By Daniel Machin
Car insurance premiums for young newly qualified drivers could fall significantly if the Government implemented the Association of British Insurers' Safe Young Driver proposals, according to the insurance industry.
If introduced, it is claimed that premiums could drop by around 15 per cent to 20 per cent - saving young new drivers on the road a substantial amount of money.
But that's not all; the proposals are also aimed at improving young driver safety.
The single biggest cause of accidental death among young people aged 15-24 is road accidents, with 40 per cent of 17-year-old males having an crash in the first six months of driving. Consequently, this is reflected in the cost of young people's car insurance.
To help lower insurance premiums and improve road safety for young motorists, the ABI is calling for a one year minimum learning period for young drivers.
In addition, the trade association wants to see a limit on the number of young passengers in a car with a young driver.
For an initial period after a young driver passes their test, the ABI also recommends restrictions on night time driving and a zero blood alcohol driving limit.
The Government is currently considering the proposals, and Otto Thoresen, the ABI's director general, is adamant that they would have a positive effect if introduced.
"If the Government implemented the ABI's proposals lives would be saved and the cost of car insurance for young drivers could reduce by 15-20 per cent," he said.
"Insurers want to see young drivers become safe drivers which in turn will result in more affordable premiums."
Andrew Parker, partner at legal business DAC Beachcroft, described the proposals as "sensible" but admitted insurers need help if the situation is going to be solved.
"Much of the recent debate on the cost of motor insurance has been about excessive legal costs, but the toll of death and serious injury involving young drivers urgently needs to be tackled," he added.