Car insurance for new drivers
MoneySuperMarket’s latest data (June 2017) shows the average annual premium for a new driver aged 17 to 24 is £1,183. Insurers base car insurance premiums on potential risk, which is why the cost of insurance for a young driver is typically higher.
Why is car insurance so expensive for new drivers?
Inexperienced motorists are seen as a big risk for insurers and this is reflected in the price of car insurance for new drivers. If you are aged between 18 and 21, for example, then you make up 70% of claims for fully comprehensive insurance – the reason behind the high price of premiums.
Statistically speaking, one in five new drivers is involved in a crash within 12 months of passing their test. What’s more, motorists between the ages of 17 and 24 are responsible for a third of all fatalities on the road. But, there are a number of ways you can reduce the cost of cover by undertaking cost-cutting steps, as detailed below.
Consider black box insurance
Telematics insurance is a relatively new form of car insurance where a vehicle is fitted with a ‘black box’ data recording device which is about the size of a smartphone. The device records driving performance – taking into account whether speed limits are adhered to and also monitoring cornering and braking.
This helps the insurer build up a profile of the policyholder and offer them premiums which take into account their overall performance and the statistical likelihood of them being involved in accidents.
“Although car insurance for new drivers is likely to make a dent in your finances, going without just isn’t an option.”
Car insurance is compulsory
No matter what, car insurance is compulsory and you simply have to be covered. The government recently began a crack-down on the large number of uninsured drivers with the introduction of Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) which states that every car, whether on or off the road, has to be covered. The only exception to this is if the car is declared off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).
Those risking driving without motor insurance are not only committing an offence, but they can also expect to be hit with steep penalties. This could be a fine, court prosecution or your car being seized and destroyed.
How to keep costs down
So, although car insurance for new drivers is likely to make a dent in your finances, going without just isn’t an option. However, the good news is that there are some tricks to help lower costs:
- Shop around: Never just accept the first new driver car insurance quotes you get. Shopping around and comparing prices will allow you to weigh up your options and get the most suitable and cheapest car insurance quotes available.
- Reduce your mileage: One of the things insurers will look at is how many miles you estimate you’ll be covering over the course of the year. The less you are out on the road, the less of a perceived risk you are. Therefore, if you can reduce this by using public transport or getting involved in a car share you may save money on your premium.
- Take an advanced driving course such as Pass Plus: As well as improving your driving, insurers will look favourably on this extra experience and it may result in cheaper new driver car insurance premiums.
- Opt for a higher excess: Opting to pay a higher excess can reduce your premium – just make sure you would actually be able to afford this if you did need to put in a claim.
- Buy online: Purchasing your car insurance online often attracts discounts.
- Keep your car safe: You will often be offered cheaper new driver car insurance quotes if the insurer believes that the vehicle is less likely to be stolen or vandalised. You can achieve this by simply parking the vehicle in a locked garage at night or at least off the road on a secure driveway. If this is not possible, then you could look at adding security enhancing devices such as immobilisers, tracking devices and alarms.
- Named drivers: If you add a named driver to your policy who is older and/or more experienced, the car insurance provider will likely offer cheaper premiums because they will assume that driving responsibilities will be shared and hence the riskier motorist will be spending less time behind the wheel. This often results in cheaper premiums. You can read more about this on guide to named driver car insurance.
- Black box: the aforementioned black box, or pay as you go car insurance policy, could potentially be a great way to overcome statistics and prove to insurers that not all new drivers are bad drivers.
For more ideas on how you could find cheaper car insurance for new drivers, visit our money saving tips page.