Yugo 45. The worst car in history?

Insuring Your New Yugo

Let us imagine that you have bought, have been given, or have found an abandoned brand-new Yugo 45. Before you can legally drive it you would have to insure it, and since this was a cheap car you will naturally want to get cheap car insurance! Is this is likely to be a problem?

Who will insure it?

The first problem you will have will be finding an insurance company that even offers cover for a Yugo! For a vehicle which has attracted so much worldwide mirth a surprisingly small number of them were actually sold. Insurance companies like to see statistical data about a car before they add it to their approved list so you may well find very few insurers who even feel that the car is worth bothering with. However if you do find one the premium will depend very much upon which insurance group it is placed in; always assuming that the ABI and Thatcham Research have placed it in one. If they haven't (because of the small number in existence) you may have trouble getting insurance at all.

Will it be expensive to insure?

In order to work out a premium for a car insurance companies are interested in the following criteria:

Let's examine each of these criteria in turn.

Would a Yugo be accident prone?

There are two main issues with the Yugo. The first is that the steering was never exactly perfect (in fact it was usually quite suspect) and so a larger than average number of accidents could occur particularly if an attempt was made to drive it quickly around a bend. In addition the tyres were of very cheap quality, meaning that the likelihood of a skid, particularly under wet conditions, was higher than it should be.

Also the acceleration was pretty woeful. This can make it very difficult for a driver who needs to overtake a slower vehicle, or move from a slip road onto a major highway. The ability to accelerate out of trouble is very important in providing a margin of safety and this was sadly lacking.

So the conclusion is: yes it would be more likely to be involved in an accident.

In an accident, would it cause a lot of damage to other road users?

In a collision with another car, the Yugo would be almost certain to come off second-best and so it would be likely to cause less damage to the other vehicle, and less harm to the occupants of this other vehicle, than most other cars on the road. However all modern cars are designed to be as safe as possible for pedestrians who are unlucky enough to be hit by them. This type of design was not of the highest priority at the Yugoslavian factory where the Yugo was built.

So the conclusion for this question is: no and yes.

With the occupants of the car be safe in the event of an accident?

The build of the car was shoddy and crash tests indicated that it was likely to fold up quite badly even in low-speed collisions. In addition there were no safety features such as airbags, side impact protection or padded dashboards, and seat belts and their fixings were of dubious quality. This means that, like most of the cars designed in the 1970s, the Yugo would be a far more dangerous car to drive in than a modern one.

Conclusion: if you value your life, buy a different car.

Will it be cheap to repair?

Crash tests in the United States indicated that even low-speed collisions could cause extensive damage to a Yugo. This meant that the cost of repairing it would be far higher than for an average car.

Conclusion: you should treat your new Yugo as though it were made of egg shells. It will be just as fragile.

Would it take long to have it repaired?

Assuming that the car was economicaly repairable; which would be debatable if the impact was at a speed of more than 5 mph; spare parts would be practically impossible to get hold of. No new ones were stockpiled and since the cars didn't last very long at all the remaining ones went to scrap yards a long time ago. No self-respecting scrap yard owner would take off and store any parts of the Yugo for eventual resale since hardly anyone ever considered repairing a damaged one.

Conclusion: you would wait forever.

Should I buy comprehensive cover, or third party only?

Comprehensive insurance would be a complete waste of money. An insurance company would only pay out, at the most, the cost of buying an equivalent car. Since a second hand Yugo has no value whatsoever you would get nothing back at all.

So where does that leave me?

The result of all these issues means that insuring a Yugo would be a struggle, and would be expensive if you could find an insurer willing to take it on. Your best bet would be to simply donate the car to your local scrap merchant, who will probably charge you for taking it away.

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Is A Yugo Insurable?

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