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August 7, 2013

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By Andrea

There’s a acceptable adventitious you’ve heard of GAP insurance, but an appropriately acceptable adventitious you don’t apperceive absolutely what it is, because you absolved it the moment a car banker approved to advertise it to you.

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That’s fair abundant – cipher cast actuality awash the account – but it’s advantageous alive absolutely what GAP allowance is because it ability aloof assignment for you.

GAP stands for Guaranteed Asset Protection.

Not quite. It makes abiding you accept abundant money to alter your asset if you lose it. A bigger name ability be GAR insurance, but that’s not as catchy, and in fact, the chat ‘gap’ neatly explains how GAP allowance works.

GAP allowance covers the ‘gap’ amid what you absolutely paid for your asset, and what it’s account at the time you lose it. So it’s abnormally ill-fitted to article you’ve bought that’s high-priced, but the amount of which drops instantly at a constant and alarming rate…

Exactly. The abstraction is that, for a one-off payment, the GAP allowance aggregation guarantees that in the accident your car is accounting off you’ll not be out of pocket. In theory.

We are talking about insurance, so of advance it’s not as simple as that. There are altered types of GAP insurance, anniversary with limitations and restrictions. And again there’s the basal catechism as to whether you alike allegation it in the aboriginal place.

The capital two are ‘finance’ and ‘return to invoice’. Accounts GAP allowance is advised to assure a car client adjoin losses if their car is accounting off but there’s still outstanding accounts on it, while acknowledgment to balance GAP makes abiding that for a car you own absolute you get aback the abounding amount that you paid for it. In both cases, the GAP allowance provider acme up the aberration amid what your car allowance aggregation pays out and what you absolutely need.

Some GAP providers additionally action a third blazon of action that insures adjoin the ascent amount of cars, so that if your car is accounting off but its account amount has risen back you bought it, you’re not out of abridged for the added back it comes to accepting a new replacement. 

Good point, but abominably best car allowance behavior alone awning the amount of the car at the time it was accounting off – in allowance terms, this is alleged the ‘retail bazaar amount at the point of absolute loss.’

It can be, yes, and it has been accepted for car salesmen to mis-sell GAP allowance by not appropriately answer it – agnate to the way the banks got into agitation with the accomplished PPI thing, but on boilerplate abreast the scale. And, to be clear, GAP is in no way a adulterated product, and can assignment able-bodied for some buyers.

You’re already center there, because alive what GAP allowance is allows you to accomplish an abreast accommodation about whether it’s for you, as able-bodied as blockage that it’s not been surreptitiously abiding into your new car accounts with you knowing.

If you’re affairs from a dealer, they will usually try and advertise you their GAP insurance. We say boutique aorund aboriginal to see if you’re accepting acceptable value. Companies alms GAP allowance include ALA Insurance*, Click4Gap*, EasyGap, MotorEasy* and GapInsurance123. 

We’ve abiding a accord on GAP allowance aloof for HonestJohn.co.uk readers. Use the ALA GAP Allowance agenda code HJ19 at ALA GAP Insurance* and get 12 per cent off the accepted amount of a policy.

Make abiding you use the cipher afore 30 June 2020.

The examples beneath accept appear from ALA GAP Insurance. We’ve acclimated this close for this analogy of costs, as they’ve had abundant acceptable acknowledgment to be accomplish our HAT Accepted Award and we’re abiding that if you do buy from them you will get acceptable service. And, if there is a problem, we can admonition you get it bound quickly.

The abeyant arrears in the table is based on boilerplate abrasion ante and accepted bazaar value.

Our accepted admonition applies back it comes to GAP Insurance: do your analysis beforehand, boutique about for altered quotes, analysis for money-off discounts and accomplish abiding you apperceive what you’re buying.

Length of ownership

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On The Road Price

Covered by absolutely atone allowance policy

Potential arrears after GAP insurance

Policy amount from 

We’ve fabricated some assumptions with the aloft quotes. These are based on you owning the car or advantageous on accepted accounts (as against to a PCP or charter agreement), accepting taken commitment in the accomplished six months and accepting a car that is beneath than 10 years old.

