Why is car insurance normally more expensive for new drivers?
As a new driver you will probably pay amongst the highest premiums for car insurance, as insurance providers tend to believe you’re more likely to be involved in an accident.
Providers base their premium prices on how much of a risk you pose as a driver and therefore the likelihood they’ll have to pay out for a claim – so insuring your first car can be notoriously expensive.
However, there are some ways to bring your premiums down. From the car you drive to the type of insurance you buy, there are steps you can take to make that first car insurance policy more affordable.
*Data shows main drivers on full UK licence with fully comprehensive cover. Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, Jan - June 2020.
Which car shall I choose?
A significant factor affecting your level of risk is the car you drive: its performance (basically how fast it can go), the security in place, and the statistical probability of it being involved in an accident.
Every car model is graded and placed into a car insurance group, which is numbered from one to 50. The lower end of the scale tends to define cars which are cheaper, have smaller engines and lower specifications.
If your car is expensive or high-performance, it will probably be costlier to insure as it relatively more likely to be stolen or involved in a road accident – so it’s all about getting the right car for a new driver. Check out our guide on the cheapest cars to insure.
*First time car owners were assumed as anyone buying car insurance who stated that they owned a driving license for less than one year. Data shows main drivers on full UK licence with fully comprehensive cover. Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, Jan - June 2020.
The cheapest models don’t seem to be the most popular, however. Data collected by MoneySuperMarket showed the most common first car, a Vaxuhall Corsa, cost £785 more a year to insure than the cheapest Volkswagen Up!.
*Data shows new drivers on full UK licence with fully comprehensive cover where they are the main driver. Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, Jan - June 2020
Which policy do I need?
There are three main policy types to choose from:
- Fully comprehensive: Protects you, your vehicle and other drivers from any damage you cause, as well as repair costs, medical expenses, fire damage and theft of your vehicle. As well as offering the most cover, fully comprehensive insurance is also usually the cheapest
- Third-party, fire and theft: A TPFT policy covers repair costs for other people, their cars and their property, as well as your own vehicle if it’s stolen or damaged by fire
- Third-party: Is the minimum legal requirement for motorists – a third-party policy only offers cover for damage you cause to other people, their cars and their property, and it’s also usually the most expensive of the three
How do I get the cheapest insurance quote for a first car?
The following tips could help you get cheaper car insurance as a new driver:
- Choosing the right car for you: Pick a car in a lower insurance group, as they’re safer on the road and cheaper to cover
- Drive as few miles as you can: The less time you’re on the road the less likely you are to be involved in a road accident. You could consider taking out pay-as-you-go car insurance which bases your premiums on when, how well and for how long you drive.
- Keep the car safe and secure: Improved security on your vehicle may help lower your premium. Storing vehicles in a locked garage, for example, reduces the chances of theft or vandalism occurring
- Increase your voluntary excess: Pay a higher voluntary excess – as long as you can still afford it – as this shows insurers you won’t bother with frivolous claims
- Consider a telematics policy: A telematics policy allows you to earn a lower premium as you use your car by showing you can drive safely and sensibly
- Add an experienced named driver: Adding an experienced named driver to your policy shows insurers you won’t be solely responsible for the vehicle
- Pay annually: Insurers generally charge more for the benefit of spreading the cost of cover over 12 months, so paying annually is usually cheaper
- Pass plus course: Pass Plus is an advanced driving course for newly-qualified drivers and can help to lower your first car insurance premiums
- Compare first car insurance: It’s important to shop around and compare quotes for car insurance to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your first car insurance policy, but remember that getting the appropriate level of cover for you is just as important as getting a cheap policy
*Data shows new drivers on full UK licence with fully comprehensive cover where they are the main driver. Data collected by MoneySuperMarket, Jan - June 2020.
Is telematics insurance a good idea for first cars?
Telematics car insurance can be a good way to earn cheaper cover if you’re a careful driver. Your driving habits will be monitored by your insurance provider through a black box installed in your car, a plug-and-drive device or a mobile phone app. If you drive well, they could reward you with lower premiums.
We know that insuring your vehicle for the first time is expensive. Compare car insurance in minutes to see if you can find a great deal.
What additional features should I consider for a first car insurance policy?
When you take out a first car insurance policy, be careful about the additional policies you choose – they do bolster your cover, but you’ll generally need to pay more for the extra protection. Depending on your provider, you’ll usually have the choice of:
- Breakdown cover, which gives you access to roadside assistance if your car breaks down
- Windscreen cover, which lets you claim for the cost of replacing a cracked or shattered windscreen
- Legal cover, which will pay out for certain legal costs related to a claim by you or another party
- Driving abroad cover, which insures you for taking your car overseas and driving in the EU
- Courtesy car cover, which provides a replacement vehicle for you to use while yours is in repair
- Multi-car cover, which lets you drive more than one car under a single policy
- Personal accident cover, which pays out in the event that you’re injured or killed in a road accident
- Replacement keys, which covers the cost of replacing a set of keys if they’re lost, damaged or stolen
- Wrong fuel, which pays for repair costs if you accidentally top up the tank with the wrong fuel
What do I need to get a quote?
To get a first car insurance quote you’ll need to provide us with your:
- Name, age, and address
- Registration number or model and age of car
- Annual mileage
- Length of no-claims discount
- Details of your driving history, including any accidents and motoring convictions
Compare cheap first car insurance quotes
One of the easiest ways to buy car insurance for your first car is to compare deals on MoneySuperMarket.
You’ll be able to compare policies by the overall monthly and annual cost, the coverage you’ll 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.
It’s important to remember the cheapest policy available isn’t always the best suited to you. We recommend aiming for a balance between the cost and the cover you’ll get, so you don’t end up over-insured and paying for cover you don’t need, or under-insured and without cover when you do need it.