South Australia: top state for car owners

South Australia top state for car owners

March 30, 2011

South Australia is arguably Australia’s friendliest state for drivers in the nation and new research into the cost of owning and running a car proves it.

The Virgin Car Insurance study, which compared the costs of car insurance, petrol, parking and tolls as well as theft, revealed Adelaide as the most driver-friendly city in Australia.

South Australia was home to the top three most car-friendly regional cities in the country with Gawler, Mount Gambier and port Augusta named. While on the east coast of Australia, Melbourne topped Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney as the most car-friendly city.

Sydney was revealed as the least-friendly capital city for car owners for the second consecutive year.

How your postcode compares
When it comes to refuelling your car, pump prices were cheapest on average in Adelaide, while Canberra’s petrol prices were the most expensive.

When parking your car in a commercial car park, Adelaide was cheapest at $9.80 for two hours, compared to Sydney where it will cost more than four times more at $43.30 for the same amount of time.

As for tolls and parking fines, Sydney drivers were hit hardest again, while most regional towns in NSW performed poorly with an average state-wide fine of $86 for parking infringements. A parking fine in Gawler will set you back $22, while in Albury, NSW, the same infringement will set you back $86- almost four times the amount.

How to save hundreds
The findings are in line with RateCity research into the cost of comprehensive car insurance conducted earlier this year, which also revealed Sydney to be the least-friendly city for drivers. But it’s not all bad news for Sydney drivers, who are overcoming the poor results by shopping around for their car insurance and saving hundreds of dollars in the process.

For instance, comparing two comprehensive car insurance deals in RateCity’s Bi-annual Comprehensive Car Insurance Comparison (Progressive Direct with an average premium of around $758 and Bendigo Bank at around $1764 on average in Sydney) by choosing the

Progressive Direct option you would save more than $1000 (based on the driver profile used in the study).

Other car insurance companies offering bargain rates on comprehensive car insurance to Sydney drivers include Bingle with an average cost of $766, AAMI at $768, Real Insurance at $777 and QBE at $808, on average.

So whether you live in Australia’s most or least friendly city for drivers, you’ll likely find a way to cut costs and save hundreds on your comprehensive car insurance.


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Learn more about car insurance

Does insurance cover a stolen car if keys were in the car?

A car insurance policy that covers the theft of your car, such as third party fire and theft insurance, usually covers a stolen car, even if the keys were in the car’s ignition.

However, your insurer may deny the claim if you live in an area where there have been several car robberies reported recently. They will see you leaving the keys in the car as a case of negligence. In such cases, your insurance provider may even expect you to have installed anti-theft security measures in your car. 

You may need to confirm whether or not you left your keys in your car, and if they had been stolen or misplaced, before filing your car insurance claim. The loss or theft of your car keys may be covered by a comprehensive car insurance policy, but usually as an optional item.

If you can confirm that your car keys were stolen, mention this in your claim as this will help establish that your car was not stolen as a result of your negligence.

Can you insure your car for 6 months?

Most Australian insurers won’t offer you a 6-month car insurance policy, so you may need to buy a policy that covers your car for damages and cancel it after six months. You will need to purchase comprehensive car insurance to protect your car from accidental damage, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.. 

Consider checking whether your 6-month comprehensive car insurance will cost more if you pay monthly or six-monthly premiums instead of a one-time annual premium. Another question to ask the insurer is whether you’ll need to pay administration or cancellation fees when you cancel the policy.

Alternatively, you can look for a suitable ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance policy, which usually offers you the coverage of a comprehensive car insurance policy but only requires you to pay for the distance driven. Such a policy may not be the ideal 6-month car insurance plan as it is based on how much you drive rather than for how long. If you need to drive a lot, you may end up paying more than you’d pay for regular car insurance.