Friday, October 15, 2004

Drive my car 

Anglo-African contrast number 47: in an attempt to reduce my monthly outgoings, I have been getting insurance quotes on cars. When doing the same in the UK, I seem to remember that the key factor was the insurance group that the car was in. This was determined by its size, cost and power, i.e. how likely are you to get into an expensive accident? In South Africa, there were no questions about engine size, simply about the value, and where the car is kept, at home and at work. Despite the deplorable traffic accident statistics in this country, the key concern of the insurance company is that it may get hijacked or stolen. As a controlled test of this theory of insurance premiums, we once had two cars, one a bog standard Golf, the other a turbo nutter Audi. The Audi was older, but much bigger, and much much quicker, therefore in the UK would have been very expensive to insure. Here, they both went down as the same value and address, and therefore the same premium.

The upshot of this, of course, is that yours truly has worked out that a cheap, old executive express has a much higher fun to premium ratio than a nice sensible hatchback. Now if I could just convince the boss that the parts aren’t going to be impossible to find...

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