Young Drivers: Your Guide to Car Insurance

As a young or new driver, getting on the road is a rite of passage. The freedom and independence of getting your first car…

As a young or new driver, getting on the road is a rite of passage. The freedom and independence of getting your first car and being able to go wherever you want is unequalled. However, the one element that causes contention for new drivers is always their car insurance.

You may wonder how to get cheaper car insurance for new drivers, and this is what we will look at in this guide, but we also look a bit more into what makes up your car insurance quote and why car insurance can be so expensive for young or new drivers.

How Are Car Insurance Rates Calculated?

When looking at how to get cheaper car insurance for new drivers, you first need to understand how your premium is worked out and why these costs run so high for young drivers.

Car insurance is calculated based on the risks presented by having a driver on the road. There are many factors that come together to represent the total risk, these include:

  • Your car’s group rating
    Every car falls into a specific group which influences the cost of your insurance. Which group your car falls in to depends on a number of elements like how much it is worth, how much it would cost to repair it and the availability of replacement parts, performance and security, among others
  • The age and value of your vehicle
    Cars that are worth more will be more expensive to insure, and the older the vehicle the lower the premium, generally. Young drivers will often have a cheaper car as their first run-around, which should have a positive influence on their premium, although every car is different
  • How you drive
    Of course, the way you drive has an enormous influence on the price of your car insurance. When looking at how to get cheaper car insurance for new drivers, investing in a black box which tracks the safety of your driving might be beneficial – we will look at black boxes in more detail later
  • How you intend to use your car
    If you plan on using your car to commute to and from work or university, you will fall into the ‘social, domestic, pleasure and commuting’ category, whereas if you just use it for driving around between friends’ and family’s houses, you will likely pay less for your insurance as this type of driving presents few risks
  • Where you live
    It may seem strange, but the area in which you live actually makes a difference to your insurance premium. This is one thing to consider when you look how to get cheaper car insurance for new drivers, although it may be something you cannot initially change at first. For example, living in a busy city centre (as you may do for university or college) will make your premium more expensive as there are many risks associated with these busy roads. However, country towns and surrounding roads are quieter so therefore present less of a risk. Levels of car crime in your area will also affect the price
  • How you secure your car
    If your car is stored in a locked garage at night, or is covered and on a driveway, you will probably pay less as you are taking steps to ensure your car is secure from theft. You can also install an immobiliser and other anti-theft devices to help bring down the price of your car insurance.

 

 

What Makes Young & New Drivers Insurance So Expensive?

Learning how to get cheaper car insurance for new drivers is all well and good, but essentially it will all boil down to the statistics, and unfortunately the drivers before you haven’t always been so careful.

Statistics show that young drivers – those below the age of 25 – are immensely more likely to be involved in an accident, and this has been reflected in the general cost of their premiums. Research from the AA shows that one in eight drivers on UK roads is under 25 and a quarter of 18-24 years olds have an accident within their first two years on the road.

Another reason why new or younger drivers end up paying more is that they just don’t have the driving experience to build up their no claims bonus, which is eminently useful older drivers in order to reduce their premium.

 

Young woman with new driving license

How to Get Cheaper Car Insurance for New Drivers

There are a few things you can do as a young driver to reduce the cost of your premium. From thinking hard about the type of car you want to drive to how secure the it is, you should look into all the possibilities before you buy that all-important first set of wheels.

Choose the Right Car

There are 50 car groups – yes, 50! – but don’t panic, as you are likely to be looking into the lower end of the scale for your first car. Group 1 cars are the cheapest to insure and they get progressively more expensive. The group your car is in is decided by factors such as how quick the car accelerates, how valuable it is, how much parts costs and how quick it would be to repair in the event of an accident, and the car’s security features.

Although you will probably want the best car you can have, your first car should be one that is safe and easy to drive. That way, you can build up your no claims bonus whilst paying less for your insurance and then upgrade your car at a later date.

 

Add a Second Driver to Your Policy

Another way to influence a cheaper price for your car insurance is to add a more experienced person as a second driver to your policy. Your broker will be reassured that you as a new driver will not be the only one taking the car on the road so the chances of having an accident are lessened.

You may think you could save even more by naming the experienced driver as the main driver of the vehicle on the policy, but this is against the law and will therefore invalidate your policy. Be honest with your broker about who is driving the car most frequently.

 

Get a Black Box for Your Vehicle

Black boxes, which fall under the umbrella of telematics, are boxes that can be installed in cars to record a driver’s performance and safety on the road. It will monitor how you drive as well as the times you are most frequently on the road, with this information being able to be fed back to your insurer. From speed to mileage to braking, many aspects of your driving can be monitored, meaning that if you drive safely and in accordance with road laws, you may be able to get a reduced premium.

Some statistics show that young drivers could save over £1000 on your insurance premium with telematics installed, so it is definitely worth looking in to when purchasing your first car.

Young people on road trip

 

Think About What Level of Cover You Need

As with any car insurance in the UK, there are various levels of cover. It may be tempting to go for the lowest level in the hopes that it will be cheaper, but you may find a comprehensive policy gives you more peace of mind. The three levels of cover are:

  • Third party only
    This covers you for claims made against you by a third party if you cause a collision. The cost of repairing the other person’s car will be covered, but you will be expected to pay for repairs to your own car
  • Third party, fire & theft
    This type of cover is the next step up from third party only insurance and covers the cost of repairs to the other person’s car as well as covering the costs of repairs to your own vehicle in the event of fire damage or theft
  • Fully comprehensive
    Fully comprehensive car insurance will cover a large number of elements and can be tailored to include specific features. However, this will be much more expensive than the lowest levels of cover, so you need to think hard about whether it is worth spending this amount.

You should not pay for cover you don’t need, especially as a new driver. Think about levels of crime in your area and whether there is a high chance of theft or vandalism – if not, you probably will not need third party, fire and theft or fully comprehensive. Remember, you can always change your level of cover at a later date.

As a young driver, or someone who has just recently passed their test, getting on the road can make you feel both independent and nervous. As long as you stick to the rules and drive safely, you will enjoy your time on the road and hopefully a nice amount on your car insurance!