Compare car insurance for driving in Northern Ireland (NI)
If you’re planning to drive in NI, you can sort out car insurance just as if you lived in any other part of the UK.
That's not the case if you're crossing into the Republic of Ireland, where you'll need to make sure you carry your certificate of insurance to show you're insured.
In December 2021, the average car insurance policy bought in NI was only slightly cheaper than in the rest of the UK.
The average purchase price for all policy types (comprehensive, TPFT and TPO car insurance) in NI was £545.88, versus £561.49 for the rest of the UK – just £15.61 less.
Adding someone to your policy with more driving experience as an additional driver might help bring the cost of your premium down, but always be truthful about who’s driving the car and who the main driver is, or you could be committing insurance fraud.
Car insurance is mandatory for motorists in NI, but we have some tips to save money on your policy:
Review all the policy features side-by-side to find the one with value for money cover that suits you
Just because car insurance is statistically cheaper on average in NI, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a good deal so compare prices to get a competitive quote
Don’t allow your insurance to automatically renew. It’s one of the most common and costly mistakes made by motorists seeking cover
Read our top tips for cheaper car insurance guide and work out how your mileage, no claims bonus, and type of cover could keep you on the road for less in NI
The Ogden Rate, which calculates how much insurers pay out for personal injury claims, saw big changes in 2017, and helped to reduce premiums in 2018. There was a 3% decrease for GB drivers, while people in NI saw a 6% decrease
You'll need to carry your insurance certificate with you to prove you've got adequate car insurance if you plan to drive across the border into the Republic of Ireland.
Check with your insurance provider how it views the Republic of Ireland. Some insurers treat the Republic like any other EU country, which would mean that you’d need to have European car insurance. You don't need a green card to drive in EU countries, including Ireland.
A lot of insurers include cover to drive in Europe in a standard policy, usually limited to 30 days. But check the level of cover you'll have - it might not be the same as at home. For example, even if you have a comprehensive policy in Northern Ireland, your cover might be reduced to third-party only while driving in EU countries.
Check your policy documents to see if there's a limit on the number of days in total you can drive abroad, or any limits on length of trip.
If it's not enough, you might be able to buy additional European cover as an optional extra.
What’s an excess? It’s the amount of money you agree to pay towards a claim when you take out insurance.
Don’t worry – GoCompare will refund up to £250 of your excess^ if you do need to claim.
We’ve already refunded £1 million* to customers!
^Up to £250 refunded after claim settled. Car insurance purchases only. Excludes breakdown, windscreen and glass repair/replacement. Full T&Cs apply.
*Between July 2019 and November 2020, £1M has been refunded to free excess cover customers following a successful claim.
If you’re planning on catching a ferry into and out of NI, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of:
We can’t say for certain that ferry cover will be included in every policy, or even that the cover will be at the same level once you’re on board. To feel confident that you’re properly protected, read your paperwork
Not all breakdown providers will cover the cost of the ferry transportation back if you break down in Northern Ireland, whether you have nationwide recovery or not
Your car insurance quote is personal to you, calculated based your age, experience, car, its insurance group, mileage, and many other reasons that are specific only to you and your driving history.
NI is subject to the same ebb and flow in insurance prices as elsewhere in the UK, so premiums can rise and fall for reasons outside of your control.
Challenging insurers to give you a better rate is one way to overcome high prices – compare, switch and show them who’s boss.
GoCompare’s data during December 2021 for all car insurance types where the vehicle’s kept address is in Northern Ireland vs rest of UK.