Sunday 18 March 2018

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: 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

Saving: €273

contact: 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: or 1890 940 070

Mobile broadband

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 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: 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

Saving: €10

contact: 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

Saving: €126

contact: or 1890 700 890

Contact Nick webb at with any ideas or clever ruses.

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