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Car insurance for 17-year-olds

Whether you’re 17 or 70, car insurance is a legal requirement - and it works in the same way for everyone. But being caught without it as a teenage driver could land you in serious trouble, and might even see you lose your licence. So make sure you’re fully insured before getting behind the wheel.

Compare quotes with us today and we can help find you a deal that suits your needs. Or read on for everything you need to know about getting cover as a 17-year-old driver.

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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, you’ll need your own insurance if you practice or have any lessons in someone else’s car, like your parents’. This can be with your own learner driver insurance or as a named driver on the car 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 car insurance for 17-year-olds can often work out the cheapest option. But it’s always worth checking the price for each level of cover.

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 among younger drivers. The report found that 17-year-olds pay an average of £1,612* for fully comprehensive car insurance.

As the data shows, car insurance for 17-year-olds can be expensive. This is why it's so important to shop around to find a good deal on insurance for new drivers.

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

*Confused.com Q1 2023 price index data

Why is car insurance so expensive for young drivers?

Car insurance is more expensive for 17-year-old drivers because insurers view young drivers as high-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. As well as this, 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 the price of car insurance for 17 year olds. 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 lower the costs:

  • Shop around
  • 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
  • Estimate your mileage accurately
  • Don't pay for your insurance monthly
  • Shop around for the best deal by using our comparison service. We can scour the 140 insurance companies we work with to find the best value car insurance for 17-year-olds.
  • Adding an experienced named driver can sometimes lower the cost of car insurance for 17-year-olds. Having another driver able to use the car, theoretically, means you'll spend less time behind the wheel, reducing risk for insurers. You can also be added as a named driver to your parents car, but any named driver on a policy must be the main driver of the car, or this will be regarded as ‘fronting’ which is illegal and could invalidate your policy.
  • Taking an advanced driving course , will 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. If in doubt, speak to your provider first.
  • 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 and you could get a discount on your policy.
  • Buy cheap cars for insurance. The car you drive affects the price you pay for insurance. Cars are grouped 1 – 50 and generally the higher the group , the more you’ll pay for insurance. Smaller, less powerful cars tend to be the cheapest cars to insure for 17-year-olds.
  • Increasing your voluntary excess can reduce costs. An excess is the amount of money you pay towards the cost of the claim. However, 17-year-olds need to be confident they could afford to pay their excess in the event of a claim.
  • Estimate your mileage accurately. The average yearly mileage is around 6,5002. Unless you're driving regularly for work, 17-years-olds are likely to have below average mileage.
  • Pay for your policy in full if you can. Some insurers will let you pay monthly but this can ending up costing up to 16%2 more than if you pay annually.

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

2Based on Confused.com data May 2022 - Oct 2022

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

Some cars are cheaper to insure than others. We’ve rounded up the cheapest five to insure for 17-year-olds:

Fiat 500 Pop
Peugeot 107 Urban
Ford KA Zetec
Mini Cooper
Fiat 500 Lounge

3Based on Confused.com data, Nov 2021 - Oct 2022.

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

Black box car insurance for 17 year olds (telematics policies) monitor your driving. They base your insurance price on 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
  • Cornering
  • Mileage
  • 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 can show that you’re a safer driver. This could then result in lower insurance costs.

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

Need more help?

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 at 17 can be expensive. This is because insurers traditionally see new drivers as higher risk. There are ways you can help bring the cost down though. For starters, consider a black box policy just for your first year or two driving while you build some experience. Or if you're on the lookout for your first car, think about choosing one with a less powerful engine in a lower insurance group.

After buying car insurance, 96% of Confused.com customers would recommend us (based on 144469 Reviews.co.uk respondents - as of 31/05/23). Read our reviews