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Car insurance for high risk drivers

Last updated: 18/07/2024 | Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Car insurance can be expensive, and you may automatically fall in a high risk category and by default be faced with costly premiums.

We break down what drivers and vehicles are considered high risk, and give you some top tips to still find the best deal on the market.

In This Guide:

What is high risk car insurance?

High risk car insurance is a specific, pricier premium given by insurers that reflects the level of risk you represent to them. This is based on statistics and a number of factors such as your age, driving record and occupation, which we’ll go into more detail on below.

Who are considered high risk drivers?

High risk drivers are those who insurers deem are more likely to make a claim – whether you have done so in the past or not. You may be considered high risk if any of the following apply to you:

  • You only recently passed your driving test
  • You’re under 25
  • You live in a high-traffic, densely-populated area, one that is more prone to accidents occurring
  • You live in an area with increased rates of car thefts
  • You’ve made a claim previously – the more recent, the likelier it is your quote will be higher
  • You’ve been involved in an accident before
  • You’ve received multiple points on your licence
  • You’ve previously had your licence revoked
  • You have motoring or criminal offences
  • Your occupation is considered to be high risk, whether this is due to being a shift worker or spending more time on the road in your profession

What convictions make me a high risk driver?

Convictions will often automatically place you in the high risk bracket, depending on the severity. Why? To an insurer, it’s the proof in the pudding: you’ve been higher risk before, and therefore are more likely to again.

Some of the most common convictions are speeding offences, which range from minor to major in terms of the points obtained on your licence. For your first offence, you can take a speeding course which can negate the points, meaning this won’t affect your premium; more significant offences will stay on your licence, and you’ll need to declare them when looking for a quote. Using a mobile phone while driving is another conviction, as is not stopping after an accident.

You’ll also be deemed high risk if you’re found to be driving without insurance or under the influence of alcohol or drugs – these are the more serious offences that can lead to your licence being revoked. In this event, you may even find you need to get specialised convicted drivers insurance.

If you have any of the convictions listed above, you’ll likely face significantly higher car insurance premiums.

Is my car high risk to insure?

It can be. You may have a perfect driving record consisting of no convictions or claims along with years of experience. But while that’s a great springboard to cheap car insurance, your choice of vehicle will impact the price you ultimately pay.

For argument’s sake (and forgive our extremes here!) compare a run-of-the-mill, reliable hatchback with a brand new, imported sports car. If damaged due to accident or fire, or stolen by sticky-fingered thieves, which one is going to be more likely to repair, or more of a target for car theft? Essentially, you need to weigh up the cost of your vehicle by considering how much it would cost your insurer to pay out should you claim.

To opt for a lower risk car, avoid the following:

  • Powerful models: Opt for smaller engines instead.
  • Making modifications: whether this is to increase speed or improve aesthetics, it’ll tend to increase your premiums.
  • Unique cars: Including rare imports and vintage cars.

How can I become less of a high risk driver?

There are a number of ways you can actively become a lower risk driver.

  • Drive a cheaper car: Cars are categorised by insurance groups ranging from 1 to 50, based on many of the variables listed above, with 1 being the lowest. To keep insurance costs to a minimum, opt for a cheaper, reliable and less powerful model in these lower insurance groups.
  • Take an advanced driving course: If you’ve got a conviction or just want to improve your risk score, consider taking an advanced driving course to increase your experience – ones like Pass Plus are beneficial especially if you’ve only recently passed your test.
  • Consider telematics insurance: Also known as black box insurance, this is a device fitted to your vehicle which records your driving habits, the data then proving to insurers whether you’re lower risk.
  • Secure your vehicle: Adding measures such as immobilisers and car alarms are a cost-effective way to reduce the risk of your car being stolen, as is storing it in a secure garage.
  • Be careful how you drive: This one goes without saying, but the lowest risk driver is one that follows the rules of the Highway Code and drives responsibly.

How to find cheaper insurance for high risk drivers

Along with our tips above, heed the following to reduce your quote:

  • Pay upfront: Paying for your premium upfront – typically for an annual term – as opposed to monthly instalments is cheaper overall.
  • Choose a higher excess: Weigh up how much you’d be willing to pay yourself in the event of a claim, as often a higher voluntary excess decreases your quote.
  • Watch out for optional extras: They’re appear tempting with the additional cover they offer, but not all of them are worth it.
  • Look at multi-policy discounts: If you have multiple vehicles in your household, a multi-policy can insure all drivers under one policy, often at a better rate.
  • Change providers annually: When it comes to insurance, loyalty doesn’t pay. You’ll almost always get a better deal by comparing the market and switching to a new provider. And how do you know what’s on offer…?
  • Shop around for deals: Insurance is a bit like finding the best pizza in Italy – you’ve got to research and compare the market to find the best deal. Use a tool like ours to view a wide range of cheap insurance deals from a huge range of providers to find the one that’s right for you.

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