Comparing car insurance isn’t as easy as it should be. There are a dozen or so companies, many of whom own other brands, and a couple of policy variations at each company.

There is third party car insurance, third party fire and theft car insurance, and comprehensive car insurance. And this is before you even consider the likes of commercial car insurance for people like Uber drivers.

So use our handy guide below to help you compare car insurance in New Zealand. It is worth the time getting a few quotes, as prices car vary wildly.

STOP! BEFORE YOU CONTINUE READING… Be sure to check the following brands that often have promos. It only takes two seconds to see if they are currently offering a Prezzy Card or something.

Compare car insurance

Getting a car insurance quote doesn’t actually take a long time online these days. You can easily get a quote from two or three companies in under 10 minutes, and when you’re talking about saving a few hundred dollars per year, that is 10 minutes well spent.

But with at least a dozen car insurance brands in New Zealand, you probably can’t be bothered getting a quote from all of them. For that reason, when you compare car insurance we suggest starting with no less than two brands, and maybe going for an extra one if you’re still unhappy with the quotes. This way, you’ll have a pretty good indication of what is or isn’t a good deal.

First quote: Cove Car Insurance

Cove is the newest brand on the list. They currently offer comprehensive car insurance, and expect to expand to home and contents insurance soon. Cove is New Zealand owned and operated.

Second quote: State Car Insurance

It takes just 5 minutes to get a State car insurance quote from their website, so there is no excuse to give it a try to see if you can get a good deal. Since State also offers online discounts, and the occasional promotion/giveaway, spend a few minutes glancing at their site to see what they are offering today.

Third quote: AMI Car Insurance

AMI is the sister brand to State, but they are worth getting a car insurance quote from - even if you have already got one from State. Although the policies, teams, and processes will be near identical, you'll notice that their prices are slightly different. AMI Young Drivers Insurance is also popular for those new to driving. Get an AMI car insurance quote online by hitting the Get A Quote button.
Still not happy with your quotes?

Other brands to compare...

Tower Car Insurance

Tower offers car, home, contents, and business insurance, amongst others. Tower is currently listed on the NZX.

AA Car Insurance

As mentioned eleseware on this site, I've had AA car insurance for a number of years myself. Their third party only policy is nice and cheap, which is great for cheap cars like a Demio or Tiida. You can get an AA car insurance quote online using the light to the right.

Trademe Car Insurance

Trademe Insurance offers car, home and contents insurance. The company is a partnership with Tower Insurance, so that's why you'll see 'Tower Insurance Limited' within their policy documents.

Important Note: Please review our transparency statement in the footer of every page on this website. No brands above are a recommendation from or an indication that a brand or product is the best in its category. We do not compare all car insurance brands available in New Zealand, so it is important for you to do thorough research and compare all options and find the right product for you, based on your own personal circumstances.

Three things to know...

Types of Car Insurance

Third Party


Third Party Fire & Theft



How do I compare car insurance?

When you compare car insurance it is important to not just consider price.

Like any purchase, the general rule is “you pay for what you get”. Luckily in New Zealand, most insurance products are generally in the same ballpark, and there is plenty of oversight and regulation on the industry, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to by a ‘dud’ policy when it comes to car insurance.

So here is the main things to look at when comparing car insurance:

Price: This is most important to Kiwis. You want to be getting good bang for buck, and not paying more than you need to be. Most insurance brands will offer discounts for annual payments, but not them all, so shop around and see what deals you can get. Comprehensive insurance will always be more expensive than third party insurance, so a quick and easy way to get cheaper car insurance is to get a third party only policy. But beware, if you are involved in a crash, third party only deals with the other vehicles damage, so you are left to repair your own vehicle. If you drive a $2,000 banger this might be ok, but if you’re in a $45,000 Audi then you will likely want to be protecting your own vehicle too with comprehensive insurance.

Cover: Think about what optional extras you need to add on to your policy. Do you want roadside assist? Is it extra, or is it included in the premium?

When it comes to actually comparing car insurance, the process is quite simple. You’ll need to know your vehicles number plate (or make and model), address where it will be parked, drivers driving history, estimated value, and what excess you want to pay.

Once you know this, load up two or three of the car insurance brands listed above and get online quotes from them all. Yes, it’ll take 3 or 4 minutes each, and if you’re impatient it will be tedious. But just do it, you’ll be saving yourself money and ensuring you get a good deal.

How much cover should I buy?

When you compare car insurance you’ll be asked the value of your car. It’s always best to be honest here and provide the insurer with the true value you believe your car is worth.

