When you’re buying a new car, there’s a strong chance you’ll be offered a range of bolt-on insurances. Among the more common of these is alloy wheel insurance, of the kind provided by ALA – which is designed, as you might expect, to protect your alloy wheels. But are policies like this worth the investment? Let’s take a look.
What’s the point in alloy wheel insurance?
Many varieties of modern car come with ‘low profile’ tyres, which basically means more wheel and less rubber around the edge. This means sportier handling and shorter braking distances – but it also means that the wheel is more vulnerable to being scuffed, especially when you’re parking at the kerbside.
Scrapes and scratches on your wheels are unsightly – but the cost of correcting the problem tends to be a lot less than the excess on a normal car insurance policy. As such, owners of this type of car, who often find themselves parking in the road, might consider investing in specialised insurance to cover the damage.
Is alloy wheel insurance worth it?
Drivers on long-term leases may end up charged to replace their vehicle’s wheels, should they be returned in less than stellar condition. Thus, it might be worth taking the insurance out, just to protect yourself against a significant unforeseen bill.
Make sure you read the fine print before putting pen to paper. There’s usually a maximum per-wheel pay-out on policies of this kind, and a limit to how many claims you can make per year.
While damage to your alloy wheels might degrade the overall look of the car, it’s not going to affect its roadworthiness. Thus having to pay out for replacements might be a risk that many motorists are willing to take. If damage should occur, then you might feel justified in waiting until your financial circumstances allow for a replacement.
It’s also worth thinking about how often you end up parked by the kerb. If it’s a rare event, then the risk might be low enough that you don’t consider it worth guarding against.
Certain motorists, however, need a vehicle that’s able to impress. It might be that the aesthetics of your vehicle are hugely important to you; it might be that you need your car to look incredible in order to impress clients and thereby attract business. If you deem that your alloy wheels are in need of protection, then insurance of this kind is a way of making it happen.