Do I need car insurance if I’m a teenage driver?
No matter how old you are, if you’re using a car on UK roads you’re legally required to have at least third-party car insurance in place. This is down to the continuous insurance enforcement rules that came into effect in 2011 following the Road Safety Act in 2006.
Do I need car insurance if I only have a provisional licence?
Yes - even if you’re only learning to drive, you’ll need to take out a car insurance policy in order to legally get behind the wheel. You’ll be able to take out the same policies as a full driver.
What type of car insurance policy should teenagers take out?
When you compare car insurance policies, you should ideally be taking out comprehensive car insurance – but you’ll have the following options:
- Third-party: Third-party car insurance only covers you for the cost of damage you cause to another person (the third party), their vehicle or their property – your vehicle won’t be protected
- Third-party, fire and theft: Third-party, fire and theft works in a similar way, but your vehicle will be insured against theft or damage caused by fire and explosions
- Fully comprehensive: Fully comprehensive cover is as the name says – it offers the maximum level of protection for your vehicle, and it’s also the cheapest available policy, making it a win-win
How much does car insurance cost for teenages by policy type?
Based on policies with one driver holding a full UK licence. Data collected between March 2019 and March 2020, accurate as of April 2020
Why is fully comprehensive car insurance cheaper?
Fully comprehensive car insurance policies are the cheapest option because some years ago, insurers noticed a pattern. Previously third-party insurance was the least-costly choice, and as such drivers who were ‘higher risk’ were often taking out these policies – and inevitably the claims started to pile up.
As such, insurers reversed it to ensure the most at-risk drivers were more likely to have the right cover in place. Fully comprehensive car insurance policies were cheaper than the third-party policies by almost £2,000 for teenagers between March 2019 and March 2020.*
*Based on policies with one driver holding a full UK licence. Data collected between March 2019 and March 2020, accurate as of April 2020
How much does car insurance cost for teenage drivers?
Car insurance is generally far more expensive for younger drivers, and teenagers take the brunt of this – in the last year, drivers aged 17-19 paid on average £1,707 for cover, almost £600 more than 20 to 24-year-olds and over £1,000 more than drivers between 30 and 39.*
* Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver holding a full UK licence. Data collected between March 2019 and March 2020, accurate as of April 2020
How much does car insurance cost by age group?
Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver holding a full UK licence. Data collected between March 2019 and March 2020, accurate as of April 2020
Why is car insurance more expensive for teenagers?
Teenagers are part of a group insurers refer to as ‘high-risk’, meaning that they’re more likely to be involved in a road accident, therefore have a higher chance of making a claim on their policy. There is truth in this too – 47% of road accidents involving drivers aged 17-19 resulted in casualties, higher than any other age group.*
*According to UK government data found in the 2018 Road Casualties Report and collected in September 2019, accurate as of March 2020
How can teenagers get cheaper car insurance?
Being a teenage driver does mean paying more than the average for car insurance, but there are ways of reducing your premiums.
How does telematics lower car insurance premiums?
One of those ways is by using telematics to prove yourself as a safe and sensible driver to your insurance company. This is done using one of three types of technology that allows your insurer to monitor your driving habits:
- A black box: Black boxes are the traditional telematics hardware – your insurer will install one of these devices into your car, usually under the dashboard, which uses GPS to track your driving
- A plug-and-drive device: Plug-and-drive devices work in a similar way, however these can be plugged and unplugged via your car’s charging port or cigarette lighter
- An app on your phone: You might also be able to download an app on your smartphone, which will also use GPS to monitor your driving without having to install any hardware
They’ll track things about your driving like your speed, breaking and how you take corners – and the better you drive, the less you’ll have to pay for cover in the future.
How does my car choice lower car insurance premiums?
As you would expect, more powerful cars that can go at higher speeds are more dangerous to drive – especially in the hands of inexperienced drivers. Insurers therefore place cars into different categories, known as insurance groups, and cars from lower groups are generally seen as safer – therefore cheaper to insure.
According to MoneySuperMarket data, the cheapest cars to insure for drivers aged 17-19 were:
- Volkswagen Up! – costing on average of £1,215 a year
- Citroen C1 – costing an average of £1,235 a year
- Fiat 599 – costing an average of £1,270 a year*
* Based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver aged 17-19 holding a full UK licence. Data collected between March 2019 and March 2020, accurate as of April 2020
How does adding a named driver lower car insurance premiums?
Teenage drivers can benefit from having an older and more experienced motorist on their insurance policy as a named driver – such as a parent or guardian. This is because the presence of another driver who isn’t ‘high risk’ acts as a reassurance for your insurer that you won’t be solely responsible for the vehicle.
As such insurers generally offer reduced premiums – over the last year, drivers aged 17-19 paid an average of £1,782 a year for cover if they were the only driver on the policy. However for those who named another driver on their policy the average cost was £1,220 – over £500-a-year cheaper.*
*Based on fully comprehensive policies with the main driver aged 17-19 holding a full UK licence. Data collected between March 2019 and March 2020, accurate as of April 2020
What is fronting?
As a result of the benefits outlined above, a practice known as fronting has developed. This is when an experienced driver takes out a policy and name themselves as the main driver, usually naming their child as an additional driver, in order to get cheaper premiums. In reality, their child would be doing most of the driving.
This is illegal and could lead to a court hearing and a criminal record – and it will definitely void your car insurance and any claims you make.
Aside from the above, you might also consider:
- Driving fewer miles: Quite simply, the less time you spend on the road the lower the chances are you’ll be involved in an accident. If you can give a lower estimate of your mileage when taking out cover, you’ll likely save a few quid
- Taking out pay-as-you-go or short-term cover: If you don’t intend to be driving year-round, an annual policy might not be the best option for you. Consider short-term car insurance for stretches of one to 30 days, or think about pay-as-you-go cover – you’ll be charged a flat rate while your car is parked, and another rate for the miles you drive
- Keeping the car safe and secure: Installing security precautions like alarms and immobilisers can prevent theft, as can keeping your car in a locked garage – or at least a driveway, as both options are better than keeping it on the street and will likely earn you a discount on your premiums
- Paying more excess: Excess payments are what you make when you want to make a claim. Volunteering a higher excess fee tells insurers you won’t bother making any small or frivolous claims – the extra money you would have to pay acts as a deterrent
- Paying annually: While making monthly car insurance payments can be a good way to spread the overall cost out, it comes down to you having full access to cover on what essentially amounts to credit. Paying annually earns you a discount as you get the full sum out of the way in one
- Choosing fully comprehensive cover: As mentioned above, fully comprehensive policies are generally cheaper for everyone
Do driving courses help teenagers get cheaper car insurance?
It’s been a common topic of discussion whether driving courses such as PassPlus or IAM will help you get cheaper car insurance – and MoneySuperMarket data has shown that it generally doesn’t. In any case, it will depend on the specific provider you take out.
However, it’s always worth highlighting that these courses will make you a safer and better driver – so you’ll hopefully be less likely to be involved in an accident once you’re on the road. If you’re less likely to claim, your premiums are less likely to go up.
Compare car insurance quotes
Comparing car insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket is a quick and easy way to find affordable cover as a teenage driver. Just tell us about yourself, the cover you need and the car you’re insuring, and we’ll put a list of quotes together from a range of providers on the market.
You’ll be able to compare deals by their overall monthly and annual cost, the level of protection you’ll get, and the excess payment required for making a claim. Once you’ve found the deal you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.
As with any kind of insurance, keep in mind that the cheapest option isn’t always the best or most suitable. We recommend trying to balance cost and cover so you have the best protection in place for the most affordable price.