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Car insurance for 'Green' cars - should it be cheaper?

As well as the obvious reduced environmental impact, one of the things that attracts people to - and plays a big part in the purchasing decisions of - green, eco-friendly, low emission cars is the various other bonuses and rewards bestowed upon the owner for their ethical and earthly life choice. That, and the chance to earn brownie points by accidentally mentioning their 'green' vehicle at every available opportunity, obviously.

One of the main fiscal benefits of buying a car in the 'green' category is a lifelong reduction in car insurance premiums. This discount tends to fall within the 5% range from most insurance providers, which of course adds up to quite a lot of money over time. Instead of offering the motorist direct and further monetary rewards, many providers instead choose to offer to further their input into the enhancement and protection of the environmental by running schemes such as tree planting and carbon offsetting (see details of the Green Insurance Company's various projects here) to entice new customers.

The big question, though, is should green car insurance be cheaper in the first place, and what justification is there for it? It may seem unfair to your average motorist, but in truth, the answer is yes to both. Firstly, consider the price of green, eco-friendly vehicles when compared to your average, high emission car. They tend to be drastically more expensive, meaning the green driver's initial expenditure greatly outweighs that of the non-green motorists. For this they surely deserve some kind of reward and discount on the running of the car itself. If someone is prepared to fork out so much money for an eco-friendly car, you can be sure that they are indeed doing it for the right reasons and that they genuinely want to reduce their environmental impact, not just save themselves money.

As mentioned above, average drivers may feel somewhat 'punished' as the prices they are required to pay seem only to be increasing as time goes on. While the insurance and fuel companies' reasoning behind these dramatic increases is undoubtedly more about their own gain than the environments, we do need to face up to the fact that by continuing to drive high emission vehicles at the rate we do, we are causing irreversible and extensive damage to the environment. This is a very real, very urgent problem that is only growing and becoming more and more difficult to control and regulate, and we must at some point take responsibility and make necessary changes if we wish to sustain the planet and its resources.

If reducing the insurance of green and hybrid (cars that have both electric engines and the standardised petrol/diesel motor running simultaneously) cars can encourage people to make more environmentally sound purchasing decisions, then this can surely only be a good thing. Moreover, the kind of person who purchases a eco-friendly car is expected to rack up a considerably smaller mileage than the average motorist, as they are more likely to take public transport, use a bicycle or walk where possible. This means that, statistically, they are much less likely to run into trouble or be involved in an accident, and are therefore less likely to claim on their insurance, so companies are able to offer them reduced costs in consequence. So having a reduced insurance premium is not only a beneficial and worthwhile incentive, but also economically commonsensical for the companies involved.

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