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Why is young drivers’ insurance so expensive?
Basically, car insurance premiums are sort of like betting. The insurance company work out how likely you are to have an accident and how much it would cost them if you claimed. Based on that information, they charge you an annual premium which, if you’re a young driver, can be eye-wateringly high.
Young drivers’ premiums cost so much more than those of older drivers because they are statistically far more likely to have an accident. Don’t believe it? Look at these figures:
- 1 in 5 new drivers are involved in a crash during their first year on the road.
- Male drivers aged under 21 are 10 times more likely to have a car accident than male drivers aged over 35.
- In 2007, 40% of the passengers who were killed or seriously injured in a car accident were being driven by a young driver.
Taking all this into account, it’s understandable that the insurance premiums for first cars can easily cost more than the vehicle itself. However, is it possible for young drivers to ever get a truly cheap deal on car insurance? The short answer is no, not really, but you can make your first premium more manageable by following these simple rules:
Pick your car carefully
Insurers categorise cars by grouping them together into insurance groups. As a general rule, the higher the insurance group, the higher your premium will be. Some smaller engined Ford Fiestas and Vauxhall Corsas are group 1 vehicles, making them among the cheapest to insure for young drivers.
Cars like old Minis and Beetles can be some of the cheapest cars to insure. Get classic car quotes through an owners’ club for the best prices, but be aware that classic car insurance sometimes has different rules to standard policies.
Secure your vehicle
If at all possible, keep your car in a garage or off the street. Also make sure that a Thatcham-approved alarm and/or immobiliser is fitted. If not, have one professionally installed.
Do not modify
Bodykits, massive exhausts and insane sound systems might be appealing to some people, but they’ll drive the cost of your insurance through the roof. Leave your car as standard; it looks better and it’ll save you money.
Try comparison sites, the insurers who choose not to appear on comparison sites and specialist young drivers’ insurers. Once you’ve got a good range of quotes, don’t be shy about playing the cheapest two or three companies off against each other to save a few pounds.
Add a named driver
It doesn’t always have much impact on the final premium, but you could save a few pounds by adding an experienced older driver to your policy.
Reduce your mileage
If you’ll only be to driving to and from college and visiting friends who live reasonably nearby, make sure that that’s reflected in your insurance applications. The more mileage the insurer expects you to do, the more your premium will cost.
Increase your excess
The more excess you’re willing to pay, the cheaper your policy should be.
Many insurers offer a discount for policies bought online.
Be open to new things
Many insurers are now offering policies where a "black box" is installed in your car, allowing them to tailor your cover to your exact needs. It might seem strange to be tracked by your insurer, but if it could save you money surely it’s worth a try?
Finding a good deal on young drivers’ car insurance can be a time-consuming process, stick with it to get the best possible prices.