TV’s 5 most uninsurable drivers

If you ever want to see how not to keep your car insurance premiums down, you don’t have to look much further than the characters of some of TV’s most beloved programmes. Here’s a list of who we think are TV’s 5 most uninsurable drivers.

5. Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory)

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Physicist and super-nerd Sheldon Cooper might have the letters BS, MS, MA, PhD, and ScD after his name, but he’d also need ‘L’ plates on his car because, despite being a genius, he’s yet to pass his driving test. What’s worse is, he already has penalty points on the licence he doesn’t yet own. After a fall in the shower left Penny unable to driver herself to hospital, Sheldon stepped in and somehow managed to drive her there – but triggered a speed camera on the way. Of course, the fine went to the vehicle’s registered keeper, Penny, but she reported Sheldon because she couldn’t afford the fine. So now, presumably, Sheldon has convictions for speeding and driving without insurance before he’s even passed his test! Perhaps it’s just as well, as we saw him decimate a virtual town when he attempted to learn using a computer driving simulator. Sheldon’s happy to continue harassing his friends for lifts in the meantime, considering himself “too evolved to drive”. Motoring convictions don’t automatically mean you’re uninsurable though, Dr Cooper: take a look at our convicted driver insurance page and we’ll help you get a fair price.

4. Simon Cooper (The Inbetweeners)

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Forget for a minute that Simon is a 17-year-old driver, the group with perhaps the most expensive car insurance premiums, and take a look at his claims history for his first year of driving. Simon’s banana-yellow Fiat Cinquecento Hawaii was beaten by an angry Chinese takeaway delivery man in London after he parked somewhere he shouldn’t have, he took the passenger door clean off when he tried to reverse park it at a theme park and hit a pole and, of course, he managed to roll it into a river on a camping trip with the boys – followed by a brick through the rear window from Neil for good measure. If the Fiat was a write off (and let’s face it, Simon wasn’t in a big rush to get it out of the river), then his next attempt to get car insurance would be pretty expensive, if not impossible. Young drivers pay for their relative lack of experience in high premiums, and in Simon’s case it’s not hard to see why. It’s not like a telematics insurance policy would do him much good either, with his passenger friends goading him to break the speed limit and his night-time drives into inner-city London.

3. Mr Bean

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You can’t knock him for trying, but Mr Bean’s attempts at theft-proofing his British Leyland Mini 1000 aren’t exactly Thatcham-approved. His security system comprises a bolt latch and padlock in place of an actual car door lock, and removing the steering wheel entirely and taking it with him rather than fitting a steering wheel lock. Original minis are a bit of a collector’s item these days, so he’s of course right to be concerned about thieves – and his unique system did actually foil a ne’er-do-well in one episode. But it’s unlikely to earn him any kind of discount on his car insurance premiums. In fact, the modification might go against him, if declared. Also, let’s not forget the episode in which Bean constructs a complicated array of pulleys and levers to drive his mini from an armchair strapped to its roof. Had the police caught him I’m sure he’d have been given some kind of conviction (who knows what for) which would have pushed up his premiums further. Given the Mini’s ripe old age, he’d be well advised to take a look at our classic car insurance channel for specialist cover.

2. Walter White (Breaking Bad)

Once a mild-mannered if chronically skint high school chemistry teacher, Walter White’s path to infamy as a cancer-riddled, methamphetamine drug lord is littered with broken windshield glass and bent bumpers. Fans of Breaking Bad will know just how many times Walt has been forced to replace the windscreen of his Pontiac Aztek, which you’d think would at least raise some eyebrows at his insurance company’s offices, if not his premiums too. Over the past four and a half series of the programme we’ve seen Walt cause all manner of vehicular chaos, including deliberately causing a serious car crash to throw his DEA agent brother-in-law off the scent, and ploughing through two drug dealers in a hit-and-run to save his partner Jesse. Try explaining those to an insurer! What’s more, as Walt’s ego and empire expanded, we saw him splash out on a pair of muscle cars for his son and himself. The Chrysler 300 (car insurance group 40!) and Dodge Challenger go for around £33,000 and £29,000 respectively. If I were an insurer, I wouldn’t be rushing to provide cover on these cars for a terminally-ill, unemployed teacher and his teenage son. Car insurance premiums are an assessment of risk – so the more risk you pose in the eyes of the insurer, the more you’ll pay for cover. In the words of Breaking Bad’s long-suffering PI Mike Ehrmantraut, Walt is a ticking timebomb…

1. Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)

Has there ever been a TV character so frequently involved in accidents, brushes with the law and general acts of vehicular stupidity as Homer Simpson? A botched attempt at insurance fraud with Moe Szyslak, frequently driving after far too much Duff beer, falling asleep at the wheel while moonlighting at the Kwik-E-Mart – it’s hard to imagine any insurance company who’d be willing to have Homer on its books. In fact, it’s amazing he’s managed to keep his driving licence for this long. Sure, his pink sedan (saloon) isn’t exactly the most valuable motor, and he’s had it forever. But it’s no doubt easy to break-into given its age, not forgetting the frequency with which Homer loses his keys or leaves it unattended. In fact, insuring the vehicle could be problematic given its mysterious origins – Frank Grimes Jr. once told Homer it was built in Croatia using parts from old Soviet tanks, but Homer himself claims it came from Guatemala. Is that thing even road-legal? Homer’s also has a history of trying it on a bit when it comes to insurance claims. In the episode ‘Homer The Heretic’, in which the Simpson family home is burned to the ground, an insurance rep asks Homer to list its destroyed contents. He replies: “Well, the Picasso, my collection of classic cars...” Of course, he could add a more responsible driver like Marge to his policy to bring down what must be an astronomical premium, but we know that she’s had run-ins with the Springfield Police Department in the past for her road rage. And how accident prone is Homer? He barely goes an episode without suffering at least a minor injury, whether it’s through clumsiness, stupidity or negligence. It’s a good job there are companies willing to insure him, because, in his own words: “Insurance is the greatest deal ever. If I get hurt, I get paid. And man do I get hurt!” The Simpsons has run for 24 years so far, and I doubt if Homer has so much as a year’s No Claims Discount. So, for my money he’s TV’s most uninsurable driver.

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