Young drivers car insurance tips
Passing the driving test is a very exciting time, giving you the freedom to drive where and when you want to. Unfortunately, huge expenses can also come with this new found freedom. As a new and young driver, one of the biggest expenses will be your car insurance. There are a few things to consider that can help keep the costs down.
When it comes to buying your first car, consider buying a small engine hatchback. This will save you a small fortune on road tax, car insurance and of course you wont be spending all your money at the petrol pumps. As a new and young driver, car insurance is going to be expensive no matter what, there are however some tips and advice to consider:
- A small engine - as a young driver, having a fast big engine car will prove to be extremely expensive. A smaller engine will cut insurance costs drastically as well as tax and fuel bills.
- Cheaper car - one of the things that insurance companies calculate a policy on it the cost of your car. By not spending too much on your first car will keep car insurance costs down.
- Car modifications - if you modify your car in any way such as changing the wheels to expensive flash ones, this increases the desirability of your car to thieves. Leaving your car at its factory standard will help not to increase your car insurance.
- Adding an older driver - adding an older and more experienced driver to your policy can help to keep the insurance costs down.
- Pass Plus - as a new and young driver, a Pass Plus course will be available to you. As well as providing you with extra driving experience, a completed Pass Plus certificate will enable you to gain up to 30% off your insurance premium.
- Car mileage - the more driving you do, the higher the chance of being involved in an accident. Walking or cycling as much as possible to keep the mileage down. Providing your insurance company with a low mileage will keep your premium lower. Do ensure that you are honest with your estimation however, as in the even of an accident it may prove difficult to claim if you're not honest.
- Insurance excess - young drivers usually under the age of 25 have a compulsory young drivers excess on their insurance policy. A voluntary excess can also be an option. Increasing your voluntary excess can reduce your insurance premium by a significant amount. Remember though, in the event of an accident, you will be required to pay the compulsory and voluntary excess before the insurance company will pay out.
- Car usage - your insurance premium will be higher if you use your car for work. Using public transport and stating to your insurance company that you only use your car for social purposes will reduce your insurance premium.
- Car security - purchasing a car with a good security system such as an alarm and immobiliser will reduce your insurance premium. Fitting one yourself is of course another option.
- Driving offences - keeping your driving licence clean will keep your insurance cost low. Listed below are some useful tips to keep in mind.
- Monthly payments - paying for your car insurance on a monthly basis can make life a little easier. You will however pay interest on this between 13% and 29% APR. Paying your car insurance off in one lump sum will avoid this.
- Insurance coverage - choosing the correct insurance coverage will keep costs low. There are many different types of insurance coverage out there. If for example your car is not worth very much, you could opt for Third Party insurance, or if you do very few miles in your car, you could opt for a Pay As You Drive insurance policy. Choosing the correct insurance policy can make a significant difference to your premium. See our different types of car insurance section for more help.
- Two or more policies - taking out car insurance with the same provider you have home insurance on can save money. Insurance companies can offer discounts to multiple policy clients.
How a young driver can stay safe
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) released a study in 2008 that showed that 18 year old drivers are the most likely to be involved in a road accident.
Each day 50 accidents are caused by 18 year old drivers, which is the highest rate of any age group and three times higher than the number of accidents involving people between 50 and 60 years of age. The ABI also found that young drivers are ten times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in road accidents than those in the 40-50 age range. The safety campaign organisation BRAKE states that young drivers account for 40% of deaths on the roads.
A major reason for these figures is probably that a young driver will be less experienced on the roads than older drivers, making them less likely to anticipate and react to the dangers they face while driving. Of course there are also drivers in this category who sully the reputation of their peers with an approach to driving which can only be called irresponsible. So what lessons can be learned?
The best way to stay safe on the roads is to drive responsibly. Your friends may attempt to pressure you in to potentially risky behaviors such as speeding, attempting risky manoeuvres or driving in a reckless manner and you should avoid giving in to these pressures. Driving in a way you feel comfortable with and observing the laws of the road is important since the laws are there for your own protection. Some things to consider include:
As the slogan goes ‘speed kills’. Excess speed reduces the time you have to recognise and react to unexpected situations so keep your speed sensible.
Don’t cram in passengers
It is illegal and unsafe to drive with more passengers in the car than it was designed for. In the USA there are restrictions in place on the number of car passengers a teenage driver is allowed to carry at the same time, this restriction has resulted in a 37% drop in the number of fatal accidents involving inexperienced drivers.
‘Drive like you own the car, not the road’
Your car is your property and probably one of the most expensive items you own so why place it and yourself at unnecessary risk. Look out for other road users and pedestrians – be responsible.
Stay in control
You can’t control the way the car behind you is driven, so don’t let that car’s driver control how you drive. Resist being pressured to break the speed limit or to run a red light just because of an impatient driver behind you.
Be realistic about your experience level
If you are fresh from driving lessons you should not yet have developed the sorts of bad habits that some drivers tend to develop over the course of time. Remember that as the more inexperienced driver on the road you should be taking extra care, particularly in bad weather or when driving at night.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
Driving under the influence is illegal not to mention foolish, even if it doesn’t lead to an accident it can cost you your licence. Any amount of substance taken can slow your reactions, and also try to avoid giving a lift to someone who has been drinking as this can be distracting. Also be aware that it is not only alcohol and illegal drugs that can alter your reaction times even legal drugs such as cough syrup could have a negative effect.
Take lessons with a professional driving school
One way to prepare yourself in the best way possible is to take lessons from a professional driving instructor who is fully qualified and accredited such as those here at the Cambridge Driving School, and will help you to learn in the correct way. It may be tempting to learn from family and friends to save some money but remember that they will may not be up to date with the latest rules and may have bad habits they have picked up during their own driving experience. A professional instructor will give you the best preparation possible for life on the roads.
Consider your car insurance
Driving safely saves lives and also money. The average price of car insurance for a young driver between the age of 17-25 is according to a comparison website to be £989 that’s more than double the national average.
For cheap young driver's car insurance, staying accident and conviction free will help you to build a no-claims bonus which will help cut the cost of your policy. Some insurers even offer a scheme which allows you to build your no-claims bonus faster; some will allow you to earn a full years bonus in just 6 – 9 months.