Car loans Ferries to France Basic HD digital telly Mobile broadband Current account interest Cheapo health insurance
Brrrrr. If you've lost your car under a snowdrift, you're going to need a new one. Er... you might want a bank loan though. They'll probably laugh themselves silly before turning you down. But on the off chance that the manager has been at the sherry, car loans are cheapest at the Permo. For a €20,000 car loan over five years. Total repayment below.
Best: Permanent TSB car loan €24,285.57
Avoid: AIB car loan €25,707.16
Saving: €1,421.59 over term of loan
contact: www.permanenttsb.ie or local branch
Ferries to France
We may have sunk beneath the waves by the summer, but in case we haven't there are savings to be had on holidays to France. For return tickets for a family of four in an en suite outside cabin, travelling Rosslare to Cherbourg in mid July. It's also way, way dearer to take the ferry to Roscoff. Celtic Link is a brand new ferry operator plying the Ireland to France route. Shhh....don't tell anyone.
Best: Celtic Link €888
Avoid: Irish Ferries €1,161
contact: www.celticlinkferries.com or 053-9162688
Basic HD digital telly
Bravo. Comedy Central Plus one. Gold Plus One. DMax. Some of the utterly rubbish channels that clutter up your telly. Especially if you have a basic digital and HD package... which is about all we can afford after the bailout. A picture of some kittens in a basket with some musak might be better than some of these stations. For the most bog- standard, entry-level packages. No Sky Sports or Movies and anything interesting. The question is, does having HD telly make a blind bit of difference?
Best: UPC €25.75 per month
Avoid: Sky €38
Saving: €147 per year
contact: www.upc.ie or 1890 940 070
If you go online for an hour a day, just to send a few emails or buy the odd book or poke a few people, there's precious little need for rocket-powered broadband. One gigabit will do as good a job as a gazillion. For an hour a day, with figures from www.callcosts.ie. 3Ireland has the cheapest and dearest dongles, but O2, Vodafone and Meteor don't exactly cover themselves with glory.
Best: 3 Broadband Light €14.07 per month
Avoid: 3 Broadband Pro €26.24
Saving: €146.04 per year
contact: www.three.ie or local store
Current account interest
Remember when those complete lunatics at Halifax were offering 10 per cent in interest on current accounts? Is it any wonder that things went so horribly wrong. Free banking is going to go the way of the dodo pretty damn quick, and current account interest will soon follow. But in the meantime a few banks are still paying a really, really weenchy amount. There are more terms and conditions than an IMF bailout. On €1,000 living in the account.
Best: NIB Easy Plus 1 per cent
Avoid: Permo/Ulster bank current account 0 per cent
contact: www.nationalirishbank.ie or local branch
Cheapo health insurance
The cheapest of the cheap health insurance. It's so cheap that it could be made of nylon. These are the cheapest policies available from the three main health companies. For an adult male with semi-private room in a public hospital. Comparison from the Health Insurance Authority.
Best: Quinn Essential Starter €380
Avoid: Aviva Access Plan Level 1 €506
contact: www.quinnhealthcare.ie or 1890 700 890
Contact Nick webb at email@example.com with any ideas or clever ruses.