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.
Why is car insurance so expensive for young drivers?
The main reason young driver insurance is more expensive is because this age group 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. Younger 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.
Premiums on car insurance normally begin to fall after the age of 21, especially after a few years of driving experience and with a no claims bonus.
Driving sensibly and building up a no claims bonus normally sees the cost of car insurance fall again at 25 and over. But if there are any claims or penalty points incurred, then premiums are still likely to be higher than for someone the same age who has a clean driving history with a no claims bonus.
How to make car insurance cheaper for young drivers
Here are some helpful ways to cut the cost of car 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 of 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 such as alarms or trackers to make your car more secure, and therefore less likely to be stolen or broken into.
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.
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.
Pay annually for your insurance. All insurers will charge you interest to pay monthly, boosting your overall cost, so it’s cheaper to pay it in one go for the year if you can.
Need more help?
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 I just be added to my parents’ car insurance?
Yes, if you’ll be driving your parents’ car only 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 insured only 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.
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