Car insurance for new drivers

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Car insurance for new drivers – what you need to know

As a new driver, you'll need to sort your car insurance before you hit the road. If you’re caught driving without insurance you can get 6 points on your licence, along with a fine. As a new driver, getting 6 points in your first 24 months since passing your test is enough to get your licence revoked.

There are three main types of cover to choose from:

Third-party only, this is the minimum level of cover available and only covers other party’s against damage or injury. It doesn’t cover damage to your own car or any injuries you might suffer following an accident.

Third-party, fire and theft offers the same as above but does allow you to make a claim if your car is damaged or stolen. It also covers fire damage.

Fully comprehensive cover is the top level of cover available for your car. With comprehensive cover, you can claim for damages even if you’re at fault.

How much is car insurance for new drivers?

The average cost of car insurance for new drivers is £2,896*. It’s no surprise that prices tend to be higher for those with little driving experience. This is because insurers base prices on risk.

Unfortunately, statistics show 1 in 5 new drivers crash within a year of passing their test. Lack of experience and over-confidence can contribute to accidents. 

Insurers don’t just look at driving experience though, they’ll also look at things like your age, postcode, occupation and the car you drive.

Getting a quote is the easiest way to find out how much your first policy is going to cost you.

*Average cost of top 5 policy prices for comprehensive insurance with licence held for less than a year. From Oct 2020 to Jan 2021.

How to get cheaper car insurance as a new driver

There are a few things you can do that could help you pay less for your car insurance:

1. Choose the right car. The make and model of your car will play a big part in the cost of your insurance. Expensive cars that can be pricey to repair and come with bigger engines generally cost more to insure than cars where parts are easier to come by and the engine is smaller.

2. Shop around, it’s an obvious one but comparing quotes from a range of companies gives you more choice and range of policies to choose from.

3. Add a named driver. Having an experienced driver on your policy may help reduce your price. You should always list the person who drives the car most often as the main driver, and any occasional drivers as additional. Otherwise this is seen as 'fronting' which is illegal.

4. Pay upfront if you can afford to. Paying your policy in one lump sum you can save money on interest rates. While opting to pay monthly means you can spread the cost, it can increase your price by up to 15% (based on data December 2020 - January 2021).

5. Build up your no-claims bonus. Building up your no-claims bonus can help save you money as most insurers offer a discount the more years you are claim free. 

6. Consider a black box policy. Telematics, or black box policies are aimed at inexperienced drivers. They can help make policies more affordable.

See our guide for more tips on how to save money on your car insurance.

What type of insurance is cheapest for new drivers?

It’s a common misconception that comprehensive car insurance is the most expensive option. Our research shows that new drivers actually paid less for comprehensive insurance compared with those who selected third party cover.

Type of cover Average price**
Comprehensive £2,059.90
Third party fire & theft £2,506.24
Third party £4,517.29

**New drivers data calculated using the average cost of top 5 insurance policies for people who’ve held their license for a year. From Oct 2020 - Jan 2021.

What you need to compare car insurance quotes

Getting a quote is easy and takes just a few minutes. To get an accurate price you'll need:

Personal details:

  • Your occupation, age, address.
  • Your driving licence number. This isn’t essential but some insurers may reduce prices if you provide it. 
  • Details of any additional drivers you want to add to your policy. 

Car details:

  • Registration number, if you know it. If you don’t, you can choose the make and model of your car.
  • Any modifications to your car. Things like tinted windows, spoilers and alloy wheels.
  • Estimated annual mileage. The average annual mileage is around 8,0001.

Once you enter your details, we’ll compare 120 car insurance companies to help find the right policy for you. You can filter prices by monthly or annually payments, and you can also add policy extras, also know as add-ons if you need extra cover.

If you’re interested in a black-box policy look out for policies labelled as ‘black box policy’. When you read through the more info section of the policy, it’ll tell you what type of black box policy it is, so whether it uses an app, or a device fitted to your car. 

