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Fill in your details and we'll call you back

Existing Clients

For assistance with a policy or a claim

January 30, 2024

A Guide to Your First Time Buying Car Insurance

Your first-time buying car insurance is a crucial step towards financial responsibility. However, you must choose the right coverage to fit your needs and lifestyle. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know when getting cover for the first time.

Why Do You Need Car Insurance?

Depending on the type of cover you get, car insurance acts as a financial safety net protecting you in the event of accidents, theft, or damage to your car. And, when you buy a car that is financed through a bank or another financier, comprehensive car insurance usually becomes compulsory. 

It’s effectively peace of mind every time you get behind the wheel. Furthermore, oftentimes, car insurance companies offer additional benefits like roadside assistance, so you’ll never get stranded alone on the side of the road without help.

Understanding Car Coverage Options

When choosing the car insurance coverage that best meets your needs, consider what you use your car for, the value of your vehicle, and your budget. Higher coverage levels may mean you pay a higher monthly premium, but they offer greater protection.

The following are the most commonly available types of car insurance in South Africa.

Comprehensive Car Insurance

Comprehensive insurance is the most extensive coverage option. It protects you in the event of accidents or damage, no matter who’s at fault. It also includes fire, theft, and hail damage, as well as damage caused by natural disasters. This is usually the type of insurance you’ll need if you have a new car that’s financed.

Third-Party Liability Insurance

Having third-party cover is an affordable insurance option that provides cover in the event of injuries or property damage you cause to others in an accident but not your own.

At PMD, our third-party PLUS cover includes a unique benefit called Growing Cover, which is like a pool of money that grows and ultimately helps you pay for the repairs or loss of your own car in the event of an accident.

Customisable Car Insurance

Customised insurance allows you to tailor your coverage based on your specific needs, circumstances and budget. At PMD, our Customised Cover also includes the Growing Cover benefit.

Understanding Your Risk Profile

Insurance companies consider various risk factors when determining how much you’ll pay for car insurance. For example, drivers younger than 25 years old often face higher insurance rates as they are at greater risk of getting into a car accident.  

Additionally, insurers factor in your car’s make, model, and value when setting premiums and may also consider your credit score. Where you live and where you park your vehicle will also impact how much you pay.

Ways to Get Affordable Insurance

While first-time buyers may face higher premiums, if you practise good driving, these premiums will likely decrease over time. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure your premiums are as affordable as possible right from the start.

Compare Quotes

When choosing a car insurance company, compare quotes online. Make sure you give each insurer the same information so you can accurately compare the different policies.

Call in the Professionals

Consider talking to a car insurance broker. They’ll be able to advise you on the best insurance options available and will compare quotes on your behalf.

Limit Your Driving

When you drive less than 10,000 or 15,000 kilometres in a year, you may qualify for a discount on your premium. When discussing this with the insurer, be sure you can give them an accurate idea of your yearly mileage.

Get a Tracking Device

Many insurance companies offer discounts if you have a tracking device installed in your car. If you’re a responsible driver, driving with a tracking device may also help you negotiate lower premiums in the future.

The Car Insurance Process

If you’ve never bought car insurance, the process involved in getting your car covered may seem confusing. Although every insurer’s process may look slightly different, the following outlines the basic steps you’ll take:

Gather Information

Before contacting an insurance company, make sure you have the information about your car, driving history, and personal details on hand.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes

Reach out to different car insurance companies to get quotes. Compare the various policies, coverage options, excess amounts, and premiums to find the best fit for your needs.

Activate Your Policy

Once you’ve accepted a car insurance quote, give your insurer the information they need to activate your cover, including photos of your car.

Gone are the days of having to do it over the phone or on paper, as we at PMD also now allow you to buy car insurance online.

Pay on Time

Avoid missing premium payments, which can cause your policy to lapse. This will make you financially responsible if you get into an accident. Missed payments could also lead to higher premiums in the future.

Understand How to Claim

Understand your insurer’s claims process. In the unfortunate event that you cause damage when involved in an accident, knowing how to log an insurance claim will make the process smoother and result in a faster payout.

At PMD, we try to make the claiming process as quick and easy as possible for you, with several claiming options available to you. Whether you want to do it online, phone us, notify us in writing, or reach us on the PMD app.

Get the Best Car Insurance for Your Needs

Getting car insurance as a first-time buyer can seem overwhelming. However, when you understand the process and these common car insurance terms, you’re well on your way to getting the best insurance to protect you, your car and your pocket. 

Need help finding affordable car insurance that matches your budget and needs? Have a look at PMD’s various insurance packages and ask for a quote today.


This article provides general information on buying car insurance for the first time. However, there may be helpful information not included in this article. Therefore, always do your own independent research.

Remember to buy car insurance with much thought and only through a certified financial services provider.

Reach out to us today to learn more about getting affordable, comprehensive car insurance with fixed premiums* and a reduce-to-zero excess*. *T&Cs apply.