The Fixer: Insuring a convertible car

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The Fixer logo Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

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Dear Fixer,
I have always dreamed of owning a convertible car, and as I have come into a bit of money recently I think that I can finally buy one.

A friend told me that the end of the summer is a good time to buy a convertible because more people are selling them at this time of year.

However, the same friend also warned me that I might find the insurance on a convertible much more expensive than on my current car - even if the engine is no more powerful.

Is this true and do you have any advice on finding cheap car insurance for convertibles? Thank you for your help.

M Taylor, Bicester

Dear Miss Taylor,

It is generally true that convertibles cost more than fixed roof versions of the same make and model of car to insure because they are more popular with car thieves.

However, convertibles, like all cars, are assigned to one of 50 so-called insurance groups. This helps insurers to price their policies because they know that the cars in the lower groups between one and 10, for example, will cost a lot less to replace or repair than those in groups 45 to 50.

And the good news is that not all convertibles are automatically put into high insurance groups. The tiny Smart Fortwo Cabrio Passion, for example, is in insurance group 6.

But if you are after a Mercedes SLK, you will need to prepare yourself for higher premiums because this model is in insurance group 43.

Whatever model you buy, ways to cut the cost of car insurance include keeping your convertible in a locked garage, or at least parked off the road, overnight and installing insurer-approved security equipment such as immobilisers that could result in a 10% discount.

Shopping around for the best quote can also make a huge difference. Check out the AOL comparison website to find the right cover at the lowest price.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.

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