The cause of high prices
Car insurance for young male drivers tends to be disproportionately expensive when compared to older and more experienced motorists, making it virtually impossible for this group to get on the road.
The reason that car insurance for young male drivers is so expensive is because there is an increased statistical likelihood of claims being made by younger drivers. Evidence shows that motorists aged between 17 and 25 are responsible for one third of road fatalities in the UK.
Drivers who have only recently passed their tests are more likely to have an accident too. One in five drivers is involved in a crash during the first 12 months behind the wheel. And statistics also show that young drivers are more likely to be the victim of theft, fire and vandalism leading to insurance claims.
The high cost of car insurance for young male drivers, combined with steep fuel costs has had a dramatic impact on this bracket of the motoring market. Recent research by MoneySupermarket.com found that two-thirds of drivers are being forced to alter their driving habits and 5% say that can no longer afford to drive due to increased running costs.
In December 2012 it became illegal for car insurance companies to use gender as a factor when pricing insurance. Instead, The EU Gender Directive requires that they adjust their pricing in a way that puts greater emphasis on the individual risk presented by motorists, rather than gender.
However, while this will impact women and result in them paying more for car insurance, it is not expected to have much effect on car insurance for young male drivers, with this group still considered very high risk for insurers. Therefore it is important to look at what you can do to keep the cost of cover to a minimum.
Black box car insurance
Young drivers who can't afford conventional insurance premiums may want to opt for a black box insurance policy. With this type of policy you only pay for the miles you actually drive. The more miles you cover, the higher your premiums will be.
The insurer monitors your driving habits using a 'black box'. This monitors things such as acceleration and braking, as well as mileage and what time of day the car is used. The better the driving young motorists can demonstrate, the greater the chance of premium reductions when the insurance policy is renewed. This type of insurance policy is also known as telematics insurance and is potentially the best chance for groups of motorists who are discriminated against to prove that they are better drivers than they are generally perceived to be. This could be your best chance to get cheap car insurance for young male drivers.
Other ways to get cheap car insurance for young male drivers
There are plenty of ways that you can reduce the cost of car insurance for young male drivers:
Choose a fuel efficient car
If you are buying a car for the first time, try to choose a model which is as fuel efficient as possible. Many insurers offer a 5% discount if you are insuring a green car, and you will also save on fuel and road tax too.
Those cars in the lowest bands, from A to C, which have the lowest emissions, pay the least road tax. Cars in bank A, with CO2 emissions up to 100 pay nothing at all, while those in bands B and C, with emissions of 101-110 and 111-120, pay £20 and £30 respectively.
Increase your excess
One way you can reduce the cost of your car insurance is by raising your voluntary excess - the amount you pay up front in the event of an accident. The higher the excess you choose, the lower your premiums will be, but you must ensure that the excess isn't too steep, otherwise you might not be able to afford to make a claim at all.
Don't make modifications
Modifying your car by adding alloy wheels, for example, can increase the chances of the car being stolen; this is why modified car insurance prices tend to be higher than the average.
So if you want a cheap car insurance quote you should keep any changes to a minimum.
You can reduce your premiums by taking steps to improve your security with insurer-approved security equipment like a steering wheel lock or an immobiliser. Keeping it in a locked garage if possible is also likely to result in lower premiums.
Get extra qualifications
Taking additional motoring qualifications, such as Pass Plus, is one way young drivers can keep down the cost of cover. Pass Plus fees vary, but the cost is usually around £150. If you passed your test more than a year ago, check that you'll be eligible for the discounts on offer from your insurance company before you take the course.
Add another driver to your policy
Adding a more experienced named driver to your policy is a great way of lower the cost of car insurance for young male drivers. However, remember that it is illegal to falsely declare that they are the main driver of the vehicle.
This is known as 'fronting' and can not only invalidate your insurance but can lead to a fine and penalty points on your licence, so it should be avoided at all costs.
Pay your premium in full
If you can afford to, you should try to pay for your car insurance in a lump sum rather than paying monthly. Insurers usually impose steep interest charges if you pay monthly, so you can make significant savings by paying upfront.
Don't accept the first quote you are offered
Never agree to the first insurance quote you are offered without first seeing if cheaper cover is available elsewhere. Premiums vary widely depending on which insurer you go to, so it's always sensible to compare a wide range of quotes before choosing a policy; particularly when it comes to getting car insurance for young male drivers.
You can get more tips on how to lower your car insurance premiums or find more information specific to your particular age in our guide to car insurance for young drivers.
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†82% of shoppers obtained a quote in 5 minutes or less. Source eDigitalResearch December 2012.