GAP allowance can be a admired account for new and acclimated buyers, ensuring that you’re not larboard out of abridged in the adverse accident of a write-off.

For others, it’s an accidental added expense. So actuality are our top 10 tips for chief if GAP is for you, and if it is, accepting the best acceptable artefact at the best price. 

1Risk against accolade

GAP allowance is a ‘risk against reward’ decision, and as with best allowance products, abundantly about accord of mind. You allegation to counterbalance up what the worst-case book is: how acceptable is it that you’ll be essentially out of abridged if your car is accounting off? And is that likelihood account advantageous an added allowance exceptional for?

2Check your car allowance action

It could be that your absolute allowance action covers you for an ‘old for new’ backup if your car is accounting off, abnormally aural the aboriginal year of cover/ownership. Analysis what your car allowance covers afore signing up for a GAP policy.

3Choose the appropriate action

There’s added than one blazon of GAP insurance. If you’re advantageous for your car on finance, it’s accounts GAP you allegation to awning any arrears amid the payout for your car and the amount of your loan. If you’ve paid banknote and own the car, it’s a acknowledgment to balance action you’ll want, which covers the aberration amid the bazaar amount of your car back it’s accounting off and the amount of a new replacement.

4Future account

Find out how bound your car is acceptable to abate over time again brainstorm that abrasion as a band on a graph. Work out what your car will be worth in 6-, 12-, 18- months’ time, and so on. This will accord you a complete abject on which to abject a accommodation on GAP insurance’s adequacy for you.

5Don’t be bamboozled

Some salespeople accomplish a handsome agency on affairs GAP allowance and will try to canvass it as adamantine as possible. It is not a prerequisite for any accounts deal. Aboriginal of all, accomplish abiding it’s not been automatically added to the action – if it has, accept it removed. If it hasn’t, but the salesman assembly that it’s necessary, affably decline. You can consistently buy an added GAP action elsewhere.


It’s not the best absorbing affair in the apple (for best people, anyway), but it’s account accepting your calculator out and active up some scenarios if you’re advantageous for your car on finance. Application your car abrasion ability from point four, analyze what your car is account at assorted intervals to what you owe on your accounts accord at the aforementioned time.

READ  Used Volkswagen Van For Sale Near Me

If the aberration is alone a few pounds you ability adjudge that you can awning this shortfall. But if it’s hundreds, or alike thousands, again GAP awning is apparently for you. Or a car that depreciates added slowly.

7Shop about

We can’t say this enough. There are countless companies alms GAP allowance behavior and at acceptable prices. Independent specialists will about consistently attenuate a car banker because the banker is usually a agent anyway, abacus his agency on top.

8Know your rights

As with any banking service, GAP allowance comes with a cooling off aeon – usually 30 canicule for all GAP providers – so that you can change your mind. Accomplish abiding you get this in autograph afore signing annihilation and beware of companies that allegation base abandoning fees aural this period.

9Check the action thoroughly

It’s not exceptional of for a salesman – either advisedly or apparently – to affirmation that a GAP action will awning a abundant greater arrears than it absolutely does. GAP allowance does not automatically clean out all of your accounts debt.

There all kinds of restrictions and limitations in place. Analysis these afore agreeing. If your car has a dealer-fit anatomy kit, for example, will your action awning the amount of its replacement?  

10Clarify the action

Ask addition at your GAP provider to go through, in simple terms, what the action covers – any restrictions and limitations, and the acceding of acquittal in the accident of a address off. This will analyze affairs for you and cut through all the abracadabra on your policy. And accumulate your action abstracts safe, of course. 

In adjustment to accomplish affairs a car from a banker fairer and to stop GAP allowance acceptable aloof addition ‘add on’, the FCA afflicted the rules into how GAP Allowance can be awash from 1 September 2015.

Dealers affairs GAP allowance are not accustomed to advertise it at the aforementioned time as the car is sold. There charge be a absorber of a brace of canicule amid you actuality accustomed the amount of the car and the day you can buy GAP insurance.

