Do 18-year-olds need car insurance?
Car insurance is mandatory for drivers of all ages – as long as you have a car that you intend to drive, it must be covered to at least the minimum legal requirement.
Do I need car insurance if I’m a learner driver?
You’ll still need car insurance if you’re learning to drive, whether it’s your car or someone else’s – here’s how to get affordable cover if you’re a provisional driver.
What type of car insurance do 18-year-olds need?
When you take out a car insurance policy, you’ll be able to choose from three levels of cover:
- Third-party: Third-party is the minimum level of cover you can take out, and it’ll cover you for any damage you cause to a third party, their vehicle or their property
- Third-party, fire and theft: Third-party, fire and theft adds cover for your own car if you need to claim for theft or fire damage
- Fully comprehensive: A fully comprehensive policy covers you against all of the above as well as any other type of damage done to your car
While you might expect fully comprehensive car insurance to be the most expensive as it offers the highest level of cover, this isn’t usually the case. In May 2019 the average cost of a fully comprehensive car insurance policy for drivers aged 17 to 19 was £1,036, compared to £1,577 for third party, fire and theft, and £2,484 for third-party only.*
When you’ve decided what level of cover you want, you might want to consider certain types of car insurance policies that could be beneficial for 18-year-olds:
- Black box insurance: Black box or telematics car insurance is when your provider installs a black box in your car to monitor your driving habits. The more sensibly you drive the lower your premiums are likely to be in the future
- Named driver insurance: Adding a parent or guardian as a named driver can also reduce the cost of cover. This is because the presence of an experienced driver on the policy indicates that you’ll spend less time driving the car yourself, therefore reducing the likelihood of you making a claim
- Short term car insurance: If you’ll only be using the car for set times throughout the year, it might be worth taking out short term or temporary cover rather than a policy for the whole year. This way you’ll only be covered for when you need it, and you won’t have to pay for it when you don’t
*According to MoneySuperMarket data accurate as of July 2019
How much does car insurance cost for 18-year-olds?
Car insurance premiums are generally higher for younger drivers. For example, a fully comprehensive car insurance policy costs on average £1,036 for people aged 17 to 19 – however the older you get the lower the premiums go.
Why is car insurance so expensive for 18-year-olds?
Insurers generally see younger drivers as more likely to make a claim on their car insurance. This is backed by statistics, which show that while drivers aged under 25 only make up 7% of UK driving licence holders, they were involved in almost 25% of all fatal road accidents.*
As a result, insurers charge higher premiums for younger drivers.
*Data collected by The Department of Transport in May 2018, accurate as of July 2019
How can I get cheaper car insurance as an 18-year-old?
There’s no hiding from the high premium prices set for young drivers, but there are steps you can take to reduce the cost of cover.
- Add another driver: As mentioned above, adding more experienced drivers to your policy can reduce your premiums
- Take driving courses: Advanced driving courses will not only improve your driving and road safety, but many insurers offer lower premiums if you’ve signed up to certain recognised courses
- Pick the right car: Cars are sorted into insurance groups that are decided by a number of factors, including security, performance, and repair costs. Cars in lower insurance groups are usually cheaper to insure
- Pick the right policy: Taking out fully comprehensive car insurance and possibly adding telematics to your policy will help lower the cost of cover
- Pay-per-mile: Some insurers offer pay-per-mile policies, which involve paying a fee for a basic level of cover that includes protection against accidental damage or vandalism. On top of this you’ll pay a certain amount for cover per mile you drive – this means the less you drive, the less you’ll pay for cover
Compare cheap car insurance quotes
Comparing car insurance quotes on MoneySuperMarket is the easiest way to find cheaper cover for 18-year-olds. Just tell us a little about yourself and the car you want to insure and we’ll put together a list of quotes tailored to your requirements.
You’ll be able to sort through deals by their overall monthly and annual cost, the coverage you’ll get with the policy, and the excess you’ll need to pay to make a claim. Once you’ve found a quote that ticks all the boxes, just click through to the provider’s website to finalise your purchase.
As with all types of insurance be wary of taking out the cheapest available quote as it might not offer the level of cover you really need. We recommend you aim for a balance between price and policy, so you can get the right deal for you and avoid over- or under-insuring yourself.