In Sweden, car insurance is required by law
All cars driven on Swedish roads must be insured. Only cars which are temporarily taken out of use are exempt (in that case, you need to make an off-road notification to the Swedish Transport Agency). The minimum protection you must have to be allowed to drive the car is called traffic insurance. It covers personal injuries to both the driver and all passengers, and ensures that the people involved are compensated financially. Your traffic insurance also protects fellow drivers and people outside your vehicle. This also applies to other people’s cars and other property that has been damaged in a traffic accident, if it turns out that you are responsible for the damage. The reason you need to insure the car, and why car insurance in Sweden is required by law, is based on a shared responsibility to cover financial losses — for all people involved in or affected by a traffic accident.
Skipping insurance is dangerous — and expensive
If stopped by the police while driving an uninsured car, you can be fined. It’s easy to discover in the traffic register whether a car has traffic insurance or not. But this fine is a relatively small expense when compared to what would happen if you were involved in a collision when driving an uninsured car. To begin with, if you were the one who caused the accident, you’ll have to pay for the damage to the other car. Even if you just reverse into another car in a parking lot, paint and chassis damage can be costly to repair. In the unfortunate event that people are also injured in a traffic accident, you risk having personal injury claims made against you. In addition, you may end up in a legal dispute, which can be very expensive in itself. Traffic insurance helps you deal with all of these situations, providing both financial and legal support.
If you have a car, you probably need a car
Can’t get by without a car and depend on it to make everyday life work? If the answer is “no”, you can read further below about why you should not get a car. But if you really need a car, there are several good reasons why you should also have half or full insurance for your car, in addition to the mandatory traffic insurance. Car insurance covers several different damage types that your car may sustain, rendering it undrivable. The insurance provides access to towing services and rescue assistance if you are stranded in the middle of a country road — in which case you and your car will be picked up promptly, and the car delivered to a workshop if necessary. In some cases, the car insurance also covers renting a car while your own vehicle is being repaired. The main purpose of car insurance is that you should quickly get your car back in working order, without having to pay so much that you cannot afford to keep the car.
Three reasons to not get a car
- Cars are an environmental culprit: The fact that cars cause large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions is probably not news to anyone. Switching to electric cars is an important step towards getting the emissions under control. But electric cars are still very expensive — more expensive than many can afford.
- Owning a car is expensive: Car insurance, car tax and fuel are a heavy financial burden for many people. Money that could be spent on lots of other things, if you don’t absolutely need to have a car.
- Public transportation is healthy: If you have the opportunity to take the bus or train to work, the grocery store or the gym, you get a little extra exercise — and it can also be good for your mental health to regularly meet other people.