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Car insurance for 18-year-olds

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How much does car insurance cost for 18 year olds?

 

Car insurance usually costs more for younger drivers – those under 25 – than it does for everyone else, and for 18-year-olds this is particularly true as they’ll be amongst the youngest on the road. 

In fact, between July and September 2021, 18-year-olds buying fully comprehensive cover paid an average of £1,921 a year if they were the only driver on the policy. 

This is over £700 more than drivers age between 20 and 24 paid (£1,195), and over triple what drivers in their 30s paid (£619).

Why is car insurance more expensive for 18-year-olds?

 

Teenagers have always paid more for car insurance – their lack of experience on the road makes them a higher risk for insurers, as statistically they are more likely to be involved in a road accident. 

But this doesn’t last forever – car insurance premiums will fall naturally as you get older and insurers see you as less of a claim risk. 

 

 
Age of main driver Average annual premiums
17 to 19 £1,884
20 to 24 £1,195
25 to 29 £801
30 to 39 £619
40 to 49 £476
50 to 64 £311
40 to 49 £281

*Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver holding a full UK driving licence. MoneySuperMarket data collected between July and September 2021.

What types of car insurance are available for 18 year olds?

Car insurance policies come in three main types, each offering different levels of cover:

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    Fully comprehensive

    Fully comprehensive car insurance policies offer the most coverage out of all your options, protecting you and your vehicle as well as any third-party damage

  • 2 icon

    Third-party, fire and theft

    Third-party, fire and theft policies will insure you against damage to another person, their car or property, as well as theft and fire damage for your own car

  • 3 icon

    Third-party only

    Third-party only car insurance is the minimum legal requirement to drive on UK roads – it only covers you against damage to a third-party, their car or their property

 

What are the cheapest cars for 18 year olds to insure?

 

The cheapest cars to insure for 18-year-olds, and most drivers in general, will be those found in lower insurance groups. Car insurance providers sort all cars into groups numbered from one to 50, based on factors like power and performance, ease of repairs and availability of parts – and predictably the lower groups are mostly full of small, low-powered cars. 

Using MoneySuperMarket data, we’re able to show you the five cheapest car makes and models that 18-year-olds were insured on between July and September 2021.

Make

Model

Average annual premiums

FIAT

500 LOUNGE

£1,100

FIAT

500 POP

£1,139

CITROEN

C1

£1,267

MINI

ONE

£1,404

FORD

FIESTA ZETEC (99)

£1,482

*Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver holding a full UK driving licence. MoneySuperMarket data collected between July and September 2021.

What other types of car insurance do 18-year-olds need?

 

As a young driver, you may find the following types of cover particularly useful:

  • TelematicsTelematics car insurance is largely directed at young and high-risk drivers who want to earn cheaper cover. It involves using either a black box, a plug-in device or an app on your phone to monitor your driving habits, and insurers are likely to reward good driving habits with lower premiums 

  • Short-termShort-term car insurance can be a helpful alternative to an annual policy if you only need cover for a temporary length of time – for example, if you’re borrowing a friend’s or family member’s car for a move, or sharing wheel time on a road trip. You can normally find cover lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few months, only paying for what you need.

  • Named driver: Another way to bring down premiums is to add a more experienced driver to your policy, such as a parent or relative. This tells insurers it won’t just be you driving the car, and that responsibility will be shared with an experienced motorist – lowering the overall risk for the insurer 

 

 

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How can 18-year-olds get cheaper car insurance?

