Looking for Young Driver Insurance?
Everyone knows young driver insurance is expensive, sometimes even prohibitive to getting on the road. It may seem unfair, but it is still possible and very likely to be worth it in the end.
Young driver insurance doesn’t need to be complicated. This quick guide looks at the highs and lows of getting young driver insurance and gives sensible advice on ways to keep costs down.
Young drivers insurance – the sad facts
Despite the fact that everything you’ve learnt in your practical and theory driving tests, is still fresh in your mind, and that you’re young, energetic and have great reflexes, statistically young drivers are still the riskiest on UK roads.
Around 400 young people are killed on UK roads each year, with approximately 1 in 4 young drivers, aged 18 – 24 being involved in an accident within 6 months of passing their tests.* Although this maybe a case of the few ruining it for the majority, experience counts when it comes to driving and there’s only one way to get it.
Young drivers in the driver’s seat
Yes, it will cost you more to get insurance. But, drive sensibly, accrue a few years no claims discount and you will reap the rewards. Plus, you are not completely without control in this, there are a few decisions you can make which can positively affect your premiums from the get-go.
Choose your car wisely
If you’re serious about getting on the road and lucky enough to choose your car, then pick something boring, with a small engine – low on performance, high of safety. It might sound dull, but let’s be honest, any car is better than no car, so go for something that’s efficient if you are trying to keep costs down and in the lowest insurance groups, such as:
- Ford KA
- Fiat 500
- Volkswagen up!
- Peugeot 107
- Kia Picanto
- SEAT Mii
- Citroen C1
- Mini One
Choose a telematics policy
Any policy that bases your premiums on how you actually drive and not on average statistics for your age group has to be a good thing (unless you drive like a muppet).
Telematics, Black Box, Smartbox – these types of policy go by lots of different names, but they all involve transmitting data on your driving style, such as accelerating, braking and cornering, to your insurer and then pricing your policy accordingly.
Black box technology is useful if you agree to mileage restrictions and/or curfews to lower your premiums. Some fit a transmitter inside your car, others use an app on your smartphone. Just be sure exactly what information is being monitored and keep in mind that if you exceed agreed limits your premiums could increase.
Ways to reduce young driver insurance
Young drivers are no different from older drivers, in that insurers use all sorts of data in order to calculate your premiums and level of risk. Everything from your age, where you live, what you do for a living and any previous convictions, driving or otherwise, can affect the cost of your car insurance.
Whilst some of this is out of your control, there are a few things you can do to positively affect your premiums.
Think about taking the PassPlus or similar qualification such as IAM, Any Driver BTEC, DX Dynamics or Max Driver. These may be expensive, but significantly lower the chances of accidents and so many insurers reduce premiums to reflect this.
Any adjustment to your car’s performance could make your premiums unaffordable. However, even changes to the look and function of your car could push up prices, so best to leave modifications well alone until you’re over 25.
Paying for your insurance upfront rather than monthly could shave interest costs off your premium.
Make sure your insurers know about any additional security, such as tracking, alarms or immobilisers. It also helps if you keep your car in a locked garage, or at the very least on a driveway overnight.
Some insurers will offer cheaper young driver insurance if you agree to a limited mileage policy or to drive only at certain times of the day – the thinking being, that the less you drive, the lower the risk.
Young drivers insurance – can parents help?
There are a few ways that older, more experienced drivers can help to reduce premiums for younger drivers.
Multi car policies are a great way to access multi vehicle discounts within one household, plus they also make life easier when it comes renewal. The policyholder would need to add you and your car to their policy.
Adding an experienced named driver, without convictions to your policy can reduce premiums. The thinking being that if the mileage is shared, then so is the risk.
You can be a named driver on a parent’s policy, but only if you only borrow their car occasionally. As the name suggests, the main driver MUST be the main driver. If for example your dad says that your car is his, when in fact it’s yours and you are using it all the time, this is known as ‘fronting’. This is a type of insurance fraud and is illegal.
Young Driver Insurance – Useful FAQs
On average it costs around £1,197 a year for a fully comprehensive policy for a younger driver. (data from MoneySuperMarket data, January to March 2018.)
Whether you need a fully comprehensive policy, third party fire and theft or just third party insurance, very much depends on you and the level of cover you think you need. Third party is the minimum legal requirement to drive on UK roads, but purely covers damage you may cause to other vehicles. Your own car would not be covered if in an accident, or if it was stolen.
Having less cover used to mean lower premiums, however today’s statistics show that actually fully comprehensive cover could be significantly cheaper, as the type of drivers who opt for this type of cover tend to be better, lower risk drivers. It always pays to compare prices, not just from different insurers, but also of different types of cover.
It is illegal for insurers to take your gender into account when pricing car insurance. Your age is a far greater factor when determining costs, with policies for 17-19 year olds being considerably higher than those for 21-24 year olds.
Although this may seem unfair, there are statistics to back this up. Drivers aged 17–19 are involved in 12% of all serious and fatal crashes despite only making up 1.5% of UK licence holders.
*Brake, road safety charity.