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Drivers fail to check insurance cost before buying car

Young man and woman in a carThousands of young drivers are being priced off the roads because of their failure to check insurance costs before buying a car, new research shows.

Almost a third of people who described themselves as boy or girl racers said they had had to keep their vehicles off the road because of difficulties buying car insurance.

This is according to exclusive research carried out by

Are you a boy or girl racer?

Boy and girl racers were established based on answers to questions about how fast they drove, how loud they played music when driving, and whether they had made modifications to their cars.

One in seven of these drivers said they did not think they would be able to afford any form of car insurance, having received only exorbitantly priced quotes for cover.

But many more said they were having trouble getting insurance at all after being turned down by at least one provider.

20% bought cars without checking insurance cost

More than 20 per cent of those questioned said they had bought their car before realising they would face significant difficulties in getting it insured.

More than a third admitted they would be likely to buy a car without putting insurance in place in advance.

But this approach puts drivers at risk of falling foul of the law.

Since 2011, it has been an offence to own an uninsured vehicle, even if it is never driven and kept on a driveway or in a garage.

Exceptions can only be made if it is registered with the DVLA as being permanently off the road, known as a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).

Offenders can be hit with fixed-penalty notices of £100, or court fines of up to £1,000.

Risk of having an uninsured car

In extreme cases, persistent offenders can have their vehicles towed away and destroyed.

As such, it makes sense for anyone about to buy a car to make sure insurance is in place as soon as the sale goes through.

But the survey found that a significant proportion of car buyers were failing to check the cost of cover before they completed their purchases.

Joby Russell, insurance expert at, says: "High car insurance prices are an issue that is rife among boy and girl racers, young and old.

"However, what our findings also show is that there is a wider trend amongst motorists in general, who are impulse-buying cars without checking out insurance first.

"This is leaving them exposed to potential premiums that they can't afford, or even not being offered insurance at all."

20% of driver say cost of insurance 'not a priority'

The study found that less than 20 per cent of motorists said the potential cost of insurance was a high priority when buying a new car.

To coincide with the research, has launched a campaign aimed at helping young drivers find affordable car cover. 

If you're shopping around for a motor you can get a car insurance quote in seconds using QuickQuote.

QuickQuote QuickQuote aims to put an end to motorists buying a car only to find that they can't afford the cost of insuring it. 

The campaign is fronted by former MC Romeo of garage music collective So Solid Crew, who had a hit with the song 21 Seconds in 2001.

The "21 Seconds" campaign highlights the fact that using's QuickQuote service, motorists can get an insurance quote in as little as 21 seconds.

Russell adds: "The campaign aims to redress the balance and get the nation adequately covered rather than having to leave their cars gathering dust at the kerbside." 

Used before? Get a car insurance quote in seconds!Get a QuickQuote

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Chris Torney

Chris Torney

Chris is the former personal finance editor at the Daily Express. He's been a journalist for more than 10 years and contributes to a wide range of finance and business titles.Read more from Chris

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