Car Insurance for New Drivers
There’s no escaping car insurance and unfortunately, new drivers will have trouble escaping high premiums.
Our quick guide will give you the lowdown on why this is, and how to keep your premium down where possible.
Continuous Insurance Enforcement
In an effort to truly clamp down on uninsured drivers, the government recently introduced legislation known as Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE). This means that unless your vehicle is officially declared as being kept off the road by means of a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice), you are legally obliged to have it insured.
The penalties for driving an uninsured car are can be severe, involving prosecution, hefty fines, and in some cases the seizure and destruction of your vehicle.
Just why is it so expensive for new drivers to get insured?
Insurers tend to view new or young drivers as relatively high risk and, stereotypes of boy racers aside, this view is based on very real statistics:
- - A third of all of the fatalities on the road are caused by drivers aged 17 to 25.
- - A fifth of all new drivers will have some kind of crash within a year of passing their test.
These stats are impossible to ignore when calculating risk and so as a new driver, you are almost guaranteed to be paying costs that would otherwise be considered over the odds for your car insurance. But all is not lost; there are ways to reduce premiums by, for example, opting for a black box insurance contract.
Black Box Insurance
In the last few years, insurers have begun giving drivers the option of installing a ‘black box’ in their vehicle as part of the insurance program which can help to keep premiums down.
The black box is a device that records various aspects of the driver’s performance ranging from adherence to speed limits to braking and cornering data. What this does is allows the insurer to form an accurate profile of the particular driver and working out the statistical likelihood of said driver being involved in an accident.
This then allows them to offer lower premiums than those based on national statistical averages and so, if you are confident in your ability to drive carefully and sensibly, black box (or telematics) insurance can be a smart option to shave some money off your premium.
Some black box insurance policies work on a price-per-mile basis, charging based on how long you spend on the road, with prices varying based on the time of day, and miles being awarded or deducted for careful or risky driving respectively.
Isn’t it cheaper to insure female drivers?
A third statistic that, until very recently, influenced insurers’ premium costs is the rather shocking fact that:
- - 92% of all driving convictions in the UK apply to men
Until 2012, this meant that female drivers would invariably have to pay less than their male counterparts to insure their vehicle, allowing them to escape the highest premiums inflicted upon the statistically high risk group of young males.
However, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) introduced new legislation in 2012 in an effort to promote equality that forbade insurers from taking into account the gender of the driver when working out premiums.
Since the ECJ’s policy change, new female drivers can now expect the same high costs as new male drivers, making black box policies look like a good option for confident and careful female drivers to offset the lack of difference.
It must be frustrating for new drivers, after spending a lot of time and money on learning to drive, passing a test and buying a car, to have to then fork out vast sums on insurance, but all is not lost. While a 21 year old who has just passed his test will have to pay more than a 40 year old who’s been driving for decades; there are still ways for new drivers to get relatively cheap insurance policies.
Black box or telematics insurance is a big one, and is becoming an ever more popular option for new drivers. And of course, performance monitoring technology also has the added bonus of actually making the roads safer, as well as making insurance premiums cheaper for those who use them.
Keeping mileage down generally is a good idea since, fairly straightforwardly, less time spent on the road means less of a chance of being in an accident. This will, over time, be reflected in your premium.
As a general rule, the best deals for cheap car insurance can be found online. New drivers should be sure to shop around, and use comparison services like ours to find the best deals.
So, new drivers, do not despair, head over to our comparison page and compare both black box and conventional insurance policies so that you can be excited about finally getting out on the road rather than distraught about the costs.