Each year almost half a million people aged between 17-25 pass their driving test, meaning that the number of drivers in this age bracket looking for car insurance is vast. Young drivers are also one of the riskiest to insure from insurers’ perspective, with a quarter crashing in the first two years of getting their license. The increased risk means that anyone that falls into the young driver age bracket will face a premium price to insure their cars.
‘Young drivers’ are classified as anyone up to 25 with either a provisional or full license. Young drivers make up around 15% of the people driving in the UK. Even if you pass your test at 17 and have eight years of experience, you will still, unfortunately, be faced with higher costs to insure your vehicle than those outside of the bracket.
The average price of car insurance for young drivers is around £1200, according to the British Insurance Premium Index as of 2016, which is between 2-3 times that of an older driver. There are ways to help reduce this cost, though.
Types of insurance for young drivers
There are three main types of insurance for young drivers, which are the same for drivers of any age:
The most basic form of interest available, third party insurance, is the minimum level of insurance you need to drive in the UK legally. Third-party insurance covers damages done to another person or their property in the case of an incident. Any damages done to yourself or your vehicle are not covered in this policy. Third-party insurance is the cheapest cover that you can purchase and comes with the most risk that you will have to pay out of your pocket in the case of an incident.
Third-party, fire and theft
The next level of insurance covers everything that third party insurance does and includes incidents involving fire or if your vehicle is stolen. Any incidents that damage your outside of fire or theft are not covered with this level of insurance.
Comprehensive insurance provides the highest level of cover and is also the most expensive. Everything covered in the third party, fire, and theft is covered with fully comprehensive insurance, with the addition of any damage to your car in the case of an accident.
As well as your age and the type of cover you select, several other factors will impact your insurance cost. The kind of car that you drive can significantly increase insurance value, and a vehicle with a larger engine or that is older can have a massive impact. Also, where the car is parked, how many miles the car has done will change the cost of the quotes you offer.
A common strategy to lower the insurance cost for younger drivers is to add driver to the policy. While this is fine to do, you must be careful that the additional driver is not using the car more than the primary driver. For example, suppose a young driver is added as an additional driver on a family car but is found to be driving it more than the primary driver. In that case, you could be punished for ‘fronting.’ If this is found to be the case, your insurance could be invalidated.
Black box insurance
Black box insurance can be controversial for people that do not fully understand how it works but can be a safe and simple way to lower your insurance premiums as a young driver. A black box is installed near the dashboard of a vehicle and can use an internal GPS and motion detection to provide feedback on how safely the car is being driven. By agreeing to a black box as a part of your insurance, you can prove that you are a safe driver, and this evidence is used to lower your insurance cost.
If you have a black box, you will be able to check the data provided and understand areas flagged as ‘dangerous.’ The average speed you are driving and how you handle corners are both factors that may be classified as dangerous. Through checking your reports, you can change your driving to ensure that it is safe. Good driving is rewarded, and you can reduce your annual insurance payments faster than if you did not have this data.
Some parents may also get some peace of mind having a black box installed as they will also check how their children are driving. Having a black box installed can also be useful in the case of an accident, as the data it tracks can help prove that an accident was not the driver’s fault.
Search for cheaper insurance
One of the simplest ways to reduce your costs as a young driver is through comparing car insurance quotes on Money Expert. The first time you look for insurance, check all providers to find the best offer for your need. Car insurance is a competitive market, and some providers will be willing to offer discounted rates to convince drivers to take their policy over others. It is also a good idea to check the offers available each year when your insurance’s renew date is close. Each year you do not claim on your insurance will build a no-claims bonus, lowering the amount you will need to pay. Many people assume that this will mean that the insurance policy will continue to be the cheapest, but this is not necessarily the case. Take the time each year to shop around for a more affordable deal, and if you find one, call your existing provider and see if they will match the cost. If not, then you can choose not to renew your current policy and choose the cheaper option.
Choosing insurance as a young driver can be difficult, but you should get a more affordable deal by using some of these tips. Shopping around and doing research will be one of the best ways to get a better deal so take your time when looking for a provider.