Best GAP insurance 2021
GAP insurance can save you a packet, so which policy is best value in 2021?
Among the extras dealers will try to sell you when buying a new car is GAP insurance. This is short for guaranteed asset protection, and covers potential shortfalls following an insurance claim if your car is written off or stolen. It’s not essential or a legal requirement.
You will only usually be covered by your normal car insurance for the replacement value of the car, which will be less than the price you paid for it new. GAP insurance tops up the shortfall so you can buy new again, or at least pay off the finance.
There are three main types of GAP cover: back to invoice pays the difference between the price you paid for the car and the insurance payout; vehicle replacement tops up the settlement figure enough for you to buy the equivalent new car; contract hire cover will pay any charges imposed by a finance firm for ending a contract early.
How we tested them
To see the different prices and cover available, we looked at the prices for a three-year back to invoice GAP insurance policy on a new Mazda MX-5 RF with a list price of £32,270. This is the most common cover you’d be offered in a dealership. We got a quote from an official Mazda dealer – Norton Way, in Letchworth, Herts – of £449 for three years’ cover. We then headed to the internet to see if prices were keener. We set a claim limit of £15,000 if asked, to reflect the car’s likely depreciation over three years. As well as the price, we took into account the ease of using any site.
Gap insurance will bring extra peace of mind, especially if you are financing your car. But don’t expect the dealer to offer you the best quote for it – we knocked 59 per cent off the price with a few minutes’ browsing online. Even the keenest dealer would struggle to beat Totallossgap.co.uk, and getting a quote took us seconds. Gapinsurance.co.uk is also worth a try, while Directgap.co.uk might not be the cheapest, but is so quick and easy you could get a quote while sitting at the dealer’s desk.
- Premium: £185.28
- Price versus dealer: -59%
- Rating: 5 stars
- Contact: www.totallossgap.co.uk
It might take longer than some rivals to get a quote from Total Loss Gap’s site, but it’s worth the effort. After answering seven questions, none of which were for personal details, we were offered a really keen quote. It was the only firm to mention a deferred start date option. This can be used if your comprehensive car insurance has a new-for-old policy, which would replace your written- off car with a new version if the claim came in the first year of ownership. Clear, honest and good value.
- Premium: £196.86
- Price versus dealer: -56%
- Rating: 4.5 stars
- Contact: www.gapinsurance.co.uk
We would have potentially been put off by the lengthy form we needed to fill in with personal details before we got a quote. Yet we persevered and were pleasantly surprised with the price, especially since it covered the entire value of the car, and included a £250 contribution to any excess we’d have to pay on our car insurance. Oddly, the premium for the replacement policy wasn’t nearly so keen, at £283.53, so you’ll need to shop around if you need this cover.
- Premium: £219
- Price versus dealer: -51%
- Rating: 4 stars
- Contact: www.directgap.co.uk
The Direct Gap site is by far the simplest and quickest to use of those we tested. Enter the price of the car and the term of the policy, and you’ll get three quotes for the different types of cover in less than 20 seconds. It’s fast enough to do it on a smartphone while you are sitting at a sales desk if you want to check if a dealer is offering a decent price.
It wasn’t the cheapest quote, but since it’s so easy you’ve little to lose by checking the Direct Gap price.
- Premium: £203
- Price versus dealer: -54.8%
- Rating: 4 stars
- Contact: www.insurethegap.com
We really liked this site’s homepage, which offered a simple video to explain the reasons you might need GAP cover. But then it asked for more intricate details about the car and purchase dates, which took a while to enter. It wasn’t the worst, but it still wasn’t as slick as the Best Buy and recommended options in this test. We wouldn’t have minded the lengthy interrogation if the price were keenest, but it was behind our top two. If you want replacement value cover then Insurethegap is competitive though, with a quote of £243.
- Premium: £199.30
- Price versus dealer: -55.6%
- Rating: 3.5 stars
- Contact: www.motoreasy.com
If you’re in a hurry to get a quote, it’s probably best to avoid MotorEasy. The site offers an array of services and insurance policies for car owners, and so demands you fill out a lengthy questionnaire that covers several pages before coming up with a price. It’s clear they’re not really set up for brand-new cars either, because it asks for details you might not know until after you’ve ordered the model. Once you have finished tapping away and entering info, the price is reasonable, but we’d rather save time and money elsewhere.
- Premium: £228
- Price versus dealer: -49%
- Rating: 3.5 stars
- Contact: www.ala.co.uk
The ALA site is slick and easy to use, asking a few simple questions and then quoting a price without us having to enter any personal details, and any tricky terms were explained in simple language. The quote automatically defaulted to the more expensive vehicle-replacement policy, but both prices offered cover up to the original value of the car. As with many of the sites here, a discount code offering five per cent flashed up while we were online, but it still wasn’t cheap enough to be in with a chance here.
- Premium: £229
- Price versus dealer: -49%
- Rating: 3 stars
- Contact: www.platinumgap.co.uk
This site’s simplicity filled us with joy after some of the over-complicated rivals here, but the familiar layout and wording showed Platinum Gap is run by the same company as Direct Gap (above). That’s fine, except this policy cost a tenner more. We asked the customer services to explain the difference and they told us “policy wordings do differ and are available on the website”. We couldn’t see any difference, and since the company itself couldn’t explain why we should pay the extra, we’d go elsewhere.
- Premium: £335
- Price versus dealer: -25.4%
- Rating: 2 stars
- Contact: www.click4gap.co.uk
The site isn’t the easiest to use and automatically defaulted to a claim limit of just £5,000. This wouldn’t even cover the drop in value as we drove off the forecourt, so we manually adjusted it upwards to a more realistic £15,000 to represent the likely gap between the value of our car at three years old, and the price of a new replacement. The resulting premium was a whopping £335, although a flashing banner at the top of the site offered us a code for an instant £15 discount. It was still too pricey to compete, though.