As a young driver, you can expect to pay more for your car insurance than an older, more experienced driver. But this doesn’t mean that you have to fork out to pay for sky high premiums.
Our guide will help you out by telling you why exactly your insurance is as expensive as it is, and how to make sure you don’t end up paying over the odds so you can get out on the road as quickly and cheaply as possible.
Why is car insurance more expensive for young drivers?
Insurance providers calculate the premiums they offer based on the risk of the policy holder making a claim. Unfortunately for younger drivers, the statistics are not in their favour here.
Drivers aged between 17 and 25 are responsible for a third of all of the fatalities on the road in the UK. Add to this the fact that a fifth of all drivers have some kind of accident within a year of passing their test and you have an unfortunate recipe for expensive insurance.
Additionally, as a young driver, particularly if you are under 20 years old, you won’t have had much time to build up a no claims discount which, for those who can, is one of the best ways to keep costs down when it comes to car insurance.
Named driver insurance
One great way to get cheap car insurance premiums is to either become a named driver on someone else’s (like a parent) policy, or to add an older, more experienced driver (again, like a parent) to yours. This has the added benefit of splitting the cost and reducing the cost of the premiums for each driver.
You can legally become a named driver on an insurance policy if you are sharing a car and use it less than the ‘main driver’.
You must be careful though, to not lie about this, and to not claim that you are simply a named driver if you are, in fact, the main user of the vehicle. This is known as ‘fronting’ and is tantamount to insurance fraud. If you are caught out fronting, you will likely invalidate any claim you make and will more than likely find that any policy you try and take out in the future will be even more expensive as a result.
Black box insurance
Another money saving option that is popular among young drivers is what is known as ‘black box’ or telematics insurance.
These policies are based around the installation of a small tracking device in your vehicle. This device measures and records various aspects of your driving, including adherence to the speed limit, mileage and braking and cornering data.
This allows the insurer to put together an accurate and tailored profile of the policy holder and to then work out the cost of the insurance on this basis, rather on the basis of nationwide statistics that show young drivers to be, on the whole, reckless and dangerous.
So, if you back yourself to drive carefully and responsibly, then by having a black box installed and proving this, you can expect to sever the costs of your premiums.
Car choice and security
Saving on your insurance starts right away with your choice of car. Insurers place cars into one of 50 categories based on things like power and engine size. Cars in group one will be the cheapest to insure. Indeed some insurers will actually refuse to cover young drivers who own a car in the highest categories as they view it as simply too risky.
Keeping your car demonstrably safe and secure is also crucial if you want to cut down on your premiums. Keeping your car in an off-road garage, for example, is a great way to do this, as is investing in anti-theft devices like steering wheel locks.
Is insurance cheaper for young female drivers?
Until recently, women could have expected a better deal when it comes to insurance. This is because, statistically, they are far less likely to be involved in an accident than male drivers. Indeed 97% of all of those facing motoring convictions in the UK are male.
However, legislation recently introduced by the European Court of Justice as part of their gender equality drive had outlawed the calculation of premiums based on the gender of the policy holder.
Unfortunately, rather than insurance for males now being cheaper, this means that young female drivers insurance now costs more than it ever did in the past. But these costs needn’t be prohibitively high, by taking the above steps, and by shopping around online, you can make sure you get cheap car insurance as a young driver, male or female.
Continuous insurance enforcement
There is no way of getting around car insurance. It is a legal requirement that is now, since the introduction of Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) – a new initiative from the DVLA and the government.
CIE means that the DVLA’s means of tracking down uninsured drivers are now more thorough than ever, and that the penalties are severe – ranging from a £100 fine all the way up to a £1,000 fine, vehicle seizure and destruction and six points on your license which, for young drivers, means a lengthy ban.
Reducing your cost as a young driver
If you follow all of the above steps and, above all, drive carefully and keep mileage down, you can dramatically reduce the costs of your insurance as a young driver.
But by far the best way to guarantee that you get the best cover at the best price available is to use a young driver’s car insurance comparison service like ours. We’ll make sure that you find the exact kind of policy you’re looking for at a price that you can handle, so that you can maintain the excitement you had as soon as you passed your test.
Frequently asked questions
How much does it cost to add a learner driver to your insurance?
Learner driver insurance, usually called provisional insurance, offers cover to a learner driver in an already insured car. The price varies depending on the duration of cover, as well as variables like the engine size and age of the car. Provisional insurance cover can last for a day, a month or even a year. For this reason, it's best to shop around and find the best deals depending on how often the learner will be using the car. Provisional insurance needs to be taken out in addition to a pre-existing policy, as it will only cover the learner driver in the event of a claim.
Does a young driver need to have fully comprehensive insurance?
No, the only legal requirement is that drivers have a minimum of third-party insurance on their car. However fully comprehensive insurance can be very useful for young drivers, who are at a greater risk of being in an accident. Drivers aged 17-19 make up only 1.5% of motorists on UK roads, but are involved in 9% of accidents.
In some cases, fully comprehensive insurance isn't even much more expensive, and if you're very lucky, it can be cheaper! This is because more high-risk drivers buy third party insurance, pushing the price of those policies up. Do your research and be sure to use our car insurance comparison tool to check if comprehensive insurance is a good option for you.
Is car insurance cheaper with a provisional licence?
Provisional insurance can sometimes be cheaper than your first insurance policy as a qualified driver. While this seems confusing, it makes sense for the insurance companies, as provisional drivers must always have a more experienced driver in the car with them. Once a young person has their full licence, they are able to drive alone and therefore the chance they have of making a claim rises sharply.
What is the best car insurance group for young drivers?
Cars are ranked into insurance groups, from 1-50, based on a number of factors that determine how desirable they are to insure for an insurer. Cars that are cheap to repair and with less powerful engines are generally very desirable for insurers as they will likely be in less accidents, and any claims that are made on them will cost less to settle. Insurance group 1 is the most desirable, and therefore the cheapest group to insure. The lower the insurance group a car fits into, the cheaper it will be for a young driver to insure.
What is the best car insurance for under 25s?
Depending on how comprehensive a policy a young driver needs, different insurers will offer various deals. Once you've decided whether you need fully comprehensive insurance, or you'd just like third party cover, and considered whether you'll require any add-ons like breakdown cover or windscreen repair, the easiest way to calculate the best deal is to use our car insurance comparison tool. You can easily tweak your search to explore different levels of cover and additional features.
What is the best car for a first-time driver?
While choosing your first car is a matter of taste, something that most of us spend a long time pondering over, there are a few factors to keep in mind relating to insuring your first car. It's good to choose a car that falls into a low insurance group - the closer to insurance group 1, the better. This will keep your insurance quotes as low as possible. Additionally, choosing a car with a high safety rating offers peace of mind that the most stressful thing you'll have to do in case of an accident is lodge an insurance claim.