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Young driver insurance

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What is the best car insurance for young drivers?

Young driver insurance can be pricey, mainly because younger drivers are seen as a higher risk group by insurers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get affordable insurance if you’re a young driver. Here are some ways you could get cheaper car insurance for young drivers:

  • Black box insurance, also known as telematics insurance, is a popular choice for young drivers. It’s usually cheaper than standard car insurance from the off. But a black box device fitted to your car, or an app on your smartphone, measures how well and safely you drive too. If you’re a careful, responsible driver, you could be rewarded with even lower premiums when you renew.
  • Pay as you go insurance sees you pay a basic, relatively low premium, and then a set amount on top for each mile you drive. If you’re a new driver and don’t travel too far, it can be a good way to keep your car insurance costs down.
  • Named driver insurance sees you added to someone else’s policy. This can work out cheaper than taking out your own policy, but beware: you’re only allowed to do this if you’re not the main driver of the vehicle. If you are, but take out named driver insurance anyway, this is known as fronting, which is illegal and could land you with a driving ban.
  • Temporary insurance is great if you’re only driving for short periods, like when you’re home from uni. Temporary policies allow you to cover yourself for anything from 1 hour to 28 days, so can be a good way to keep your insurance costs down if you only drive at certain times of the year – or every now and then.

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How much is car insurance for young drivers?

Young drivers pay the most for car insurance compared to other age groups on average. Our latest car insurance price index shows on average young drivers pay the following1:

17 year olds

£1,454

18 year olds

£1,715

19 year olds

£1,533

1Confused.com Q4 2022 price index data

Why is young driver insurance so expensive?

The main reason young driver insurance is more expensive is because younger drivers are seen as higher risk by insurers – they tend to have a higher claim rate than other age groups.

Young drivers are also generally less experienced and as such are seen as more likely to be involved in an accident. They also won’t have accumulated much, if any, no claims bonus, which can drive their insurance costs up further.

Where they live can also have an impact on what they pay. Young drivers, especially students, are more likely to live in inner city areas than older drivers, where the risk of car theft, accidental damage and vandalism all tend to be higher than in more suburban areas.

How can young drivers get cheaper insurance?

Here are some quick ways to cut the cost of young driver insurance:

Take out a black box policy if you’re a relatively safe driver and can achieve a good driving score, as this could help cut the cost of your car insurance. 

Do a pass plus course to improve your driving skills and become a safer driver as this could help you seem like less or a risk to insurers. 

Get a dash cam as some insurers will offer you lower premiums if you do. Cameras can deter theft and help show who’s at fault in an accident.

Add extra security devices like alarms or trackers to make your car more secure, and therefore less likely to be stolen or broken into.

Pay annually for your insurance, as insurers will usually charge you more if you opt to pay monthly. 

Increase your excess, as the more you choose to pay, the lower your premiums will be. Just be sure it isn’t so high that you can’t afford to claim. 

Compare quotes to make sure you’re not paying above the odds for your young driver insurance. 

Look at comprehensive cover, not just third party, as comprehensive can sometimes works out cheaper than third party cover.

Get a low insurance group car
as the insurance group your car is in affects what you pay, so checking a car’s group before you buy it is a good idea.

Add a named driver, ideally an older, more experienced one, to your policy, as this can sometimes bring your costs down. But make sure they're actually going to be using the car.

What level of cover should young drivers choose?

With temporary and pay as you go car insurance policies for young drivers, you can only get fully comprehensive cover. On black box policies, you might be able to get third party, but you’ll usually only be offered comprehensive.

If you opt for standard car insurance, you can pick whichever cover type you want. Third party used to be seen as the cheaper option, as it provides a lower level of cover, but due to riskier drivers taking it out to save money on their insurance, the cost of third party cover has gone up.

So these days, comprehensive may be younger drivers’ best bet.

Here’s what you get with the three cover levels:

  • Third-party is the minimum amount of cover you legally need to drive. It covers damage to other people’s vehicles and property as well as any injuries they suffer in an accident you’re involved in.
  • Third-party, fire and theft (TPFT) protects your vehicle against damage caused by fire and theft as well as giving you third party cover.
  • Fully comprehensive offers the highest level of protection. You get everything that comes with TPFT, but it also covers you and your car for accidents where you’re at fault. It often works out to be the cheapest option too.

     

What are the cheapest cars to insure as a young driver?

