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Young driver insurance: how to find the best deal

Car insurance for young drivers is notoriously expensive, so if you’re a new driver under the age of 25, our guide will help you find ways to cut the cost of insuring your first car.

Finding the best car insurance for new drivers and younger drivers

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When you're a young driver you're likely to pay a higher premium for your car insurance, than more experienced motorists even if your vehicle is small and inexpensive. 

This is because first-time drivers are more likely to have accidents and make more frequent and pricier claims.

How can young drivers get cheaper insurance?

Shopping around for car insurance is without doubt the best way to approach getting covered. Just because someone recommends a certain provider doesn’t mean you’ll receive the same good deal. For this reason, it makes sense to get a wide range of car insurance quotes.

The good news is young drivers’ car insurance has been revolutionised by the phasing in of telematics or black box insurance, which use GPS technology to track your driving. 

Telematics has made young person car insurance more affordable at a time when premiums for drivers in general have been rising rapidly.

How do insurers set premiums for drivers under 25?

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. 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. 

Telematics account for 20% of the cheapest quotes. However, take-up is still low in the older age groups.

Why is young drivers’ car insurance so expensive?

Young drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than drivers over the age of 25, and the resulting claims are more expensive.

These drivers often travel with other young people in the car with them. If passengers, or anyone else for that matter, are injured or killed as a result of an accident, the insured’s policy provider must pay up 

As a life-changing injury for a young person will cost your insurer a lot more than the same injury for an older person, the insurer has to pay out enough money to care for the injured person for the rest of their lives. 

Young drivers have more accidents

AA research reveals that nearly 40% of young drivers have been involved in a crash by the time they turn 23. 

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:

What about older new drivers?

It's not just young drivers who are faced with sky-high premiums. Insurers set premiums on experience, which means older novice drivers will also pay more than any of their peers who have been around the block a few times.

How to find the best car insurance for young drivers

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

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 to save money on your car insurance — modifications are known to increase premiums by hundreds of pounds. 

The reason is simple, modifications make a car more attractive to thieves, and unfortunately to vandals. Many young drivers want their cars to stand out, but unfortunately, standing out from the crowd is not a good idea if you want to keep the cost of your insurance down.

Increase your excess

Choosing to pay a higher voluntary excess — the amount you pay upfront if you make a claim – could significantly lower the cost of young driver insurance. However, always run quotes with voluntary insurance included and excluded, just to see what difference it makes.

Always remember that policies tend to come with a compulsory excess, and any voluntary excess will be on top of this total, so think carefully about whether you could afford to pay that lump sum if you end up needing to make a claim. 

Don’t assume third party cover is cheapest

There are three levels of car insurance

  • third party car insurance, which covers losses incurred by other people involved in an accident you cause. This includes injuries to other drivers, pedestrians and passenger and damage to other cars and property

  • third party fire and theft insurance (TPFT), covers the above, plus losses to the insured’s vehicle as a result of fire or theft

  • comprehensive insurance provides blanket cover, protecting other vehicles, property and people as well as the driver and their insured car.

Strange as it may seem, comprehensive can be cheaper than third party insurance. This is because experienced drivers tend to opt for fully comp, while younger drivers – thinking basic cover will be cheaper – pick third party, and they are the ones who make larger claims.

It therefore pays to compare quotes with different levels of cover before you buy. 

Add an experienced second driver to the policy

Adding an experienced, named driver age 25 plus 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, which is pretending another person is the main driver. Policies must be in the name of the main driver of the vehicle, otherwise you are committing fraud, a criminal offence that at the very lease would see any claim you make rejected.

Pay for your car insurance annually

It’s always cheaper to pay for the whole year in advance rather than paying monthly, if you can afford to. This way you’ll avoid the monthly interest charges, which can make quite a difference to the overall bill.

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. 

Consider black box insurance

Another option to consider is telematics or black box insurance. A telematics box will be installed in your car (or an app installed on your phone) that can monitor how and when you drive by using GPS technology

The device measures factors like speed, mileage and braking and paints a picture of how safe a driver you are. If you are a steady motorist, stick well within the speed limits and don’t break too hard, you may be able to get cheaper car 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. Others restrict driving at night or during rush hours, which are notorious time for accidents.

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 your young person’s car insurance premiums may be lower. If you must park on the road, choose a well-lit area to deter thieves.

Get a car insurance quote

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