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Car insurance for 17-year-olds

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Is car insurance for 17-year-old drivers compulsory?

Yes. It’s a legal requirement to be insured before you get behind the wheel of any car, even if you haven’t passed your test and are still on your provisional licence.

If you’re learning to drive with a professional driving instructor in their car, insurance will be included in the cost of your lessons. However, if you have any lessons or practice sessions in someone else’s car, for example your parents’, you’ll need your own insurance. This can be with your own learner driver insurance or as a named driver on the owner’s policy.

As soon as you’ve passed your test you’ll need to tell the insurance company and update your cover.

What level of car insurance cover should I get?

There are three levels of car insurance cover to choose from:

  • Comprehensive car insurance gives you the highest level of protection. It covers damage to your car as well as other people and their property.
  • Third-party, fire and theft (TPFT) protects you against damage caused to someone else’s property, but also includes cover for your car against fire or theft.
  • Third-party only offers the most basic level of protection and it’s the minimum amount of cover legally needed to drive. It insures against any damage you might cause to someone else’s car, but it doesn’t cover damage to your car.

Comprehensive cover can often work out the cheapest of the three but it’s always worth checking the price for each level of cover.

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How much is car insurance for 17-year-olds?

Our latest car insurance price index shows that 17-year-olds are still paying some of the highest prices amongst younger drivers. The report looked at comprehensive insurance prices and found that 17-year-olds pay an average of £1,419**.

Car insurance for 17-year-olds is expensive, which is why it's so important to shop around to find a good deal on insurance.

Explore our price index calculator to see how prices for your region, gender and age have changed.

**Confused.com Q1 2022 price index data

Why is car insurance so expensive for young drivers?

The cost of car insurance for a 17 year old all comes down to risk. Statistically, young drivers are more likely to be involved in a car accident. One in five drivers crash within a year of passing their test and over 1,500 young drivers are killed or seriously injured on UK roads every year1.

A higher risk means younger drivers are more likely to make a claim on their insurance. This plays a huge part in insurers determining your premium price. However, accident statistics and age are not the only factors insurers take into consideration when calculating car insurance prices. They also look at:

  • The car you drive
  • Your job
  • Where you live
  • How you use your car – social, commuting or business use
  • Your voluntary excess
  • How many miles you drive per year
  • Who else is insured to drive your car
  • Your policy type - comprehensive, third-party or third-party fire and theft

Learn more about how car insurance is calculated.

1According to the road safety charity, Brake, 2021.

How can I save money on car insurance for 17-year-olds?

While car insurance is expensive for 17-year-olds, there are things you can do to help shave the pounds off:

  • Shop around for the best deal
  • Add an experienced named driver
  • Take an advanced driving course
  • Limit modifications to your car
  • Build up your no-claims bonus (NCB)
  • Buy a car in a lower insurance group
  • Increase your voluntary excess
  • Be accurate estimating your mileage
  • Pay for your policy in one go.
  • Shop around for the best deal by using our comparison service. We can scour the 132 insurance companies we work with for the best car insurance for you.
  • Adding an experienced named driver to your policy can sometimes help lower your price because it reduces the time you’ll spend behind the wheel. This limits the risk for insurers. You should only add drivers who’ll actually drive the car, otherwise this is seen as ‘fronting’, which is illegal.
  • Taking an advanced driving course such as Pass Plus, is a great way to show your insurance provider you can be safe on the road. This could result in cheaper car insurance.
  • Limit modifications to your car as they can increase insurance costs, especially performance-based modifications. Avoiding or limiting unnecessary changes to your car can help keep costs down. If in doubt, speak to your provider first to make sure your changes are covered.
  • Build up your no-claims bonus (NCB) to get discounts. For every year you don’t make a claim, you’ll build up your NCB, which insurance providers use when considering discounts to your policy.
  • Buy a car in a lower insurance group. The car you drive will affect the price you pay for insurance. Cars are grouped 1 – 50 and generally the higher group your car is in, the more you’ll pay for insurance. Things like the engine size can influence which group a car falls into, so you might want to look at smaller, less powerful cars as an option.
  • Increasing your voluntary excess can reduce your premiums. An excess is the amount of money you pay towards the cost of the claim. You may have a compulsory excess that you must pay to claim and a voluntary excess that you can set. However, you must be confident you would be able to pay the excess, should you need to claim.
  • Be accurate estimating your mileage.  The average yearly mileage is around 6,5002. Consider how much you’ll actually drive your car and what the length of your journeys will be.
  • Pay for your policy in full if you can afford to. Some insurers will let you pay monthly but this can ending up costing up to 15%2 more than if you pay for the policy in one go.

Find out more ways to cut the cost of your insurance.

2Based on Confused.com data January - September 2021

Compare cheap young driver car insurance quotes

What are the cheapest cars to insure for 17-year-olds?

If you’ve not bought a car yet, there are some that are cheaper to insure. We’ve rounded up the cheapest five to insure for 17-year-olds:

Volkswagen UP! Move up!
Fiat 500 S
Ford KA Edge
Ford KA Studio
Citroen C1 Rhythm

3Based on Confused.com data, January - September 2021.

Is black box insurance a good choice for 17-year-olds?

Black box or telematics policies monitor your driving and base your insurance price off how well and when you drive. Black box policies are usually aimed at younger drivers as they’re another way of making car insurance more affordable.

Some policies ask you to fit a small box to your car, while others use an app to monitor driving. This allows the insurer to analyse your driving habits and give you a driving score. Insurers look at things like speed, braking, acceleration, and cornering. It will also monitor your mileage and the time of day you drive.

Insurers then use this information to work out your insurance price. If you drive smoothly and within the speed limit you will be able to demonstrate that you are a safer driver and get lower premiums.

You’ll also get feedback on tips on your driving which can be helpful for new drivers.

Need more help?

Can a 17-year-old pay insurance monthly?

Yes, you can pay for 17-year-old insurance monthly. This can make the payment more manageable, but most insurers will charge you an admin fee or interest for doing this. So, if you can afford to pay it one you go, you’ll pay less.

Can I get added to my mum's or dad’s insurance?

If you’re driving your parents’ car, they can add you as a named driver and this can be a good way of keeping costs down. Or you can get them added to your policy as a named driver. However, your parents need to be aware that if you make a claim, it will affect their no claims bonus.

It’s also important that any named driver on a policy isn’t the main driver of the car. ‘Fronting’ is illegal and could invalidate your policy.

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What our car insurance expert says

Getting your first car insurance policy can be expensive – insurers have no record of how you drive so they might see you as a higher risk. Adding a named driver like a parent or guardian to your policy might help bring down the price – but only add people who do occasionally drive your car.
Alex Kindred signature

Alex Kindred

Car insurance expert

After buying car insurance, 96% of Confused.com customers would recommend us (based on 99372 Reviews.co.uk respondents - as of 08/04/22). Read our reviews