$1000 excesses unfair
There are few more sobering experiences than a tour of the damaged ‘‘End of Life’’ car yard of Turners Auctions.
It’s a place where crashed, stolen and abused vehicles go before they are dismantled and recycled.
It’s a big operation, with around 21,000 vehicles passing through the South Auckland yard each year.
Each a once-loved vehicle, they are now in conditions ranging from once-loved cars that show the effects of a solid shunt collision to complete burnt-out shells, and mangled heaps.
Schools sometimes bring teenagers on trips to the yard, intending them to learn a little about what happens to cars when they are slammed into trees, or other vehicles.
Some of the twisted piles of metal that get trailered into the yard tell stories of people caught in life-altering collisions, if not life-ending ones.
The man who runs the yard for Turners is Shane Prince, and his work has made him an advocate for car insurance, as he tells the young teens on his tours.
He’d make it compulsory, if he could. The decision not to force every car owner to have insurance was a controversial one. A Ministry of Transport study found there really weren’t that many uninsured drivers, and that countries where car insurance was compulsory (like the UK) had higher levels of uninsured drivers.
Many continue to think the country made the wrong decision. A survey by Canstar in March suggested nearly 90 per cent of people think it should be, presumably including everyone who pays for insurance.
They aren’t talking about full comprehensive insurance, just less costly third party, fire and theft.
Which is just as well because youngsters are expected to pay a fortune for car insurance because generally speaking, they are more likely to crash.
But one way youngsters are really treated unfairly is in the excesses they are forced to take. They are around $1000, though one policy had an excess of $2500 if a policyholder let an under
On any given day there are around 650 damaged cars in Turners’ ‘End of life’ vehicle yard.