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Finding the best car insurance for new drivers and younger drivers

Finding the best car insurance for new drivers and younger drivers

New drivers' insurance for cars is notoriously expensive – but our guide to cheap insurance for young drivers will help you find ways to cut the cost of insuring your first car.

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When you're a young driver you're likely to have to pay a high premium for your car insurance, even if your vehicle is small and inexpensive. That's because data shows that first time drivers are more likely to have accidents and make claims.

With insurers calculating car insurance premiums based on risk, the cost of young drivers’ insurance and car insurance for young people is often very high.

So even if you're a careful new driver, you're likely to have to pay a great deal more for your insurance than your parents, for example, in order to drive the same make and age of car.

However, young drivers’ car insurance has been revolutionised by the phasing in of telematics – sometimes known as the “black box” within cars. This has made car insurance for young people affordable at a time when premiums for older drivers have been rising rapidly.

If you're looking to find the best insurance for young drivers, or the cheapest car insurance for new drivers at 17 or under 25, then you may need to consider having a telematics device in your car in order to lower your premiums. This is one of the ways to make car insurance cheaper for young drivers.

What do insurance companies take into considerstion?

One of the issues for young drivers is that they have not been behind the wheel for long. So when insurers put together a car insurance quote for a young driver, they have very little personal data with which to assess your risk.

The latest data shows that average premiums for young drivers under the age of 25 costs an average £1,795 for an annual policy (Consumer Intelligence car insurance price index, March 2020).

Although this means that a young person’s car insurance is still pricey, the rate of increase is actually slower than that of insurance for drivers over 25. In fact, the under-25s have seen premiums drop by almost a fifth due primarily to the growth of the telematics industry.

Premiums for the under-25s have risen by less than 1% in the last 12 months. One fifth of the cheapest quotes for young drivers now involve telematics policies, where drivers agree to install technology in their vehicles to monitor their driving skills in a bid to cut premium costs, according to the Consumer Intelligence car insurance price index.

Why is young drivers car insurance so expensive?

The main reason car insurance for young drivers is so expensive is the risk the insurer takes — statistics show that young drivers are far more likely to be involved in accidents than drivers over the age of 25, with insurance premiums calculated to reflect the statistics.

That means that even if you're a careful driver and you don’t drive an expensive or powerful car, your young driver insurance quote is likely to be high.

AA research shows that one in eight British drivers is aged 25 and under, with a quarter of all drivers involved in serious traffic collisions within this age group.

As well as being more likely to have an accident, young and new drivers often have to pay more for their car insurance because they haven’t had the chance to build up a no claims bonus over time.

This makes cheap car insurance for young drivers quite difficult to find, but you can compare insurance policies from different providers for new driver cover using the tool below:

How to find the best cheap car insurance for young drivers

There are a number of things you can do if you’re struggling with the high cost of car insurance for young drivers:

Find the cheapest cars to ensure

Many things can impact the cost of young driver insurance, including the make of the car.

Insurers place cars into individual insurance groups from 1 to 50. Typically, if the car is in group 1 it will be amongst the cheapest to insure and 50 will be the most expensive. While you can’t change your age, you can choose a car which is less expensive to insure in order to cut down on the cost of young driver motor insurance.

Cars are rated on the following factors:

  • How quickly the car accelerates and its top speed
  • The value of the car as new
  • The security features the car has
  • How much it will cost and how long it will take to fix if it is broken
  • How much the individual parts cost

You can learn more about the type of cars, which attract the cheapest insurance premiums by reading our guide to the cheapest cars to insure. You can also make sure you steer clear of modifications which make your car more expensive or powerful. Find out more Nine ways to get cheaper car insurance if you are a young driver.

Steer clear of modifications

Car modifications, such as alloy wheels and body kits, often appeal to young drivers wanting to personalise simple-looking hatchbacks or medium-sized cars.

However, avoid them if you want the best 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.

Increase your excess

Choosing to pay a higher excess — the amount you have to pay up front if you make a claim – could significantly lower the cost of young driver insurance.

However, think realistically about whether you could afford to pay that lump sum if you end up needing to make a claim. The excesses on new and inexperienced driver insurance policies can be several hundred pounds.

This might be a way to lower the insurance cost for young drivers, but could also leave you out of pocket in the event of an accident. According to statstics, young drivers are more likely to make a claim within the first year of driving.

Don't pay for what you don't need

With a number of different types of car insurance policy out there, it pays to get an idea of what level you require. Don’t pay extra for what you don’t need.

The minimum level of cover to legally drive in the UK is third party car insurance. This will cover costs in repairs or injuries to any third party affected by an accident you cause. Any costs to your own car however, will not be covered.

With a third-party car insurance policy you will also not be compensated if your car is stolen or damaged. If you live in an area where theft and vandalism is common then you might want to consider getting third party, fire and theft cover.

As with regular third-party insurance however, third party fire and theft won’t cover any injury costs or repair costs to your vehicle in the event of an accident. To get this level of cover, opt for a fully comprehensive insurance policy.

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 in order to find the best car insurance for a young driver.

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 is 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.

Add an experienced second driver to the policy

Adding an experienced and older named driver to the policy is another effective way to bring down the cost. This way the insurer is reassured that the young person will not be the only one driving the car, which reduces the chances of an accident occurring.

However, be careful of ‘fronting’. The car must be in the name of the main driver of the vehicle, otherwise you are breaking the law and any claims you make will be turned down and your insurance invalidated.

Pay for your car insurance annually

It may not be possible for many young drivers to pay for the cost for car insurance in one go, but if this option is open to you, it's one to consider. You could pay less in total by not paying in monthly instalments.

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.

Consider telematics/Black box insurance

If you're looking for cheap car insurance for 17 year olds because you have just passed your driving test, or you want the best car insurance cover for under 25s, you should seriously consider opting for telematics.

A telematics box will be installed in your car (or an app installed on your phone) that can monitor how and when you drive.

The technology measures factors like speed, mileage and braking and paints a picture of how safe a driver you are. If you are a safe driver and stick well within the speed limits then this could open up many more potential quotes for cheap young driver insurance.

Having a black box fitted is a simple process.

Some black box policies work more like pay-as-you-go mobile phone plans, where you can top up the number of miles you plan to cover.

Make your car secure

Make your car more secure by adding security features such as an alarm and immobiliser. If you can park your car off the street, or even better — in a garage – your young person’s car insurance premiums may be lower.

New drivers insurance

It's not just young drivers that are faced with sky-high premiums, new drivers insurance is similarly expensive. So even if you're older, you may find your premiums will be more expensive, if this is the first time you have arranged car insurance.

New drivers of any age are often cited in statistics that show them being more likely to have an accident than their more experienced counterparts. This often means that new driver insurance is likely to have the high premiums often associated with car insurance for young drivers.

Get a car insurance quote

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

Compare car insurance Set a reminder

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