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Compare car insurance for young drivers
According to data from Brake, the road safety charity, young drivers are at a much higher risk of crashing their cars than older drivers.
In fact, the organisation’s research indicates that 23% of drivers aged 17 to 24 will be involved in a car accident within two years of passing their test.
So even if you happen to be the most safety-conscious, speed-aware driver in your town or city, if you’re a younger driver and you passed your test fairly recently, you are seen as a much higher risk to insurance companies. Unsurprisingly, your car insurance quotes will be higher to reflect that perceived risk.
However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the overall cost of your car insurance. For starters, you could:
- Opt for a slower car with a smaller engine, which will usually mean you fall into a cheaper insurance group (and might also go some way towards demonstrating that you’re not a boy- or girl-racer).
- Consider taking out telematics insurance (also known as black box insurance, which involves installing a tracking device to monitor your driving habits. This type of insurance policy can lower premiums by as much as 20% for some drivers.
- Consider opting for third party or third party, fire and theft insurance, which should be cheaper than fully comprehensive insurance because it provides less cover.
- Consider completing the ‘Pass Plus’ or ‘RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders’ test, which can help to demonstrate that you’re a safe driver who obeys the rules of the road and doesn’t take undue risks.
Beyond those steps, though, it’s critical that you compare quotes from a wide range of insurance providers when you’re trying to find cheaper car insurance for young drivers.
That way you’re more likely to find the right insurance policy at a price that won’t break the bank.
A guide to car insurance for young drivers
Is car insurance for young drivers different from other policies?
Car insurance for a young driver is essentially the same as an ordinary policy; the only real difference is the cost.
You’ll almost always pay significantly more for your insurance when you’ve only recently passed your test than you would if you were an older, more experienced driver.
However, some younger drivers decide to opt for a black box insurance policy in order to reduce this cost, in which case their policy would be a little different. Unlike a standard, run-of-the-mill car insurance policy, these telematics policies use a black box to track the driver’s speed, acceleration, braking, handling, mileage and time of day, and can adjust the premium on a dynamic basis in response to this data.
As a general rule, someone who drives responsibly may be able to earn lower premiums with black box insurance, so these policies can be a useful way for young drivers to reduce the cost of their car insurance.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that telematics insurance could negatively affect your premiums if you’re involved in an at-fault accident, you regularly exceed the speed limit or your mileage is significantly higher than expected.
It’s also worth noting that some telematics policies impose a curfew, meaning you might be restricted to driving during daylight hours. While this can result in lower insurance premiums, it’s important to be sure that this kind of limitation won’t pose a problem before you sign up.
What levels of coverage are available to young drivers?
As with standard car insurance policies, there are three levels of cover to choose from if you’re a younger driver insuring your first car:
* Third party: This is the least comprehensive level of cover available, and for that reason it is somethimes the cheapest too. Third party car insurance will usually cover the cost of damage to a third-party’s vehicle if you’re involved in an accident and you were at fault. However, that’s the only thing this policy will cover – you’ll have to fork out for the cost of repairs to your own vehicle yourself.
* Third party, fire, and theft: As the name suggests, third party, fire and theft car insurance will cover damage to a third-party’s vehicle as well as paying out if your own car is stolen or damaged by fire.
* Fully-comprehensive car insurance:This is sometimes the most expensive type of car insurance, but it is also the most comprehensive/. This type of policy will cover the cost of damage to your own car as well as third parties if you’re involved in an accident that was your own fault.
In the past many younger drivers tended to favour third party only insurance because it was usually cheaper, but in recent years some insurance providers have been hiking the premiums for this level of cover to reflect the fact that it is often favoured by riskier drivers. In practice, that means it is sometimes cheaper to take out a comprehensive car insurance policy now, even if you are a young driver.
What insurance group should a young driver opt for?
Insurance companies classify each make and model of car as belonging to one of 50 separate car insurance groups, based on the vehicle’s value, performance level and engine power.
These groups are based on the perceived level of risk a particular vehicle represents to the underwriter, and as such they can have a significant influence on car insurance premiums.
While other factors obviously play a role, generally speaking the lower your car’s insurance group the lower the premium you’ll pay to insure that particular vehicle.
So, if you’re trying to find cheaper car insurance for young drivers it might be a good idea to buy a vehicle that falls into a lower car insurance group (a group 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 car might be a good option, for instance).
Should young drivers add optional extras to their policy?
As with most policies, car insurance cover for young drivers can come with a range of optional extras, such as windscreen cover, legal expenses cover or breakdown cover.
Of course, these extras almost always increase the cost and given the fact that price is usually a major concern for younger drivers many may decide to forego these optional extras until they’ve clocked up some driving experience and earned a decent No Claims Bonus.
How can I reduce the cost of my car insurance if I’m a first-time buyer?
Passing your test and buying your first car is a huge milestone for most people, but it will inevitably bring significant expenses your way.
It’s fair to say that car insurance for young drivers (those between the ages of 17 and 24) is never likely to be classed as ‘cheap’, but there are a few other things you can do to make your premiums just a little easier to swallow:
* Consider multi-car insurance: If you still live at home with your parents it might be cheaper to add your car to a multi-car policy. This is normally only possible when you share the same address, but there are one or two providers that may allow family members to join even if they live somewhere else.
* Consider agreeing to a higher excess: If you’re willing to agree to a higher excess it will mean you will have to cover more of the cost yourself if you ever have an accident, but it should result in cheaper premiums.
* Try to avoid gaps in your insurance, if possible: Your No Claims Bonus (also known as a No Claims Discount) may be reset to zero if you have gaps in your insurance – if you move overseas for a few years, for instance.
* Find out if you can use your overseas No Claims Bonus if you’ve lived overseas: If you have recently returned from living abroad and you built up a No Claims Discount while you were overseas it might be possible to transfer this to the UK in order to reduce the cost of your insurance here.
*51% of consumers could save £262.01 on their Car Insurance. The saving was calculated by comparing the cheapest price found with the average of the next three cheapest prices quoted by insurance providers on Seopa Ltd’s insurance comparison website. This is based on representative cost savings from May 2021 data. The savings you could achieve are dependent on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.