1Based on data from 2020.

Car insurance add ons

Extras or ‘add ons’ can hike up the price of your policy, so make sure you only choose the cover you need. Optional extras include things like:

  • Windscreen cover pays for repair or replacement of your windscreen if it’s damaged in an accident.
  • Motor legal protection helps you to recover certain uninsured losses that aren’t covered as standard by your car insurance policy, if you’re involved in a road accident that wasn’t your fault.
  • Personal accident cover offers extra cover against injury and/or death caused by an accident. It’s also sometimes known as personal accident cover.
  • Courtesy cars can keep you on the road while your car gets repaired after an accident.
  • Breakdown cover offers assistance if your car has mechanical failure. It can help you get back on the road as soon as possible. Find out more about car insurance extras.

What our expert says:

“As a new driver, getting your first insurance policy can be expensive. But there are ways to keep your costs down. You could try a black box insurance policy, start off with a smaller or less powerful car or even just compare quotes to find a cheaper deal.”
Alex Kindred car insurance product manager signature
Alex Kindred, Car insurance Product Manager

Need more help?

Which cars are the cheapest to insure for new drivers?

Generally, the lower car insurance group your car is in, the cheaper your insurance will be.

The Skoda Yeti, Dacia duster and Mazda CX-5 are among the cheapest cars to insure in 2021.

If you haven’t bought your car yet, take a look at our guide for the full list of cheapest cars to insure.

When does car insurance go down for new drivers?

Our research shows that prices begin to decrease the longer you hold your licence. That’s because the more driving experience you have, the less risk you are for an insurer.

Years licence held Average cost1
0 £2896.29
2 £1713.87
3 £1424.09

(1) Data calculated using the average cost of top 5 insurance policies for comprehensive cover. From Oct 2020 - Jan 2021.

What is NCB?

A no-claims bonus (NCB) is a count of the number of years where you’ve not made a claim on your car insurance policy.

As a new driver, you won’t yet have any NCB, but you can start building one from the start of your first policy.

Insurers only accept each full year of insurance without a claim, so if you cancel a policy part way through the year, you won’t earn a bonus for that period. Proof of a no-claims bonus is usually only valid for two years, so if you take a break from driving and don’t use your bonus on a policy within two years, you’ll go back to 0 next time you take out a policy.

The discount offered by insurers can be significant in reducing the price of your insurance.

Will an advanced driving course help make my insurance cheaper?

Few insurers offer up-front discounts for taking advanced driving courses such as pass plus. It's worth letting us know if you have an advanced driving course when you get a quote - they may offer a discount if you have.

Can I drive other people’s cars on my insurance?

The option to drive other cars (DOC) isn’t always included automatically on your insurance policy. Insurers who do offer DOC will require you to be at least 25 or over when your policy starts. To find out more, take a look at our guide on driving other cars.

How can I work out my annual mileage?

If you know on average how many miles you drive per week, you can get an estimate by multiplying that figure by 52 to get a yearly figure. The average UK driver will clock up around 8,000 miles a year. 

If you’ve had your car for a year or more, you can check the mileage on your last couple of MOT documents, which should give you an idea of how many miles you’ve done.

What is voluntary excess?

This is the amount you'd have to pay if you make a claim. You can set the amount when you get a quote. It’s not always the total amount though because the voluntary excess will be added to any compulsory excess on the policy if you go ahead to make a claim.

Let’s say you have a voluntary excess of £250 and a compulsory excess of £100, that means you’d pay a total excess of £350. When you get a quote, we clearly show the breakdown of excesses on the policy, so be sure to choose an amount that you can afford to pay if you need to make a claim.

Do I have to tell my insurer about an accident if I’m not going to claim?

If you’re involved in an accident and you decide not to make a claim, you still need to tell your insurer. If you don’t keep your insurer updated, it’s possible this could void your insurance policy, so you won’t be able to claim when you really need to.