Why you shouldn't take out GAP insurance from your motor dealer
One thing that makes buying a car from a dealership stressful is that the salesperson will encourage you to take out every add-on they offer. This will include things like scratch and dent insurance, paint protection, a service plan and, of course, GAP insurance. It can be challenging to leave the showroom without spending an extra £1,000 or more!
We're here to tell you that there are equivalent or better products available online that could save you a lot of money without sacrificing quality in any way.
"Dealership policies have no material advantage over those of internet providers, so there is no justifiable reason for the inflated prices."
Motor dealers must tell you that there are alternative providers of GAP insurance
All GAP insurance UK consumers can purchase is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is the same for dealerships and internet companies.
Back in 2015, the FCA enforced mandatory instructions to all motor dealers in the UK with regards to selling GAP insurance:
1. They may not discuss GAP insurance with you and then sell it to you on the same day. There must be a minimum of 48 hours to enable you to consider whether you will purchase the cover
2. It must be made clear that GAP insurance cover is not a legal requirement
3. They must make it clear that there are other GAP insurance providers to consider
If a dealer fails to comply with these instructions, they will be in breach of FCA regulations and could be struck off.
Can dealer policies be better?
A branded policy from your motor dealer may feel like something to be confident in. You may be told it's better to consolidate everything with a single partner. But the reality is that these policies are outsourced to third-party providers who pay a fee to use the brand name.
The dealer does not handle these claims, and even the most basic queries will be diverted to the third party (or, sometimes, to the wrong person entirely since the dealership staff can't keep track of who their policy providers are).
Why are policies from the dealer so expensive?
The answer is simple: profit. Dealer policies have virtually nothing to do with the dealership or manufacturer, and their terms and conditions are roughly equatable to those of online providers. But the motor dealers inflate the prices to make more significant profits and pay higher commissions to their staff. In some cases, dealer prices are 2-3 times that of Direct Gap.
Dealership policies have no material advantage over those of internet providers, so there is no justifiable reason for the inflated prices.
What should I be looking out for?
It is common for dealership staff to warn customers off using an online provider for GAP insurance. There is some merit to this since, although the FCA regulates all providers, the number of unrated underwriters being used has increased. It is wise to steer clear of these situations because there is a risk of the insurer going bust and leaving policyholders out of pocket and without cover.
When you go with an established and experienced provider, you can trust their work far more than a dealership with a profit-based arrangement with an unknown third party.
On the topic of what to look out for, the most straightforward answer is sales tactics. Any attempt to get you to take out GAP insurance on the same day is a breach of FCA regulations. Any baseless statements to tempt you into ignoring online providers is pure salesmanship.
Contact a trusted provider for advice
Don't make any decisions about GAP insurance lightly. Remember, it isn't a legal requirement, and a salesperson's word is rarely to be trusted. If you have any questions, contact us and take advantage of our expert GAP Insurance team. Alternatively, you can get a quote online in just a few clicks and see for yourself how much cheaper it can be to choose an internet company over your dealership.
It pays to have insurance cover in case something unforeseen happens, but it's essential to have the right cover in place from a trusted provider.