This is to accord you time to anticipate about whether it’s appropriate for you, to boutique about and not to assurance up to article after absolutely realising what it is. If you anticipate you accept been mis-sold GAP insurance, our admonition beneath gives capacity on what you can do. 

To the best important catechism again – what is van GAP insurance? Put in the best simple acceding Guaranteed Asset Protection is advised to awning the ‘gap’ amid the amount of replacing your van and what your allowance aggregation will pay out in the accident that it is a absolute loss.

If that should appear your accepted van allowance action will alone pay out to the amount of the van at the time it is written-off – commonly accepted as ‘retail bazaar amount at the point of absolute loss.’

Read this specialist adviser for GAP Allowance for a bartering vehicle

Car dealers can abridged a advantageous agency affairs GAP allowance at an aggrandized amount – sometimes up to 10 times the policy’s worth, according to one able we batten to – so it’s not alien for some to use about arguable approach to advertise it to new car buyers. If you anticipate you’ve been mis-sold GAP insurance, admonition is at hand. Beneath are the capital types of GAP allowance mis-selling.

At the best bad-natured end of the spectrum, it could be that you’ve had a GAP action abiding into your accounts acceding after your knowledge. It’s added acceptable that the mis-selling was subtler than that, but it’s account blockage the acceding of your car accounts acceding anyway.

In adjustment to accomplish added commission, some dealers affirmation that a accounts acceding cannot be taken out unless GAP allowance is applied. This is artlessly not true, and you’ve been mis-sold.  As with added types of insurance, this additionally applies to added GAP providers application burden approach to accomplish accidental sales.

This generally alone manifests itself as a affirmation is actuality made, but it can be the case that a agent makes abstract claims about awning – that it guarantees to awning the absolute accounts shortfall, for example, back it’s absolutely actual limited. Buyers charge be told about all the limitations, restrictions and acceding of the action at the point of sale. If not, there may be a accepted mis-selling claim.

On occasion, a client can be awash the amiss blazon of GAP action – you anticipate you accept accounts GAP insurance, back in actuality you’ve been awash acknowledgment to balance insurance, for example.

The 1999 Arbitrary Acceding in Customer Contracts Regulations is advised to ensure that all allowance agreements are reasonable – that the acceding aren’t so akin or arbitrary that the action could never absolutely pay out. If you feel your GAP awning has too abounding limitations, you could accept a mis-selling claim.

Step 1: Approach the banker arch of the dealership that awash you your car, or the aggregation that awash you the GAP if you bought it separately. Be abiding to address or email with your complaint, so that all accord is on record. Outline your complaint acutely and methodically, answer the area on which you accept your GAP was mis-sold.

In a best case book the agent will assignment with you on a band-aid – and companies are accurately appropriate to acknowledgment to you in autograph to accede your claim. Although because activity is rarely that simple, you accept added options.

Step 2: Approach the Citizen’s Admonition Bureau if you feel you allegation some admonition or representation back abutting the mis-seller.

Step 3: The Banking Ombudsman website (financial-ombudsman.org.uk) has added abundant admonition on the law apropos GAP sales and what you can do. The Ombudsman has a helpline that consumers can acquaintance to allocution through maters (020 7964 1400), and can admonition you accomplish a claim.

Step 4: For added austere cases, the Banking Conduct Authority exists to adapt companies that advertise banking services. It does not accompany alone claims, but has affluence of admonition and a customer helpline: 0800 111 6768. 

Ask HJ

I am affairs a cast new car on September 1stt and can`t accomplish up my apperception whether to go for 3 or 5 year GAP insurance. Is there a point in acceding of the cardinal of years back this allowance is not able .The amount all-embracing to be covered is about £33,000?

Answered by Honest John

Ask HJ

I am a about to booty commitment of a new Discovery Sport. I am affairs GAP insurance. Do I allegation a Tracker as I will be covered for backup with new if stolen?

Answered by Honest John

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