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New driver insurance

Compare quotes for your first car insurance policy

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1Correct as of March, 2023

Do new drivers need car insurance?

Yes, 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.

What type of car insurance does a new driver need?

There are three options to choose from when you’re getting a quote. The type of cover you need will depend on your own circumstances and how you use your car. The three options are:

  • Third party only
  • Third party, fire and theft
  • Fully comprehensive
  • Third-party only is the minimum level of cover available and only covers other parties 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 third-party, but also allows you to make a claim if your car is damaged or stolen. It also covers fire damage.
  • Fully comprehensive is the top level of cover available for your car. With comprehensive cover, you can claim for damages even if you’re at fault.

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*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (February '23). 51% of car insurance customers could save £407.05
**Single annual policy. Shell Go+ account required. Only one £10 fuel reward can be used per transaction and each can only be used on fuel purchases of £10 or over. HelloFresh 18+ subscription service. Geographical exclusions apply. T&Cs apply

How much is car insurance for new drivers?

The average cost of car insurance for new drivers is £9452.

It’s no surprise that prices tend to be higher for those with little driving experience. This is because insurers base prices on risk.

The price you pay is based on a number of factors - not just the length of time you’ve been driving. It’s a common misconception that comprehensive car insurance is the most expensive level of cover, but our data shows it often works out the cheapest:

Third-party fire & theft

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

2Median purchased annual premium for drivers having held their licence for 5 years or less. Prices based on Confused.com data from Oct 22 - Feb 23.

How to get a cheaper quote on your first car insurance policy

There are some things you can do that could help make your car insurance cheaper, even if you are new to driving or it’s your first time getting an insurance policy.

  • Choose the right car
  • Shop around by comparing prices
  • Add a named driver
  • Pay annually
  • Consider a black box policy
  • Be accurate with your anticipated mileage
  • Increase your voluntary excess.

Choose the right car as the make and model of your car can influence the cost of your insurance. Expensive cars with bigger engines and higher repair costs generally cost more to insure. Cars with widely available parts and smaller engines usually cost less to insure.

Shop around. Comparing quotes from a range of companies gives you more choice and a wider selection of policies to choose from.

Add a named driver as having an experienced driver on your policy may help reduce your price. 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.

Pay upfront if you can afford to. While opting to pay monthly means you can spread the cost, it can increase your price by up to 15% because insurers will charge you interest for the privilege. (Based on Confused.com data Oct 22 - Feb 23)

Drive carefully to build up your no-claims bonus. Over time a no-claims bonus is likely to help save you money. Most insurers will offer discounts for drivers who don’t claim.

Consider a black box policy to monitor your driving. Telematics, or black box policies, use an app or box that’s installed in your car to monitor your driving. Your insurance costs are calculated based on how and when you drive. If you drive safely, it can make car insurance more affordable for new drivers.

Be accurate with your anticipated mileage as the more you drive, the higher your road-risk. Higher mileage usually means higher insurance costs, so don’t put down more than you need.

Consider your voluntary excess. The more you agree to pay, the lower your insurance costs are likely to be. However, you must select an amount you’d be able to afford in the event of a claim.

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

What do I need to get a quote?

It doesn’t take long to compare quotes, there are a few details you’ll need to get started:

Personal details:

  • Your occupation, age and 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 find 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 6,500 miles2.

Once you enter your details, we’ll compare up to 150 car insurance companies to help find the right policy for you. You can filter prices by monthly or annual payments, and you can also add policy extras – also known as add-ons – if you need extra cover. 

2Based on Confused.com data Oct 22 - Feb 23.

Compare cheap new driver car insurance quotes

What extras can I get with my first car insurance policy?

Extras or ‘add-ons’ will all boost the cost of your new driver insurance. This means it's important you only choose the bolt-ons you need.

There’s a range of optional extras you could choose from:

  • Breakdown cover offers assistance if your car has mechanical failure on the road and, sometimes, if your car doesn't start at home. It’s especially useful when you’re out and about, as it can help you avoid being stuck at the side of the road. It can also be useful if you're driving an older car that’s more liable to break down
  • Motor legal protection can help protect you against the legal costs of someone making a claim against you if you’re involved in an accident. It can also help you make a claim if you need to. This could be for things like medical expenses or loss of earnings if you’re injured in a crash.
  • Courtesy car cover provides you with a replacement car while yours is off the road while it’s being repaired or replaced. It can be handy if you reply on your car to get to work or uni.
  • Windscreen cover pays for repair or replacement of your windscreen if it’s damaged in an accident.
  • Personal accident Cover pays out if you suffer a serious injury or die as a result of a car accident. This can be useful if you have loved ones who are financially dependent on you, for example.
  • No claims bonus protection protects your no claims discount if you need to make a claim where you were at fault. It can be handy if you’re trying to build up your NCB to get cheaper car insurance in the future.

Some insurers include these extras as standard, which should be stated in the policy details.

We compare up to 150 trusted insurance companies to get you our cheapest deal in minutes

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Why is car insurance so expensive for new drivers?

New drivers are less experienced on the roads so insurers rate them as higher risk, which increases the price. Insurers will look at a combination of factors when deciding your price. They look at:

  • Your age as older drivers are typically safer drivers. When looking at your driving experience, insurers can look at how long you've been driving as well as your age.
  • Your postcode as higher crime rates in the area you live in can increase your car's risk of theft
  • Your occupation as some jobs require you to drive more than others
  • The car you drive, which will be grouped from 1-50 for insurance purposes. Generally, the higher the car insurance group the more expensive insurance will be.

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 experience you get as a new driver the less risk you are for an insurer. 

As an example, here's what drivers typically paid based on the length of time they'd held their licence:

4 £739.21
5 £692.24

3Data based on average purchased annual premium for a comprehensive policy between Oct 22 - Feb 23.

Is black box insurance good for new drivers?

Black box insurance policies can help lower the cost of new driver insurance, depending on how well you drive.

With black box insurance, various aspects of your driving are monitored, either by an app on your phone, or through a telematics device fitted to your car.

Using this information, your insurance company then gives you a personalised quote based on your driving habits.

By driving safely, keeping your mileage down and avoiding night time driving wherever possible, it's possible to cut the cost of insurance for new drivers.

But, if you are speeding, braking harshly and racking up miles overnight, you may end up paying more.

Things you might be monitored on include:

  • Your acceleration
  • Your braking
  • The speed of your cornering
  • Your mileage
  • The time of day you drive

What our car insurance expert says

Car insurance for new drivers can be expensive. There are things you can try to save yourself some money though. For starters you could try a black box insurance policy, choose to drive a smaller or less powerful car, or even just compare quotes to find a cheaper deal.

Louise Thomas - Car insurance, personal Finance, mortgage and life insurance expert signature

Louise Thomas

Car insurance expert

Need more help?

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.

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 still worth letting us know if you have an advanced driving course when you get a quote just in case.

What is NCB?

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

If this is your first insurance policy, 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 square one next time you take out a policy.

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

What is voluntary excess?

Voluntary excess is an amount you agree to pay towards the cost of a claim. The more you agree to pay the lower your premiums are likely to be. The voluntary excess will be in addition to a compulsory excess which will be specified by your policy.

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.

Is it cheaper for young drivers to drive their parent’s car?

Asking your parents to add you as a named driver to their car, could be cheaper than taking out your own policy on another car.

However, it’s important that if you were using the car more than them, this would be ‘fronting’ which is against the law and could invalidate the policy.

Your parents would also need to be aware that if you needed to make a claim on their insurance, they could lose their no claims discount.

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