Car insurance for young drivers

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Why is insurance so expensive for teenage & young drivers?

Young drivers in the UK regularly find that after paying for expensive driving lessons and tests, they're often unable to get competitive quotes for their car insurance. This is because statistically, new and young motorists are much more likely to be involved in an accident, so insurers cover this additional risk with higher prices:

Insurers base their premiums on lots of different factors, and understanding them could help you get cheaper quotes:

  • The car you’re insuring: Its age, engine size, value and average repair cost all contribute to a car's recommended insurance group. These groups contribute towards premiums, with lower groups generally meaning cheaper quotes. You’ll find more information in our guide to car insurance groups.
  • Information about you: Your age; where you live; how long you’ve been driving; whether you have any driving convictions; number of years no-claims bonus you have, and number of claims you've made are just some of the factors insurers will take into account. You’ll find more in our guide to how premiums are calculated.
  • The type of cover you’re looking for: Whether that’s comprehensive, third-party, or third-party, fire and theft, the level of cover you choose will influence price. Comprehensive cover isn't always the most expensive, so check all the options before you buy.
  • The level of excess you’re looking for: Your excess is the amount you agree to pay in the event of a claim, before your insurer begins picking up any costs. It’s important to remember that you should only agree on an excess that you could afford to pay after an accident.

These factors will apply to drivers of all ages. But because this information alone isn’t enough to base a quote on, insurers also have to use statistical data from all of their customers to determine the level of risk.

Industry statistics show higher accident levels among teenage and young drivers (under 25s), which means they’re generally a higher risk to insure.

It’s understood that younger drivers are involved in more accidents as behind the wheel as they’re more likely to take risks. Also with less driving experience - they're less likely to spot potential hazards.

The road-safety charity Brake has compiled some hard facts about young drivers. These include:

  • One in four 18-24 year olds (23%) crash within two years of passing their driving test.
  • Drivers aged 16-19 are more than twice as likely to die in a road crash than drivers aged 40-49.

Are you a student looking for car insurance?

Many students are also younger drivers. Unfortunately, insurance companies tend to see those in the typical undergraduate age bracket as a higher risk, which means their cost of insurance will be higher.

The location of the biggest universities in the UK influences the cost of insurance for its students. As crime and insurance claim rates are often higher in the cities and areas students live, the cost of insurance may be higher than more rural areas.

The table below shows the average comprehensive policy price for a selection of the top universities in the UK. We've only included one central London university from the original list*. It's worth noting that the prices shown below are an average across all age ranges, and not just students.

University* Average Comprehensive Policy Price For City**
University of Oxford £608
University of Cambridge £673
University College of London £1,275
The University of Edinburgh £574
University of Glasgow £690
The University of Manchester £1,115
University of Leeds £865
The University of Warwick  £789
University of Southampton £610
The University of Nottingham £723
Newcastle University £696
The University of York £565
University of Leicester £806 
Durham University £561 
University of Bath  £560 

*Universities have been taken from the 2017 UniRank league table. We've excluded three London universities as all would show the same car insurance premium.
**Confused.com price insurance index Q1 2017

Video: Top tips for getting a cheaper car insurance quote

Rather than waiting a couple of years to build up your no-claims bonus, there are other ways you can reduce the amount you pay for car insurance. Take a look at our list of top tips to cheaper car insurance, or see the video below:

What type of policy should I choose?

It’s a legal requirement to have some form of insurance on your car. But when it comes to picking a policy type, there are a few different options to consider. Cost will vary across the range, as will the level of protection they offer.

  • Learner driver policy: If you’re still on a provisional licence and need to practice driving alongside private lessons, a learner driver policy can provide cover for you while you learn. See our learning to drive page for more information.
  • Fully comprehensive policy: Although this can prove expensive for young and new drivers, it does offer the greatest level of protection and covers you against accidents regardless of fault. For more information, see our guide to fully comprehensive car insurance.
  • Third-party: This is the minimum amount of cover you legally need to drive. It covers you in the event you cause damage to someone else’s property, but doesn't cover repairs, theft or fire damage to your own car. Our guide to third-party insurance provides more information on third-party policies.
  • Third-party, fire and theft (TPFT): As the name suggests, third-party fire and theft is an expanded level of cover that protects you against damage caused to someone else’s property, but also includes cover for your car against fire or theft. For more information, take a look at our TPFT guide.
  • Black box or Telematics policy: Available from selected insurance providers, these policies involve fitting a small device to your car that monitors how well you drive. Once enough data has been captured, it's then used to calculate your insurance premium. These policies are often particularly useful to new and young drivers. To fully understand how telematics works and whether it might be an option for you, take a look at our telematics explained guide
The type of policy you choose may depend on your budget or the car you’re driving. It's worthwhile comparing the price of each policy type as there may be big differences in the cost of one policy type over another.
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