Why is car insurance so expensive for young drivers?
The cost of car insurance is something that makes most of us wince, but for young drivers the experience of seeing the price of their annual premium is enough to make them recoil in horror - especially when it comes in at several times the value of their car.
So why is car insurance for young drivers so expensive?
The main reason is because motor insurance premiums are based largely upon a set of statistical assumptions and, unfortunately, the statistics show that one in five new drivers is involved in a crash in their first year of driving and young drivers are twice as likely to claim as more experience motorists.
The good news is that there are a number of ways to cut the cost of car insurance for 19 year olds.
Get cheaper car insurance for 19 year olds
If you are looking for cheap car insurance for 19 year olds, then choosing the right type of policy can make a difference to the cost of your annual premium, so it's worth comparing them all before making a decision.
Third party car insurance is the minimum level of insurance required by law, followed by third party fire and theft, which offers you more protection for your vehicle and finally fully comprehensive car insurance, which is the most inclusive level of cover .
It's important to compare all levels of cover as third party does not always represent the best value and getting the right level of cover to fit your needs is more important than getting the cheapest price.
Another way to pay less for your cover is to pay for it upfront, in one lump sum - although it may be more convenient to pay monthly, you will end up paying more overall due to the interest charged on instalments.
Adding a more experienced named driver to your policy can also help to bring your policy price down as insurers assume that this will reduce the likelihood of a claim being made. However, it's important that you don't try to pass off the older, named driver as the main driver as this is a type of insurance fraud known as 'fronting' and is against the law.
The black box insurance option
Whether you call it black box or telematics car insurance, telematics technology offers an effective way to lower the cost of car insurance for young drivers.
It works by installing a small transmitter into your car that relays information on your driving style and driving patterns back to your insurer so they can base the price of your premium more on how you actually drive and less on how people in your demographic drive.
This is a fairer way of pricing policies and has seen many young drivers having their policy prices significantly cut in comparison to those using the old statistical assumptions model.
Choose the right car
It's not just age that has a huge bearing on the cost of car insurance for 19 year olds or anyone in that age group the type of car insured also plays a big part.
All cars are placed into one of 50 different car insurance groups, based upon the make, model and specification and the general rule is that the higher the group, the higher your motor insurance premium will be.
So, if you're a young driver, then it makes sense to pick a car that is in one of the lower insurance groups - which usually means it will have a smaller engine and is not particularly desirable to thieves.
You should also avoid making any modifications, including fitting alloy wheels, as this will only add to the price of your premium. However, by modifying your car's security you can bring the price down; fitting an insurer-approved alarm and immobiliser reduces the likelihood that it will be stolen.
Improve your driving skills
It may come as a surprise to learn that newly qualified drivers can lower the cost of cover by simply improving their driving skills.
The Pass Plus course is open to drivers for one year after they have passed their test and cover areas of driving that are not featured in the driving test, such as night time and motorway driving.
The course is designed to increase the experience levels of new drivers and make them more adept on the roads. Insurers look upon this favourably and some even offer a discount of up to 35%.
In addition, by being a careful, accident-free driver, you will accumulate a no claims discount for every year of claim-free motoring. This is an effective way to get a reduction on your premium with insurers offering a discount of up to 75% with five years' no claims discount.
Other ways to reduce the cost of car insurance for 19 year olds
You can also reduce the cost of cover by offering to pay a higher voluntary excess - that is the amount you pay towards the cost of any claim.
However, if you are going to do this you need to keep in mind that after a certain level of excess, the cost of cover doesn't change, and you must be sure that you can afford the level of excess that you have set for yourself.
If you only drive occasionally, then temporary car insurance for 19 year olds may be a better option as you can renew this on a month by month basis, meaning you only pay for cover when using the car. The major downside, however, is that you probably won't accrue any no claims discount.
Another easy way to make sure you get the best priced policy is to shop around and compare a range of quotes from a number of car insurance providers. And by using MoneySupermarket's comparison tool you can instantly compare car insurance for 19 year olds to find the best cover to suit your motoring and financial requirements.
For more ideas on how to reduce the cost of car insurance for 19 year olds, take advantage of our money saving tips.
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†82% of shoppers obtained a quote in 5 minutes or less. Source eDigitalResearch December 2012.