When you consider the fact that insurance companies base the premiums they charge on how much of a risk they believe a person – and the vehicle they drive – to be, there’s little wonder that those who are yet to pass their driving test won’t find cover is cheap. There is obviously a far higher likelihood of an inexperienced driver being involved in an accident so insurers will need to cover themselves by charging more. This might seem unfair to ultra-careful new drivers, but you can at least understand the logic.
Getting the basics right
We have already established that cover is never going to be that cheap but a lot will depend on your choice of car. Avoid hot, sporty little numbers with huge engines as these will be extremely expensive – if not virtually impossible – to insure. Opt for a car with a relatively small engine and no modifications as this will get you access to the lowest possible insurance premiums on the market. A relatively basic car without rapid acceleration will also be an ideal learner vehicle until you get confidence behind the wheel.
Choosing your level of cover
There are three levels of cover – and which you choose depends on your budget. All will offer various extras, such as breakdown cover and legal protection, so it’s important to be aware of what these are and whether they are likely to be of benefit to you.
At its most basic is third-party only cover which protects you against claims made by other people following an accident, including your liability for injury to others. Third-party, fire and theft, meanwhile, provides that same level of cover but also protects your vehicle against fire damage and theft. Finally you have comprehensive cover. This includes all the elements of protection already discussed as well as accidental damage cover for your own car.
Add a named driver to your policy
When you are learning to drive you will need someone over the age of 21 with at least three years’ driving experience sitting alongside you at all times, so why not turn this to your advantage and add them to your policy?
Insurance companies are reassured by the thought of an experienced driver being involved – either as an additional or main driver – and are willing to give a discount on policies where they believe that to be the case. Also note that second hand car insurance may also be an option.
Not only will you have the comfort of knowing the person you choose will be insured to take over behind the wheel should something happen when you’re out together, you will also be able to start building up your no-claims discount which will help cut future insurance costs.
Alternatively, you can learn to drive in someone else’s car. For this you will need to be added as a named driver on that car owner’s insurance. However, this is an affordable option and taking out provisional insurance will enable you to start learning your car craft without having to buy your own set of wheels.
Other ways of cutting the costs
Having a provisional licence means you’re unlikely to spend every day travelling across the country so it might be worth agreeing to limit your mileage. This obviously cuts the cost as the less time you are on the road the less likely you are to have an accident. You can also install various safety devices such as immobilisers, wheel locks and tracking systems. Keeping your car in a secure location overnight – or at least on the driveway – can also help reduce the premium you will be charged.
Finally, you need to be sensible behind the wheel. Speeding tickets and other motoring convictions can have a very detrimental effect on the cost of your insurance so take it easy drive with a light foot, and hopefully you won’t be seeing blue flashing lights in your mirror.