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New driver car insurance

Written by Jafar Hassan, Content editor

20 September 2018

Car insurance for new drivers often runs into thousands of pounds – find out why and how you can save money on new driver insurance

Cheap car insurance for new drivers

How much does it cost to insure a new driver?

When a car insurance company decides how much to charge a motorist, they will first work out how likely it is they will have to pay out and how much they might have to spend on a claim. They work out how much of a risk you are.

With no driving history, insurers have a tough job assessing the future reliability of a new driver.

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Why is new driver car insurance so expensive?

All drivers have got safer in the past few years, and younger drivers have shown the most improvement but young drivers remain more likely to be involved in accidents than drivers over the age of 25 and more likely to cause injuries to third-parties

  • figures from the Department for Transport in 2018 show that around one in five new drivers are involved in a crash during their first year on the road

  • young drivers between 17 and 24 are three times more likely than drivers from any other age group to injure somebody in a car accident 

  • young drivers tend to have accidents with other young people in the car. Government figures also show that just over half, or 51%, of accidents involving drivers aged 17-19 caused injuries. This compares with 41% of accidents when drivers were aged 60-69

  • injured passengers are third parties your insurer must compensate for their injuries, any resulting disabilities and loss of income or additional living costs. Life-changing injuries cost insurers more the younger the injured person is because the victim must be compensated for the rest of their life. 

This is why new drivers are considered more risky and pay more for car insurance than older and more experienced drivers.

How much do new drivers pay for car insurance?

Car insurance for young drivers will nearly always be more expensive than for any other age groups.

The cost of car insurance for 21-year-olds fell 7% to £118 per month during the first few months 2020 but it is still not cheap:

  • 21-year-olds pay £1,525, on average per year

  • 18-year-olds pay the most, an average of £2,134 per year for car insurance

Can I get cheaper new driver insurance?

Car insurance for young drivers will nearly always be more expensive, but there are things you can do to minimise the cost of your premiums.

Choice of car

Each car is assigned an insurance group number from one to 50, with one being the cheapest to insure and 50 the most expensive. Driving a car in a low insurance group is the easiest way to reduce your premiums.

Adding a driver

You can add a second, low-risk driver to lower the costs of your car insurance. A lot of younger drivers include their parents. An older relative cannot pretend to be the main driver – this is illegal and known as ‘fronting’.

Being a named driver 

You can be a named driver on another person’s insurance policy and build up a no-claims bonus. 

Search multi-car insurance policies.

Multi insurance might also be suitable:

  • if you own more than one car

  • if you’re a family with more than one driver

  • if you’re a couple with more than one vehicle 

Not owning a car

You don’t need to own a car to get car insurance. Unlike a full car insurance policy you won’t build up a no claims bonus but it does mean you can drive someone else’s car, as long as you have their permission. If you are only planning on borrowing a car you can also compare quotes for short-term or temporary car insurance

Driving fewer miles

The fewer miles you drive, the lower your insurance premiums will be. When you apply for car insurance you will be asked how many miles expect to drive each year. The fewer miles you drive the less risk, so the cheaper your insurance will be

Shop around

When you start looking for car insurance make sure you shop around for cheaper new driver car insurance.

Compare new driver car insurance and find your cheapest deal

Pay upfront

You can also save on car insurance premiums by paying for 12 months’ insurance all at once. 

Remember that if you pay in monthly instalments you will have to pay interest on top of your monthly premiums. 

Pay a voluntary excess

Paying a higher voluntary excess, the amount you have to pay when you make a claim, can reduce the cost of your car insurance premiums.

Remember that you will end up paying more yourself if you need to make a claim. Make sure the total cost of the compulsory and voluntary excess is something you can afford.

Make it simple

Unnecessary insurance add-ons can also increase the amount you pay. Breakdown cover is a good example. While you may need it, you may find it cheaper to buy it separately.

Being a safer driver

Not getting into accidents means you will start to build up a no-claims discount, driving down premiums. Driving safely also means you avoid getting points on your licence, which can make insurance more expensive

Take an advanced driving course

Taking an advanced driving course can reduce the cost of your car insurance. Not all insurers will give you a better deal. You can take an advanced driving course or look into the Pass Plus scheme. 

You can find out about  advanced driving courses and Pass Plus on the Gov.uk website.

Can black box car insurance help new drivers?

Black box or telematics insurance involve fitting a device to your car. This device allows the car insurer to monitor driving behaviour. For example acceleration, braking, cornering, miles covered and also what time of day you are driving.

The price of your insurance then goes down if you can prove you are a good, safe driver. 

However bad driving can result in your premiums going up and your insurance could even be cancelled.

Check up on your insurer

Your insurer must be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA).

Check if your insurer is authorised by the FCA.

It is also important to read the policy before you buy. It’s the only way to know you’re covered.

Get a car insurance quote

See a range of car insurance quotes in just a few minutes when you compare with Uswitch