A Guide to Young Driver Car Insurance
What You Need to Know
- Young driver car insurance can be very expensive, especially for men, who now pay, on average, around £4,000 a year for their cover. This makes finding the best deal more important than ever.
- Taking the Pass Plus test can help you enjoy a significant discount on your annual car insurance premiums.
- Ditching a ‘boy racer’ car for an old banger is perhaps the easiest way of keeping your premiums to a minimum.
- Third party cover may be cheaper, but it can deny you the chance to build up a valuable no-claims history.
- Always shop around for the best deal and consider paying your premium in one lump sum in order to keep your costs down.
- Be aware that a number of large insurance firms offer discounts on car insurance for students.
- Don’t be swayed by promises of cash back or other special offers. Always keep a level head and do your sums when shopping around for the best policy for you.
Types of Insurance
There are two main types of policy for you to choose from, each with their own benefits and drawbacks;
As the name suggests, fully comprehensive car insurance covers you in nearly all eventualities, including if you have an accident or become the victim of crime.
Above all, this type of cover will not only pay for the damage done to someone else’s car in an accident, but it will also either cover the cost of your own car or write it off and pay you the market value minus any excess.
This type of cover is generally the most expensive, particularly for young drivers. The differences between different providers could be substantial so it really pays to look around for the best deal.
Third Party Fire and Theft
Alternatively, you could consider going for third party car insurance. This will cover the cost of any damage done to someone else’s vehicle in the event of an accident, as well as cover any injuries sustained by third parties, including your own passengers.
However, this type of policy will not cover the cost of any damage done to your own vehicle, even if it’s sustained through an act of vandalism.
In general, this type of insurance tends to be cheaper than fully comprehensive, making it a popular choice among young drivers.
However, don’t just assume that this will be the case, but instead take the time to do your homework and compare all the options open to you.
All major insurers will offer young drivers policies, though there are also a number of specialist firms focusing solely on this area of the market.
Whether their expertise means they are able to offer cheaper premiums is another matter however, so it’s well worth shopping around for the best price.
Meanwhile, other major firms that offer specially-tailored policies for young drivers alongside their standard range of products include Swinton, Swift Cover and Co-Operative Insurance.
Student Car Insurance
As well as specialist policies for young drivers in general, several insurers also offer discounted policies for students aged between 18 and 21.
Endsleigh, for instance, allows registered students to take advantage of its Student Bonus Accelerator, thereby allowing them to build up a no-claims discount in just six months.
Similarly, the AA also offers discounts on its policies to full-time, registered students, as does Direct Line.
Once again, however, don’t just assume that these will be the cheapest rates available to you. Instead, always shop around and compare such student policies with mainstream products.
Tips for Reducing policy Costs
Young drivers aged between 17 and 20, and in particular young male drivers, pay far more than any other age group for their car insurance.
Indeed, according to Confused.com, as of autumn 2011, the typical young male driver pays £4,006 a year for insurance.
On a more positive note, however, there are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce the cost of your cover;
Take the Pass Plus test
This is an optional, additional qualification that you can take once you have your full licence, with the emphasis placed on being safe and sensible on the road.
According to the Independent, just by taking and passing this test you can reduce your premiums by as much as 35 per cent.
AA, Churchill, Direct Line, Endsleigh and Swinton are among the big insurers that offer discounts to drivers who have successfully completed Pass Plus.
Forget the Flash Car
One of the quickest ways of ramping up your premiums is by souping up your car. Indeed, even a set of alloy wheels could send your premium soaring.
Instead, the surest way of keeping insurance costs to a minimum is simply forgetting all about a flash set of wheels and opting for an older car with a smaller engine instead.
It may not be as cool, but it’s certainly makes more financial sense.
Shop Around for the Best Deal
One other quick and easy way of saving money on insurance is shopping around for the best deal.
So don’t just go with the same insurer your parents or friends are with.
Instead, make use of online insurance comparison sites or get in touch with various insurers directly for a quote.
Compare them on a like-for-like basis and don’t be afraid to move from one insurer to another in order to enjoy the best price.
Note that the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has found that the typical UK motorist can save around 30 per cent on the cost of their premium simply through shopping around. Who has the best deal for you will depend on your individual circumstances, but we believe that the Co-operative’s young driver’s insurance will be a good option for many young people.
Build up your No-Claims History
Putting your name on your parents’ insurance policy is undoubtedly a good way of saving money.
However, by having your own car and an insurance policy with just your name on it, you’ll be able to start building up your no-claims history, allowing you to benefit from steadily-cheaper cover.
Pay in One Lump Sum
Most insurers will offer discounts to customers able to pay their annual premium in one lump sum rather than spreading the cost over 12 months.
While this may be unfeasible for many people, with the average cost of a year’s insurance several thousand pounds, this can be a good way of saving some serious money.
- Learn more about Pass Plus on the DirectGov site.
- Been caught speeding? You may be able to avoid points and a hike in your premiums by taking a speed awareness course.
- A well kept second hand car will be cheaper to ensure than a brand new motor with a large engine. Read our guide to buying a used car and land yourself a bargain.