Do I need car insurance when I’m 21?
Car insurance, like any other type of auto insurance, is mandatory if you own and drive a vehicle – no matter how old you are.
What level of cover do I need at 21?
You’re legally required to insure your vehicle with at least third-party coverage, but you’ll generally be able to choose from the following levels of cover:
- Third-party: Third-party insurance covers you if you cause damage to another person, their vehicle or their property
- Third-party, fire and theft: Third-party, fire and theft adds protection if your own car is damaged as a result of fire or theft
- Fully comprehensive: A fully comprehensive car insurance policy includes everything above as well as cover for any other damage to your car
Does car insurance get cheaper when I turn 21?
Car insurance premiums tend to drop the older you get, but turning 21 is generally a big milestone. Statistically speaking you’re less likely to be involved in a road accident when you hit 21, so insurers will see you as less likely to make a claim on your insurance policy.
For example, buying a fully comprehensive car insurance policy through MoneySuperMarket in June 2019 cost an average of £1,048 for someone aged 17 to 19. However, the same policy only cost £954 for someone between 20 and 24 – a saving of £94 a year.*
Third-party, fire and theft
While premiums do drop when you turn 21, you’ll still have to pay more than older drivers for cover. This is because insurers still see you as a young driver, meaning you’re still at a higher risk of being involved in a road accident.
However there are other steps you can take to reduce the cost of your car insurance policy.
*According to MoneySuperMarket data, accurate as of July 2019
How can I lower the cost of car insurance for 21-year-olds?
If you’re 21 and looking for cheaper car insurance, it’s worth trying the following:
- Adding a named driver: Adding another driver to your policy, such as a parent or guardian, can put insurers at ease that you won’t driving the car all the time. This means you’ll be less likely to claim, so your premiums will go down
- Choosing a sensible car: Cars in lower insurance groups are cheaper to insure for a number of reasons – they’re usually safer, less powerful and easier to drive, so insurers charge less to cover them
- Picking the right policy: Third-party insurance might be the minimum level of cover you can take out, but it isn’t the cheapest. Recent trends show that fully comprehensive policies are cheaper on average – in fact, a fully comprehensive policy was just under £100 cheaper than third-party cover in June 2019*
- Take a driving course: Taking certain driving courses can improve your driving and road safety skills, and insurers will generally offer a discount on premiums if you’ve passed
- Take out telematics insurance: Telematics, or black–box, insurance is when your insurer installs a black box in your vehicle. It lets them monitor your driving habits, and they’ll offer lower premiums in the future if you can demonstrate that you’re a sensible driver
- Set a higher excess: Paying a higher voluntary excess fee can show insurers you’ll be less likely to claim unless you really need to, and in return they’ll lower the cost of cover
Taking these steps will help you get a cheaper quote for car insurance, but the best way to find affordable cover is to shop around and compare policies.
*According to MoneySuperMarket data, accurate as of June 2019
Compare cheap car insurance quotes for 21-year-olds
Comparing car insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket is the easiest way to find a better deal for 21-year-olds. All you need to do is tell us a little about yourself and the car you want to insure, and we’ll search the market for a list of quotes tailored to your needs.
You’ll be able to compare policies by the overall monthly and annual cost, the excess fee you’ll need to pay and the level of cover you get in return. Once you’ve found the right policy for you, just click through to the provider’s website to finalise your purchase.
As with all insurance you should remember that the cheapest available policy isn’t always the best suited, as you might not get the right level of cover you need. It’s better to aim for a balance between cost and cover, so you avoid over-paying or under-insuring yourself.