Product Type: eCar.co.uk in Insurance
Newest Review: ... decided to cancel after 8 days taking policy with them. I was informed that there is £25 cancellation fee and I will receive rest of the ... more
Insurance For Rufus
Member Name: loulou22
Advantages: Great value insurance for my car. Excellent communication.
Disadvantages: Some may not like that it is all done online
Car Insurance... an expensive but important part of responsible car ownership.
Car insurance for me is one of the main things I hate, along with petrol prices, about owning a car. Before I left the UK back in October 2011 I was the owner of 'Rufus' - a 1999 T-Reg Golf, with a 1.4l petrol engine, like all of us I wanted an insurance policy that was as cheap as possible but still offered me everything I needed. After spending a lot of time on comparison websites being given insurance quotes where the policy was going to cost me more than the car was actually worth I was ready to give up, but after a conversation with a work colleague I was recommended to try ecarinsurance.co.uk also known as Ecar.
Upon getting home from work I went to the ecarinsurance.co.uk website and was greeted by a rather bright blue and yellow home page with a variety of options and an introductory paragraph about Ecar as well as various tabs to click on for information about policies, FAQ's, making a claim and how to contact Ecar.
The 3 main kinds of car insurance Ecar offer are shown on the left side of the home page:
Standard Policy: The most common kind of car insurance policy for people who want a 12 month policy, fully comprehensive or third party with various payment options available.
Pay As You Go Policy: This policy is something I have personally never seen before, but has probably existed for ages without me knowing, it is a policy for people who don't drive very often so just pay for insurance as and when they need it.
Short Term Policy: This is a policy which lasts up to 28 days and the website tells me is ideal for weekends away and test drives. I've never looked into this so I only know what the site is telling me for this one.
The website itself is easy to navigate around and the wording on the site is so simple that I think most people would be able to use it with ease. There are many tabs to click on which make it really easy to find everything you are looking for. I think the site is laid out well and I have never had a problem with finding the information I am looking for.
Getting a Quote
Getting a quote for car insurance with Ecar is really easy. You will need to select the type of policy you want from the home page, then read and agree to the terms and conditions of Ecar, after this it is a case of filling in your personal details, car details and any information about penalty points and criminal convictions over a space of 7 pages. It sounds a lot, but I found it only took me around 5 to 10 minutes to enter all of my details. While you are filling in all of this information you will also need to select whether you want to take out fully comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party insurance. Due to a bad experience in the past where I have had third party and then lost out when I made a claim I now only ever choose fully comprehensive for the personal security that I will be covered for most, if not all, situations.
Once you have filled in the form you will have to wait around a minute, sometimes less if everything is running smoothly, to be shown your quote. At the quote screen you can select to adjust certain factors such as excesses, windscreen cover, courtesy cars, rescue and recovery services and other drivers, when you are done adjusting you simply need to click 're-calculate' and wait a couple more seconds to see your new and hopefully lower quote.
Buying a Policy
If you are happy with the quote you are given then you can choose to buy the policy. I was very quick to accept the price I was given as it was cheaper than all of the quotes I had received from the price comparison sites such as confused.com.
For my 1999 T-reg VW Golf, I was quoted £574 and something pence for a fully comprehensive policy which included windscreen cover and a £300 excess. I found this to be pretty reasonable as I had 3 penalty points that were due to expire 3 months after the policy began and I had also made a claim within the last 2 years for an accident I had on an icy road resulting in a total loss.
Purchasing the policy was simple. I just needed to click 'buy now' and then I was given the choice of payment by monthly instalments or one lump sum. I chose one lump sum as this works out slightly cheaper, but if you don't have the money to pay in one large amount then it isn't too much more to pay by monthly instalments. If you pay by monthly instalments you will need to make a deposit payment to begin with and then enter your details to set up a direct debit with Ecar. Payments can be made with Visa, MasterCard, Delta or Solo cards and all of the transactions are protected by RBS world pay.
Once you have paid for, or arranged payment terms for your policy you will receive an email from Ecar confirming your policy number and a link to log in to the Ecar website where you will then be able to print out your certificate and other policy documents for free. I think this is great because in the past I have mislaid paperwork and then had to pay a fee for the insurance companies to send me a duplicate document.
