Getting started

First time car insurance - the lowdown

After weeks, months or even years of lessons, you're now ready to hit the road as a new driver without the supervision of anyone else. As daunting or exciting as that might be, buying your first car insurance policy could be more of a minefield if you haven't had any experience with it before.

Typically there are 3 different types of car insurance to choose from:

  • Third party only (TPO) - only covers you against damage to other people, cars & property
  • Third party fire and theft (TPF&T) - same as TPO, but also covers your car if it's in a fire, or stolen
  • Comprehensive - same as TPO & TPF&T but also covers your car against damage it sustains in an accident
A common misconception is that a comprehensive policy could cover your car from general wear and tear (i.e. a head gasket going, or the clutch etc.). This isn't true, it's there to cover your car against damage in the event of an accident, whether that's a small or major accident.

Estimate your annual mileage

Approx. daily miles Approx. weekly miles Approx. annual miles
3 21 2,000
6 42 3,000
9 63 4,000
11 77 5,000
14 98 6,000
17 119 7,000
20 140 8,000
22 154 9,000
25 175 10,000
28 196 11,000
31 217 12,000
33 231 13,000
36 252 14,000
39 273 15,000
42 294 16,000
44 308 17,000
47 329 18,000
50 350 19,000
53 371 20,000

How do I know which is the right policy for me?

This is where it really comes down to you. If you have a budget for the policy, you'll need to make sure whether you pick comprehensive or third party fire & theft, that you're still able to afford it.

Here's some of our tips to think about when buying car insurance:
  • If you decide to break up the payments by paying monthly on direct debit, this could end up costing you over 30% extra as some insurance companies offer a cheaper one-off payment option rather than paying interest on installments.
  • Adding additional drivers on to your policy isn't necessarily cheaper, and really you should only add on drivers who will be driving the car and need to be insured.
  • Keep your mileage accurate - try to estimate how many miles you think you'll actually do. Take into consideration how far college/uni/work is, and how many miles you'll cover visiting friends & family etc.
If you'd like to know how car insurance is calculated, we've written a handy guide to explain it all.

Compare with

When it comes to car insurance, it used to be that the only way to compare quotes was to phone around insurance companies and get individual quotes, or go to a broker who'd compare maybe 10 different companies. Now, thanks to the internet and price comparison sites like ours, it's easier than ever.

Simply tell us your car and driver details once and we'll compare up to 130 different car insurance companies to bring you our best prices. We order them by price, with the cheapest first and show you if they include extras like legal cover & breakdown cover.
  • 9 out of 10 customers would recommend us to a friend*
  • We were the first UK insurance price comparison site
* Research conducted by Out of 945 respondents, 97.88% said they would recommend to a friend (July - October 2014).

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