Motor insurance, at a minimum, offers you financial protection if you are involved in an accident while driving and cause damage to another vehicle, someone’s property, or injure another person.

Motor insurance is a legal requirement to drive on an Irish road, you will need to be insured with third party only cover at a minimum to drive legally.

motor insurance ireland

What is motor insurance ?

Motor insurance will offer you financial protection if you are found to be at fault in an accident while driving. 

Motor insurance is available to cover driving:

Car Insurance

Car insurance is available which covers damage to another car and its driver, fire, theft, and additional types of cover including damage to your own vehicle.

A wide range of optional additional types of cover are available with car insurance, the more popular options being breakdown assistance and windscreen cover.

Car insurance will offer you protection should you be at fault in an accident while driving

Motorbike Insurance

Motorbike insurance will offer you protection for damage you cause in riding your motorbike or moped, and may cover damage to your own bike.

Motorbike insurance may also provide breakdown assistance and cover for protective clothing and your motorbike helmet.

Van Insurance

Van insurance covers you for driving your commercial vehicle be it a van, truck, pickup, or jeep. 

Van insurance comes with a range of optional additional types of cover, including trailer cover and open drive cover, if other, qualified, drivers need to use your van.

Van insurance is financial protection for you and your van

Taxi Insurance

Taxi insurance is a specific form of motor insurance that offers protection for driving a taxi.

The financial protection offered is similar to private motor insurance but taxi insurance offers additional third party liability cover to offer protection for injury to passengers.

Classic Car Insurance

Classic car insurance is a specific form of car insurance to cover driving classic, or vintage cars that are over 25 years old.

Classic car insurance restricts the type of driving covered, as well as limiting the amount of mileage that is covered. This reflects the fact that classic car insurance is not intended to offer financial protection for driving a classic or vintage car as your main car.

Classic Car Insurance Ireland

Young Drivers Insurance

Young drivers can struggle to find car insurance due to their lack of experience. Specific young drivers’ car insurance offers protection to young or inexperienced drivers.

Some young drivers car insurance offers telematics, where a black box device is fitted to your car and monitors your driving.

Young Drivers Insurance

Commercial Fleet Insurance

Commercial fleet insurance covers driving of 2 or more commercial vehicles owned by a business.

Commercial fleet insurance covers driving of cars, vans, jeeps, pick-ups, and trucks as part of the business operation by the business owner and their employees. Some commercial fleet insurance offers cover for the contents of the commercial vehicles.

fleet insurance is designed to cover the driving of you and your employees in your company vehicles

Types of available motor insurance

In general, all of these variations of motor insurance are available as different types of cover.  

Although there is a very wide variety between insurers and types of vehicle as to what is included in each type of cover the standard types include:

  • Third party cover
  • Third party fire and theft cover
  • Comprehensive cover
Third party car insurance, Third party fire and theft car insurance, Comprehensive car insurance

Third Party Cover

This is the minimum type of cover required by law to drive in Ireland. It will offer financial protection in the event of an accident for another vehicle and its driver, but will not cover you or your vehicle.

Third Party, Fire, & Theft Cover

This covers the other driver, as well as your vehicle in the event of an accident as well as fire or theft of your vehicle. It may come with optional extra cover eg. windscreen cover, breakdown assistance etc. but these extras vary widely between insurers.

Comprehensive Cover

Comprehensive cover will offer protection to the other vehicle and driver as well as for your vehicle in the event that you are at fault in an accident, also covering fire or theft of your vehicle.  

Comprehensive cover can usually be purchased with optional extra cover eg. breakdown assistance, windscreen cover etc.

Motor Insurance Providers Ireland

There are a wide variety of motor insurers who offer various types of cover. It is worth shopping around if one particular aspect of cover is more important to you, or if you wish to compare prices.

Here are the main motor insurers in Ireland:

Aviva - Home Insurance
AXA - Home Insurance
Liberty - Home Insurance
Zurich - Home Insurance
AIG - Home Insurance
AA - Home Insurance
FBD - Home Insurance

Legally Required Motor Insurance

The only legally required motor insurance in Ireland is third party only cover. It is an offence to drive without this basic cover in place.

However, there are many optional additional types of cover available if you upgrade your cover to third party, fire and theft, and even more if you choose comprehensive cover.

The additional types of cover vary widely depending on which type of vehicle you are insuring as well as the insurer you go with.

Some additional cover options that are available include:

Cover for theft may cover theft or attempted theft of your vehicle. Vandalism or malicious damage may also be covered as well as key and lock replacement.