Within about a week of taking the policy out you will receive some paperwork by post which you will need to sign and send back to them as soon as you get it. If you don't then they will have the right to cancel your policy. They may also ask you for a copy of your driving licence, both the photo card and the paper counter part as well as a copy of any no-claims bonuses you have. They accept photocopies and they do provide an addressed envelope to return all of this, however if it is easier for you then you can scan the copies of your documents and email them to them. This was how I chose to send them and within only 4 hours I had a confirmation email that they had received my documents and everything was fine with the policy.
This is the only paperwork you will receive from Ecar unless you specifically request that they send you a printed copy of your policy.
Making a Claim or Making Contact - It's All Online
Ecar insurance is a company that is run almost entirely online, hence the reason you can print your documents from the website. They do have a helpline phone number but it costs around £1 per minute to call, they claim that this is because they have low staff numbers as they like to keep their costs low and can then pass this saving on to their customers.
When I first read this I admit I did feel a bit dubious that there had to be a catch somewhere or that contacting them to either make a claim or with an enquiry was going to be a long and drawn out process. Thankfully I was wrong!
Although I have never had to make a claim on my Ecar policy, I have had quite a lot of contact with them via email for various enquiries which mainly regarded how to go about cancelling my policy when I was preparing to move away from the UK. At first I was concerned that they wouldn't reply quick enough to my emails and that I would end up having to use the helpline to get my answers, however, I emailed them with my enquiry one morning before I set out for work, so this was around 7am, by the time I checked my email at lunchtime not only did I have a reply, but it was a reply containing all the information I had asked for and even various links to different parts of the website so I wouldn't have to spend ages clicking around to find the area I needed.
I was impressed with the speed that I received a reply from them and even more impressed with the amount of detail contained in the reply meaning that rather than numerous emails back and forth, I was actually able to find everything I wanted with just one email and one reply. In my opinion this is excellent!
Ecar offer a 14 day cooling off period where you can cancel your policy with no charges within the first 14 days if you change your mind, I have never used this method of cancellation, but as I mentioned, I was moving away from the UK so I needed to cancel my policy as there was still 3 months remaining on it. I had paid for my policy in one lump sum and to be honest I didn't expect to get anything back as I always thought that once the cooling off period was over then it was extremely hard to get anything back from an insurance company!
To cancel my policy I clicked on the link contained in the email I mentioned earlier and was taken to a page where I needed to enter my email address and policy number. After entering this I was simply asked what date, up to 30 days in advance, I wished to cancel the policy from and then click confirm. To my surprise I was then shown a screen telling me I would receive a cheque for the value of £72 as this was the outstanding overpayment on the policy for the remaining 3 months. To receive the cheque all I needed to do was return any paperwork they had sent me and wait 14 days after the cancellation date for the cheque to arrive.
14 days after the cancellation date I had actually already left the UK, but my mum kept me informed that no cheque had arrived, so I sent them an email enquiring as to why I had not received the promised cheque. This time they did take a little longer to reply, but nevertheless I still got a reply within 24 hours stating that they had a back log but rest assured the refund was on its way. I'm pleased to report that they kept their promise and the cheque did eventually arrive around 2 weeks after this email so in total it was around a month after the cancellation date rather than 2 weeks. However, I don't feel the need to complain about this as the contact was excellent and the reply was apologetic and informative.
Ecar also offer other insurance policies including bike, van and home insurance. I have not used these services, however if I did need to in the future I would definitely consider them when obtaining quotes as so far I have been generally very pleased with their prices and service.
Overall I really cannot fault Ecar. I was doubtful at first because of everything being dealt with entirely online but my experience with them has cleared away any doubts. Their communication is excellent and their prices are great. I would have no worries about putting a claim through with them entirely online as they have so far responded to all of my communication just as fast, if not faster than previous insurance companies I have been with.
I find the website is really easy to navigate around and obtain quotes from. If I ever need car insurance again I will definitely be returning to Ecar for a quote and hopefully a policy and I would definitely recommend them to you.
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: eCar for my car.