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Insurance by the minute

A new type of insurance is aimed at people who do not use their car often or who drive only short distances – and it charges by the minute.

This is different to other low-cost alternatives where you pay by the day or for a fixed number of kilometres.

It is marketed by Altima, a subsidiary of the insurance company MAIF, which tests and develops new insurance.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of drivers are “petit rouleurs” who drive less than 4,000km a year, a study for the Association Prévention Routière found, so there is a market for alternative types of insurance.

Alexandra Coché who is in charge of marketing for Altima said: “The ‘assurance à la minute’ can be useful for someone who drives 15 minutes to work but does not use their car at the weekend, or perhaps uses it just once a week for shopping.

“There are many different situations. You may also want to take into account the type of road you drive on. I get to work by a fast road so there are quite a few kilometres but it is very quick to get there.”

The payment involves a monthly fee, depending on size of car and formula chosen, which covers obligatory insurance when it is in the garage, and a price per minute on the road.

This is from 1-5 centimes a minute, with 2 centimes on average. Car use is calculated via a phone app.

Mrs Coché said: “It is not only about paying less, but also about the driver being able to track the amount they are spending whenever they take the car on the road.”

Though each case is different, Altima estimates that a driver who takes his car out for just 20 minutes a day could pay 20% less than on an average insurance. Anyone who drives less than one hour per week could save 30%.

Each case is individual so this may not be better for you than a kilometre-limited insurance.

There is a useful simulator at altimaparmaif.fr/assurance-a-la-minute.

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