Cover for fire would entail financial protection for repair or replacement of your vehicle in case of fire. Fire brigade charges may also be covered.

Breakdown assistance may be included as standard or an additional option on the various types of motor insurance.

Breakdown assistance may include cover for roadside assistance and/ towing your vehicle to a garage for repair.

Some motor insurers offer cover for a courtesy vehicle while yours is being repaired, as well as accommodation if you are away from home but not all offer these benefits.

Whether windscreen cover is included as standard or an additional type of cover, varies depending on the vehicle and insurer involved.

Windscreen cover offers protection for repair of chipped, cracked, or broken windscreen glass. Taxi insurance may offer additional windscreen cover.

Comprehensive car insurance will offer many types of protection for damage to your own vehicle, as well as enhanced protection for damage to another vehicle or injury to another driver.

Comprehensive motor insurance is vital if you require the vehicle as a work vehicle as you will need to be on the road. Comprehensive motor insurance may not cost as much as you expect and it is always worth checking the quote for comprehensive cover as well as the other types.

Trailer cover will offer financial protection if you drive your vehicle with a trailer. Trailer cover may not be offered at the same level as the main motor policy so it is important to check what is included.

Open drive added to any motor policy will allow the vehicle to de driven by any qualified driver, with the permission of the vehicle’s owner. It is often an additional type of cover with van insurance policies.

Legal expenses cover may be available as an additional cover when you purchase a comprehensive motor policy.

Legal expenses cover offers financial protection if you need to defend a third party claim.

Personal accident cover with your motor insurance policy covers you for personal injury in an accident. Some policies also offer medical expenses cover in the event of an accident.  

Stepback and full no claims discount protection mean offer additional cover for your no claims discount. Both mean that you can make a limited number of claims and keep part of or all of your no claims discount.

Motor Insurance Excess

A motor insurance excess is the amount you pay yourself  before your insurance company will cover any claim.

You will be offered a compulsory excess with any quote for motor insurance, and it is wise to check it before you purchase motor insurance.

You can choose a higher excess voluntarily to reduce your premium but, be aware, you will pay this amount each time you need to make a claim.

the amount you have to pay out of pocket

Motor Insurance FAQs

Private motor insurance will offer you protection for social, domestic, and pleasure driving, which would include a commute to work. If you drive your own vehicle as part of your job, you would need to inform your insurer as they would need to arrange more specific cover.

If your vehicle is owned by your employer, they may arrange commercial motor fleet insurance for you.

You will build up a no claims bonus or discount if you have insurance in your own name and are a careful driver over time. Having a no claims bonus or no claims discount can mean making a significant saving on motor insurance.

If you are concerned about maintaining your no claims discount, you could purchase no claims discount step back or full no claims discount protection which are usually offered as an add on to car insurance. These forms of protection mean that you would not lose all of your no claims discount if you had to  make a claim on your motor insurance.

Yes, you can purchase multi car policies which will offer a discount if you have more than one car. 

If you have, for example, a motorbike or moped and a main family car or a classic car as well as your main car, insurers who offer motorbike or classic car insurance may offer a discount.

It may be possible to get a telematics policy for your van. 

If you purchase a telematics motor fleet policy, you will get valuable insight into the driving of your employees, and you can identify who may need to upskill their driving.

If you are learning to drive and you drive with an instructor, you may be covered by their insurance. Otherwise you may need to be added to a policy as a named driver. 

Be sure that you are not the main driver of the car though as this practice is known as ‘fronting’ and you may not be covered in the event of an accident if you do this.

Some insurers offer cover for accompanied learner drivers, along with a package of driving lessons, for a specific period of time. This is a great way to build up some driving experience.

If your bicycle is designed to go over 25 km/hr, then you  may need to insure it as a mechanically propelled vehicle (MPV), under new regulations.

You  may get cover with motorbike insurance, depending on the specifications of your electric bike.

If you do not want to drive your car or keep it on a public road, you can use the motor tax website to declare it off the road. You are only legally obliged to have motor insurance if you drive your car in a public place.

However, your car could still be damaged and it is strongly recommended that you maintain insurance cover even if you don’t plan on driving your car.

insurance faqs

Learn more about motor insurance today!

Motor accidents happen and, even if you are not at fault, having motor vehicle insurance in place will give you peace of mind.

Motor insurance is complex, and there are so many types and varieties of cover, it can be hard to find what you need for your vehicle, whether you drive a van, taxi, car, or motor bike.

To find the right cover, at the right price, talk to Compare Insurance about your requirements or fill out our online assessment. We will help you to get the best cover for you.

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