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Northern Ireland car insurance

Compare car insurance for driving in Northern Ireland (NI)

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Arranging car insurance in 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.

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NI car insurance isn’t as expensive as you think

In November 2022, 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 £434, versus £457 for the rest of the UK – just £23 less.[1]

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.

Ways to make sure you save

Car insurance is mandatory for motorists in NI, but we have some tips to save money on your policy:

  1. Review all the policy features side-by-side to find the one with value for money cover that suits you

  2. 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

  3. Don’t allow your insurance to automatically renew. It’s one of the most common and costly mistakes made by motorists seeking cover

  4. 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

Car insurance in the Republic of Ireland

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.

What if I frequently drive in the Republic of Ireland?

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.

£4 million refunded to customers with free excess cover^^

If you need to claim, we’ll pay £250 towards your excess^. Just another reason to make your life choices on Go.Compare.

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NI car insurance and ferry crossings

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:

  1. 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

  2. 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

Frequently asked questions

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.

  • Northern Ireland has a relatively young population and as young drivers are high risk, it could inflate premiums
  • There are many rural roads and single carriageways in NI. These types of roads can lead to high incidences of accidents and claims
  • Whiplash and other personal injury claims, vehicle crime, and fraud such as crash-for-cash scams could drive prices up

Challenging insurers to give you a better rate is one way to overcome high prices – compare, switch and show them who’s boss.

Car insurance guides

Tools and calculators

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MOT checker

Find out what’s involved in a MOT, why to renew it and when yours is due

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Fuel cost calculator

See how much you spend on petrol or diesel on a single trip or on a regular basis

[1]Go.Compare’s data during November 2022 for all car insurance types where the vehicle’s kept address is in Northern Ireland vs rest of UK.