Aside from everything mentioned above, there are some other steps you can take to lower the cost of your car insurance policy:

  • Tick icon

    Drive fewer miles:

    The less time you spend on the road the less likely you are to be involved in a road accident, so if you can give your insurer a low estimated mileage you may be able to get cheaper cover

  • Tick icon

    Pay annually:

    Paying your car insurance premiums in one annual sum might mean a greater initial outgoing, but the overall cost works out less expensive than making monthly payments

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    Pay more excess:

    If you can afford a higher voluntary excess payment, this indicates to insurers that you won't bother making small or frivolous claims - lowering your claim risk and bring your premiums down

  • Tick icon

    Avoid extras:

    Car insurance policies can come with a range of extra features. They can offer useful protection, but usually for a price – if you’re aiming to keep costs low, you may want to avoid having too many

  • Avoid modifications:

    It can be tempting to install modifications to give your car a customised feel. While some can lower your premiums, changes related to aesthetics or performance often have the opposite effect

  • Keep your car safe:

    Keeping your car parked in a locked garage, or at the very least on a driveway, is safer than parking on the road – and the reduced risk often means you can get cheaper cover

Compare car insurance for 18-year-olds

Finding affordable car insurance isn’t always straight-forward when you’re 18 years old, which is why we’re here to help – with our comparison service it’ll be easier to find the best deal possible for your needs.

  • checklist icon

    Tell us about yourself

    Give us a few details about yourself, your car and, if you’ve driven before, your history on the road

  • search icon

    We’ll search the market

    We’ll search through quotes from over a hundred of the UK’s leading insurers to find the cover you need

  • car policy icon

    You’re ready to hit the road

    Once you’ve found the best deal, just click through to buy and you’ll be covered

Sara Newell

Our expert says

"18-year-olds get a tough deal when it comes to car insurance premiums – but there are always things you can do to try and cut the costs. Telematics cover can act as a fast track to cheaper premiums, while being added to a more experienced driver’s policy can be a less costly alternative to having your own car insurance. "

- Sara Newell, Motor and Van Insurance Lead

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The quickest and easiest way to find cheaper car insurance as an 18 year old is to compare quotes online with MoneySuperMarket. Just tell us a little about yourself, your car and driving history, and the cover you need, and we’ll search the market for deals that meet your requirements. 

You’ll be able to compare policies by the overall monthly and annual cost of cover, the level of protection you get and the excess you’ll need to pay to make a claim. Once you’ve found the deal you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.

Driving courses such as Pass Plus can be a great option to help you become a better driver – however, according to MoneySuperMarket data having this qualification will not actually make a difference to your car insurance premiums.

That doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying – if you can become a better driver as a result of the course, you’ll give yourself a better chance of avoiding road accidents. This will make it easier to build a no-claims bonus, which can then bring your insurance cost down.

 

Your parents may be able to help you get cheaper car insurance, as you’ll be able to add someone to your policy – or someone can add you to theirs – as a ‘named driver’. If you’re a young driver with little experience on the road, adding your parent as a more experienced named driver will tell insurers that you aren’t solely responsible for the car. 

This reduces the risk for the insurer, and in turn they’ll often give you a discount. 

Bare in mind that it won’t work the opposite way – if your parents add you to their policy it’s likely they’ll see a big rise in premiums. This is because while adding a motorist with experience can bring the overall risk level down, adding a young and inexperienced to a policy brings the risk level up.

As a result, premiums will also go up for the main policy holder – in this case, your parents. 

 

Fronting is an illegal practice that sometimes occurs on policies with named drivers. It’s when you falsely claim that the more experienced motorist is the main driver on the policy – to get lower premiums – when in actual fact the main driver is the younger of the two. 

You’ll always need at least third-party car insurance if you’re driving on UK roads – this is true whether you’re a learner driver or fully qualified. However if you’re a learner driver you may not need to be the one to take cover out.

If you’re taking lessons through a driving school they will likely already have insurance in place that covers the instructor, the car and the learner. But if you’re taking private lessons, or lessons with a family member or friend, then you’ll need to ensure you have cover in place.

You may opt for temporary or short-term cover instead, to protect you whilst you’re taking lessons, then take out a full annual policy once you’ve passed your test.

If you’re a student you’ll still need to take out at a least third-party car insurance policy in order to be road-legal. You can still opt for certain policy types, whether it’s telematics, named driver insurance, or temporary cover.

 

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