Sometimes car accidents can’t be avoided. But how much do they actually cost to put right, on average?
Research conducted by MoneySuperMarket found the average cost is around £415. That almost equals the average price of a year’s fully-comprehensive car insurance cover, which is £459.
An accident can add up to nine percent (£69) to a driver’s premium when it comes to renewing.
How much does the average accident cost?
Of the 37 percent who that said they’d had an accident in the last five years, one in five said they paid up to £100. This goes on repairs and associated insurance costs. A quarter had paid between £201 and £400, while 10 percent said they’d spent considerably more: between £801 and £1,000.
The most common repair is paintwork (45 percent). Bumpers (49 percent) and lights (29 percent) also attract a lot of damage. Of those who said they’d been in an accident during the last five years, a quarter said they didn’t claim on their insurance.
Car insurance: should you claim?
Deciding whether to claim on your insurance will depend on the kind of accident you have, and the car you drive. If it’s minor damage and the car is safe and drives, it could be in your best interests to handle the cost yourself. Indeed, depending on what your voluntary excess is, it will cost you a certain amount anyway.
However, some cars, and certain repairs, mean it will just be easier to go through your insurance company. It’s also important to note that not claiming and not declaring are two entirely different things.
You must always declare an accident to your insurers. However, you can chose whether the insurer covers the cost of the repair or replacement of your car.
“Our research shows that claiming after an accident could potentially add £69 to your premium, which may explain why a quarter of drivers who have an accident do not make a claim to their insurer,” said Dave Merrick of MoneySuperMarket.
“In some cases, it can be more cost efficient to make a claim rather than paying for the costs yourself. Whatever you decide, you should always let you insurer know. Most policies will have a clause that requires you to declare any incidents, regardless of who is at fault. Failing to do so could invalidate your policy.”