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June 21st, 2004

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05:41 pm - The ways of insurance ...
A quick update because rwrylsin wants something to read :-)

For future reference, here's how to go about getting set up as an insured driver in the UK :

First, the instant you set foot in the UK, exchange your Australian drivers license for a UK one. At least, fill out the forms and bring along the various forms of ID and photo and statement from a UK resident who has known you for over two years and pay your money to get the application process started.
Then wait a few weeks for the licence to actually arrive.

Once you have a full UK licence, you have to do the following. Each must be done before the other :
1. Get car insurance
1. Get a car

(and you have to find an insurance company that will even consider insuring you, overcoming hurdles like :
a) You haven't been in the UK for more than 3 years (you only just got here).
b) You don't have current UK car insurance (after all, you only just got here).
c) You may not actually have a car yet (after all ... you know).
d) You might have got a speeding ticket on a stretch of road where it turns out that the accuracy of all the speed cameras is questionable (to the extent that refunds of fines might be in the works).
e) General paranoia on the part of the insurance company.
f) Make sure your car isn't too new, shiny, fancy, or expensive.
g) Make sure you don't pick a risky area to live in, and ideally have a secure garage for your car (rumour has it that there are three or four of these in the whole of Glasgow).

Oh yes, for extra fun, a fair percentage of car insurance company online quote websites will fail to work in some way.
And one of them failed to recognise any and all of the following as occupations - "Computer Programmer", "Programmer", "Analyst", "Analyst Programmer", "Computer Analyst", "Computer", "System administrator", "Computer System Administrator", "Computer administrator", "Computing professional", and "Professional".
It also failed to understand "Bank", "Banking", "Finance", "Financial" and "Grrrrrargh!" as industries.
It also completely failed to keep me as a customer, oddly enough.

Whew. Anyway, we solved the each-before-the-other problem by buying a car conditional on getting insurance arranged by the time we pick up the car, and then using our near-ownership of the car as the basis for getting insurance. I don't know if there's an easier way to do this, or if this is how the "natives" go about it, but it seems a little ... stressful, to say the least.

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

(5 touches | En garde !)


[User Picture]
Date:June 21st, 2004 03:48 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:June 21st, 2004 05:24 pm (UTC)
And return *HUGS* for you, too. Let's hope we all have a nice relaxing July, eh ?
Date:June 23rd, 2004 10:12 am (UTC)
Insurance for me seemed easier, except for the bit about actually finding a company to insure me. This is provided, of course, that you are willing to part with something like 1/10 th the cost of your car (no kidding). Otoh, I got the car first (maybe this helps?). On ringing most companies though, when you answer that you have not been in the country for more than 3 years, you get a rather poor, sorry we can't insure you, or in the case of Direct Line (one of the major insurers if you believe the ads), the hung up on me. I was disappointed (but unsurprised) that none appeared to take into account the fact that Australians abide by the same road rules, complete with driving on the left.
In the end, I got my insurance through AA, and they seem ok, though I am sure I am still paying more for my insurance than most other people (on account of being a nasty foreigner). And car insurance was much easier than trying to get a mortgage. In the end I just gave up on that (pity, because I would have quadrupled my investment as I lived here by now).
[User Picture]
Date:June 23rd, 2004 04:48 pm (UTC)

Yup, sounds about right ...

That sounds pretty much like our experience, including the 1/10th figure (ow). In our case, though, the car dealer wanted a "certificate of insurance", apparently they don't sell to people without insurance. Lovely little almost-Catch-22 there, since the insurance is based partly on what sort of car you have.

(now we're hitting loan-getting hurdles, ai ya !)

(still to do : Sign up with NHS, find private medical insurance (I guess we'll want it), and house contents insurance. Oh, the fun.)
Date:June 24th, 2004 01:22 am (UTC)
Actually I needed the certificate before I could take the car away, but they were quite happy to take my money in advance.

The loan was actually one of the easiest, but now the bank regulations are tightning to strangulation level (I tried to open an account to deal with rent as soon as we had secured the new flat - I still need to obtain more paperwork for them a month later as they have rejected most of the seven bits I've already sent).

Private health insurance is not really necessary from what I've found but you'll be extremely lucky to get an NHS dentist (but if you do it's quite good).

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