June 5 – Car Insurance Hunting

Hello from Gillian and Michael

When we drove up to Burgess Hill yesterday we didn’t have any car insurance so we were not going to drive the car again until I had organised some. While David and Joan went to church I spent the morning on the phone. The first company I phoned was from searching the internet. I spent half an hour on the phone answering all the guy’s questions. It is not made easy by the fact that we have only just arrived but David said that we can use their address as our address so that is a big help. One of the last questions was the make and model of the car. I innocently replied – Honda CVR VTec Sport – and she says “We don’t cover sports cars”. It is not a sports car by any means but is just part of the title. No, they definitely will not consider covering such a car. Well, that was a waste of half an hour or more.

We were a bit worried that we had bought the wrong sort of car. Next, I rang Aviva where David has his car insurance. He had recommended them and I had tried to get insurance online from them last night. This time my first question was “Will you provide cover for a Honda CVR VTec Sport? Of course, was the reply. Great! So we started from there and answered all the questions. We got the quote which seemed slightly less than the previous company so that was good. When we came to pay their computer would not accept an overseas credit card. Seriously!? We talked through various options like paying via internet banking from our NZ account or even cash but we would not be able to do that either. Finally, I took the guys direct dial phone number so that I would not have to start all over again and hung up. I was pretty stressed by the time David and Joan came home but David immediately offered me his credit card to use and I would pay him back. When I rang back I told the insurance agent that I had my uncle’s credit card and would he like to talk to him to verify that I was entitled to use it and he said that wouldn’t be necessary. What!? This is a crazy system!. Anyway minutes later the year’s car insurance was paid for and we were legal again. Car insurance is nearly double the price that it is in NZ. But needs must. Having said that they did take into account our “no claims discount” from AMI, our NZ car insurance company. Also every year we had car insurance with Aviva the insurance cost went down and we were able to renew online. We also had Rescue and Recovery cover which turned out to be very important as you will see in later blogs.

I purchased the car in my name but as Michael was the only one who ever drove the car, it would probably have been better in his name but it never caused any problem. We can both drive in the UK using our NZ driver’s licence for one year. When the year was up we only got a UK licence for Michael. The strange thing was that they took his NZ licence from him which meant that he would have to apply for the NZ licence again on our return. When we did this in June 2020 they did not take his UK licence off him so now he has both licences and can drive in either country which we are very pleased about.

In the afternoon we walked around to Waitrose shopping centre and got some more things for our picnic set including a nice freezer bag, plates, knives, forks etc. After tea, we all played Ping which I lost hugely. The cards never seemed to come up. I must have been missing something. Later I answered all the emails.