Getting yourself a car that is cheap to insure will help bring down the cost of young driver insurance.

According to our data, some of the cheapest cars for 17-year olds to insure2 include:

  • Toyota Aygo x-trend TSS VVT-i
  • Skoda Citigo Colour Edition MPI 60
  • Volkswagen up! High up! 75
  • Hyundai I10 STYLE (78)
  • Fiat 500s

Cars in higher insurance groups tend to be more expensive to repair or replace.

The insurance group a car is in can be affected by:

  • Performance such as the acceleration and top speed
  • New car price with the more expensive a new car is, the more it costs to replace
  • The cost of replacing car parts if it’s involved in an accident. This is worked out using a standard list of 23 parts that are the most commonly damaged.
  • Security and how secure the car is against theft. The better the manufacturer-fitted security, the higher the chance of the car being placed into a lower insurance group.

If you haven’t already bought your car, take a look at our list of the top 10 cheapest cars to insure in 2021.

2Based on Confused.com data September 2021 - March 2022

How do I compare young driver insurance quotes?

Car insurance can seem confusing, especially when you’re buying it for the first time. However, it doesn’t have to be and with our help you can get a quote for young driver insurance in as little as five minutes.

  • Fill out our quote form. We’ll need to know your name, age, gender, model and make of car, mileage, years of no claims bonus and where you’ll normally keep your car (this will be your address at university if you’re there most).
  • We’ll compare up to 142 car insurance companies to help find the right policy at the right price.
  • We’ll show you a list of quotes to choose from. Here you can view prices monthly or annually and add features such as breakdown or windscreen cover
  • Once you’ve bought car insurance don’t forget to come back and choose a freebie with Confused.com Rewards.

Compare cheap young driver car insurance quotes

What our car insurance expert says

Driving can be pretty expensive when you first start out. The good news is there's plenty of things you can do to help reduce the costs. The quickest and easiest way to save money on car insurance is to shop around. You might want to also look at a black box policy or comparing the levels of cover to see whether a comprehensive policy could be cheaper than third-party or third-party fire and theft.

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

Louise Thomas

Car insurance expert

Need more help?

When will my insurance get cheaper?

There’s a decent chance you’ll see the premiums on your young driver insurance begin to fall when you turn 21, especially if you’ve got a few years of driving experience under your belt and have a no claims bonus.

But as a young driver, you should still expect to pay more for your car insurance than older drivers.

If you drive sensibly and continue to build up your no claims bonus, there’s also the prospect that you’ll see the cost of your car insurance fall again when you turn 25.But it’s worth keeping in mind that if you make a claim on your car insurance or incur penalty points on your license, your premiums are still likely to be higher than for someone the same age as you who has a clean driving history with a no claims bonus.

Other individual factors such as where you live and type of car you drive can also significantly impact how much you pay for your car insurance. See our guide on how car insurance is calculated for more.

Can I drive other cars on my policy?

Driving other cars (DOC) may be included on some comprehensive policies, but young drivers don’t usually get the DOC benefit. Most insurers won’t offer DOC cover to drivers under the age of 25.

Can a dashcam lower young driver car insurance costs?

Some providers offer a discount if you have a dashcam installed in your car. Dashcams provide useful evidence if you’ve had an accident, and some insurers think it makes drivers more careful on the road. When you’re getting a quote, we’ll ask you if you have a dashcam fitted to your car. If you do use one, you can use this question to let us know.

Can I just be added to my parents’ car insurance?

Yes, if you’ll only be driving your parents’ car now and again, you can be added to their insurance as a named driver. This should be significantly cheaper than if you were taking out insurance as the main driver for your own car.

But bear in mind that the main driver has to be the person who spends the most time in the car. So if you use the car more than your parents, but are only insured as a named driver, this is illegal and is known as fronting. The consequences can be severe – voided or cancelled policies, substantial fines, up to six points on your driving licence and a potential driving ban can all follow. So beware.

Can I let a friend drive my car?

Your insurance policy will normally allow you to add a number of named drivers to your policy. If you have a friend or relative that may regularly need to drive your car it’s worth getting them added. For ad hoc use, or in an emergency, short term or temporary insurance can usually be arranged in minutes.

Can I spread the cost of my car insurance?

Car insurance is expensive, and you can arrange to pay it monthly to spread the cost and make it more affordable. However, most insurers charge you interest to do this, boosting your overall cost, so it’s cheaper to pay it in one go if you can.

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