Young drivers in the UK today are statistically more likely to have an accident and make a claim, often sending their already high car insurance costs rocketing.
We have all spent copious amounts of time on the phone and trawling comparison web sites trying to find cheaper car insurance for our children, and indeed for ourselves. Read our top tips below on finding cheaper car insurance for young drivers - there are plenty of things that you can do to help drive costs down. These range from picking the right car to increasing the excess on your policy - so have a read and adopt some of the tips - it may well save you some money!
1. Buy a cheap car to insure
When looking to purchase your first car, the cost of car insurance should be a big factor during the buying process. Cars are split into 50 insurance groups and the cheapest ones to insure for new drivers will be found in the first 5 groups - so take the time to find out which cars are included in these five groups and tailor your car buying to a car found there.
2. Steer clear of car modifications
Car modifications, such as alloy wheels and bodykits, often appeal to young drivers wanting to personalise simple-looking hatchbacks or medium-sized cars. However, its best to avoid them if you are wanting to keep the cost of your young driver insurance down. These modifications can add hundreds of pounds onto the insurance premium.
3. Get an extra driving qualification
The Pass Plus scheme is a training course aimed at helping new drivers become more adept on the road. It takes around six hours to complete and, while not all insurers officially recognise the scheme, big names such as the AA, Churchill and Endsleigh offer discounts to drivers who have passed it. It is available to anyone, including those with points. Check that your driving instructor is qualified to offer this and as soon as you pass your driving test sign up for your Pass Plus Lessons - that way you will be able to use it when you come to insure your first car for the first time.
4. Pay per year, not per month
With the average car insurance premium costing in excess of £900, it can be tempting for young drivers to pay monthly rather than paying upfront. If you are able to make the payment upfront do so as this will save you interest charges - which could be quite significant if the insurance premium is high.
5. Consider increasing your excess
Choosing to pay a higher voluntary excess on top of the compulsory excess you’re quoted can significantly reduce the cost of your car insurance. However, make sure you can actually afford to pay the increased excess in the event of an accident. Statistically speaking, young drivers are more likely to make a claim within the first year of driving, so beware that you could end up forking out the higher voluntary excess during the first year of driving.
6. Think about the level of cover you need
Fully Comprehensive car insurance is typically the most expensive type of car insurance because it covers not only your car but the other car/s involved in the accident if you were found to be at fault. Third-party cover is the most basic level of insurance however this will only cover any claims against you if you’re involved in an accident and injure someone. It also covers the cost of repairing or replacing the other person’s car, it does not your own car so be aware that you will have to pay for any damage to your own car which could become incredibly expensive if things like radiators are damaged etc. When considering which insurance level of cover to take this is indeed an important factor.
7. …but don’t assume third-party is the cheapest insurance for young drivers
It pays to compare quotes with different levels of cover before you commit to buy. According to the Association of British Insurers, the average third-party, fire and theft premium is more expensive than comprehensive cover because it’s often chosen by younger drivers with a tendency to make larger claims. Don't base your purchase on price alone - weigh up all the factors - excess/potential repair bills/what it would mean to you to be without your vehicle in the event of an accident/can you afford to replace it etc as these situations could lead you to be worse off in the long run - always think ahead.
8. Add a named driver, but beware of ‘fronting’
You can reduce car insurance costs by adding an extra named driver to the insurance policy – especially if they’re older and more experienced on the road, regardless of whether they are male or female, although you should avoid those with points. Putting the policy in a parent’s name, with the young driver as a named driver when they’re actually the main driver – known as ‘fronting’ – is illegal and can result in insurers rejecting claims. So be very aware of this - nobody wants to pay for insurance and then have a claim rejected and be faced with expensive repair bills and potential prosecution. You will also find it very difficult to get insurance in the future - so just dont do it!
9. Increase security and limit risk
By installing extra car security features to your car, such as an alarm or immobiliser, can often help you find cheaper cover. If you are able to park your car in a garage or driveway overnight rather than leaving it on the street may also reduce the overall cost of your insurance premium as insurers will see this as a further way of minimising their risk when insuring you and your vehicle.
We hope these tips are useful and happy motoring!