize the tiny minority that can afford to buy these dream cars. Yet, the lesson is the same for everyone if they want cheap car insurance for whatever make and model they buy. Always get the maximum possible number of car insurance quotes. Only by comparing all the prices and terms on offer can you hope to find the best value policy. Even the wealthy in their dream cars appreciate saving a few dollars when they have the chance.

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