Our guide to finding cheap car insurance for young drivers can help you find the right cover
Young drivers in the UK are statistically more likely to have an accident and make a claim, often sending their car insurance costs sky high
Getting cheap insurance for young drivers in the UK can feel like an impossible task, but there’s plenty you can do to help keep costs down.
From picking the right car to increasing your excess, our tips go back to basics so that you can consider a wide range of insurers, not just those that offer telematics or pay-as-you drive insurance.
Read our nine top tips to help you find the cheapest car insurance for young drivers.
1. Pick a cheap car to insure
When looking for your first car, the cost of car insurance is often a big factor in the buying process. All cars on the market belong to one of 50 different car insurance groups – the cheapest car to insure for new drivers can be found in groups one to five. This is particularly important for young male or female drivers with fast cars, which are typically more expensive.
2. Steer clear of car modifications
Car modifications, such as alloy wheels and bodykits, often appeal to young drivers wanting to personalise simple-looking hatchbacks or medium-sized cars. However, avoid them if you want cheap car insurance for young drivers – modifications are known to increase premiums by hundreds of pounds. Again, this is the sort of thing that young drivers with fast cars, or those who want a fast car, should be aware of. If you are absolutely determined to modify your car, consider if you would be happy to replace the modified parts with cheaper ones, otherwise the costs of the premiums could be much higher.
3. Get an extra driving qualification
The Pass Plus scheme is a training course aimed at helping new drivers become more adept on the road. It takes around six hours to complete and, while not all insurers officially recognise the scheme, big names such as the AA, Churchill and Endsleigh offer discounts to drivers who have passed it. It is available to anyone, including those with points.
If there ever was a way to get the cheapest car insurance for young drivers, then the Pass Plus scheme is perhaps the simplest of them all.
After you pass your test, sign up for the Pass Plus lessons immediately with your driving instructor – if they are qualified to offer it – so you can get it out of the way and start looking for cheaper car insurance sooner.
4. Pay per year, not per month
With the average car insurance premium well over £900, it can be tempting for young drivers to stagger payments rather than shelling out for the cover all in one go. It’s usually much cheaper to pay for the whole year in advance rather than paying monthly, if you can afford to. You’ll avoid the monthly interest charges and could save a substantial amount.
5. Consider increasing your excess
Choosing to pay a higher voluntary excess – the amount you’d have to pay up front if you made a claim – can significantly reduce the cost of your car insurance. However, make sure you’re able to afford to pay the excess if you do have an accident – young drivers with little money could struggle to stump up £500 or more after a crash. Furthermore, statistically speaking, young drivers are more likely to make a claim within the first year of driving, so beware that you could end up forking out the higher voluntary excess early on.
6. Think about the level of cover you need
Comprehensive car cover is normally the most expensive type of car insurance – it covers both your car and other vehicles if you have an accident. Third-party cover – the most basic level of cover – covers claims against you if you’re involved in an accident and injure someone. It also covers the cost of repairing or replacing the other person’s car, but not your own. Assess how often you plan to drive, what you can afford to cover, and what type of superficial car damage you might be prepared to live with.
7. …but don’t assume third-party is the cheapest insurance for young drivers
It pays to compare quotes with different levels of cover before you buy. According to the Association of British Insurers, the average third-party, fire and theft premium is more expensive than comprehensive cover because it’s often chosen by younger drivers with a tendency to make larger claims.
Bear this in mind before you compare car insurance for young drivers. Also, don’t search for cheap car insurance for the price alone. You still need to assess what type of cover it is you need. Sacrificing quality of cover over the price could end up costing you more in the long term.
8. Add a named driver, but beware of ‘fronting’
You can reduce car insurance costs by adding an extra named driver to the insurance policy – especially if they’re older and more experienced on the road, regardless of whether they are male or female, although you should avoid those with points. Putting the policy in a parent’s name, with the young driver as a named driver when they’re actually the main driver – known as ‘fronting’ – is illegal and can result in insurers rejecting claims.
9. Increase security and limit risk
Adding extra car security features, such as an alarm or immobiliser, can often help you get cheaper cover. Car insurance can be cheaper still if you park your car in a garage or driveway overnight rather than leaving it on the street as insurers see this as a further way of minimising risk.