If you insure you’re vehicle for more than it is truly worth, you’re simply going to be paying more premium than you need too.

Alternatively, if you buy a $20,000 car and insure it for $12,000 to get a cheaper premium, you’ll be banging your head against the wall if you ever need to make a claim.

When it comes to dealing with car insurance companies, always be as honest as you can.

What does car insurance cover?

In general, car insurance can help protect you financially when you are in a car accident, have your car stolen, or your car catches fire.

To understand exactly what you are covered for, you’ll need to read the policy documents provided by your insurer, since every policy document is different. did a great article recently on the topic of what car insurance covers, which begins with the claim that “a third of New Zealand drivers don’t really know what their car insurance covers”. Yikes!

What is not covered by car insurance?

This is a tough question to cover here in one paragraph since each insurance brand has different insurance policies, and if you’ve ever read an insurance policy you’ll know they are 15 to 25 pages of definitions, clauses, asterisks, and explanations.

When should I compare car insurance?

We recommend you compare car insurance prices at least once every year. It can be a good idea to check up on your car insurance everytime you get a WOF, or you have your car serviced.

This means both comparing car insurance quotes with multiple other brands, and checking in with your existing insurance brand to make sure all your details are still up to date.

Over a year many things can change that could affect the price you are paying for car insurance, or the validity of your insurance policy. There are a number of events that you should keep your insurance company informed about, such as a change to your address, adding modifications to your vehicle, allowing your children to start driving your car, receiving speeding tickets, or changing where it is parked.

How can I get cheaper car insurance?

There are three simple ways to get cheaper car insurance.

Firstly, compare car insurance regularly. We’ve found different brands can be up to $500 different for the same vehicle. Comparing car insurance each year only takes 10 minutes, and if you save some money that’s great. If not, at most you wasted 10 minutes…but you probably learnt a few things along the way or had the chance to check your car insurance details were up to date with your existing insurer.

Secondly, choose the right excess for you. A higher excess means a lower premium. Only you will know what excess you will be comfortable paying if you need to make a claim. If you’re confident you won’t need to make many claims, you might be happy paying a $1,000 excess. This means you’ll have cheaper monthly payments (or annual), but it also means you’ll need to cough up $1,000 should you need to make a claim. Can you afford that?

Thirdly, be wary about how much car insurance could cost before you decide to buy a car. You can get cheaper car insurance by buying what insurance brands would consider a ‘safe’ car. For example, in most cases a 2005 Mazda Demio will be cheaper to insure than a 2019 Mercedes-Benz G Wagon. This is because when calculating what it costs to insure a vehicle, the brands will typically consider the cost to repair those vehicles, and the performance of those vehicles.

Which policy type do I need?

We’ve already explained the three types of car insurance policies above. To backtrack, these were comprehensive car insurance, third party car insurance, and third party fire and theft car insurance.

Note that sometimes third party is simply referred to as TP, and third party fire and theft as TPFT. Bloody acronyms!

I can’t tell you exactly what type of car insurance policy you need, but I’ll let you about my own personal situation and this should help in your decision making.

I have two cars, one is a $3,000 Toyota. It’s 15 years old, and will probably be on the scrape heap in a few years. This car has third party car insurance on it. Why? Because if I crash into another car, whether that be a $5,000 Toyota, a $30,000 Honda, or a $60,000 Audi – I want to be sure that the other car is going to be fixed. I can’t afford to replace or repair someone else’s expensive car! So I want peace of mind that no matter what car I crash into, they will be taken care of. I’ll tell the tow truck driver to go dispose of my car.

BUT my other car, a $27,000 Mitsibishi ASX, has comprehensive car insurance on it. This is because if I was involved in a crash, I can’t afford to replace this car, and I definitely won’t be happy simple disposing of it. So I pay a little bit extra in insurance to upgrade my policy to be comprehensive, and my own car is protected too.

When you compare car insurance online there is often a small toggle to switch between third party insurance, and comprehensive insurance. So flick this on and off a few times and see what difference it makes to your premium payments. Sometimes it will be small, other times it will double or triple the premium.


Is there a car insurance calculator?

No brand currently offers a basic “car insurance calculator”. This is because there are a number of variables in every car insurance quote, so you need to go through the process of inputting the details of your car, the driver’s details, and selecting some basic variables like your excess before a car insurance quote can be generated.

For this reason, a rough car insurance calculator doesn’t really exist. There is just too much involved in the calculation.

The good news is that getting a car insurance quote from any of the leading brands above will only take a few minutes. So instead of trying to find a rough estimate, how about go and get an actual quote?

Common Car Insurance Questions

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Sources & References

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