How young people can cut car insurance costs

Not all young drivers are boy racers, yet car insurance premiums tend to be prohibitively high for anyone under 21. Here are some tips that could help cut the cost of cover for those who’ve recently lost their L-plates.

One of the UK’s biggest insurers threw its weight behind responsible young drivers at last week’s Association of British Insurers (ABI) conference, urging the industry to recognise that not all young people are careless behind the wheel.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said in a speech on Tuesday: “I believe the industry must work together to find a formula that recognises those who are able to demonstrate they take a responsible approach to driving.”

His words will strike a chord with many young drivers, or those who remember the pain of paying their first car insurance premiums.

Currently, many insurers will not offer cover to drivers below the age of 21, or even in some cases to those under 25.

Companies that will provide insurance for young drivers often demand impossibly high sums in return, and it is not unusual for new drivers – particularly young men – to be charged upwards of £2,000 for 12 months’ third party cover.

Faced with the prospect of such expense, it’s no wonder some young people feel despondent about their driving futures immediately after passing their tests.

However, being aware of the following dos and don’ts could help even the least experienced driver keep on top of their car insurance costs.

DO reduce your risk

All insurers price their customers’ premiums in line with the likelihood that they will claim. In other words, the more probable it is that you’ll have an accident or experience damage to your vehicle, the more it will cost you to buy car insurance.

Unfortunately, the statistics speak for themselves when it comes to young drivers. As Simon Douglas pointed out in his speech to the ABI: “One out of every five young drivers suffers a crash within their first year of driving, and young drivers are 10 times more likely to be involved in a serious collision than experienced drivers.”

One way to convince an insurer that you are a less risky prospect is to take a Pass Plus course. Pass Plus helps to extend a driver’s experience of different conditions and involves training on motorways, at night and on rural roads. A course typically costs between £100 and £150, but completing one could reduce annual insurance premiums by more.

DO improve your car’s security

On a similar note, anything you can do to reduce the risk your car will be stolen or criminally damaged should help control the cost of insuring it. Fitting your car with an alarm or immobiliser, and parking it in a garage or on a drive rather than on the street, could make a positive difference to the price you are charged.

DO choose your car carefully

When it comes to buying a vehicle, it is important to be aware that some will always cost more to insure than others. As a general rule of thumb, cars with powerful engines and soft-top vehicles tend to be comparatively expensive to insure.

The ABI gives all cars a risk rating that will affect the price of insuring them. More information can be found at

DO add an older driver to your insurance policy

Adding an older friend or relative as a ‘named driver’ on your car insurance policy should help cut the cost of your premium. This is because your insurer will assume that, for at least some of the time the car is on the road, it will be driven by someone with more experience.

DON’T ‘front’

However, it is vital that an older motorist is not named as the main driver of a vehicle if it is actually a younger person’s car. This practice, known as ‘fronting’ among insurers, has become a significant problem in the industry – and young people and their families are particularly vulnerable to temptation.

Fronting is a serious form of insurance fraud, and if it is discovered by your insurer your whole policy will probably be declared invalid. This means any claim you make will not be paid, and you (and the older person involved in the fraud) could face prosecution.

DON’T modify your vehicle

Modified cars generally cost more to insure than unmodified vehicles – even if the changes that have been made have no impact on their speed or power. Young drivers should avoid making modifications to their own vehicles or buying second hand cars that have been modified.

DO consider opting for third party, fire and theft cover

Third party, fire and theft insurance cover offers far less protection than a fully comprehensive policy. However, it is likely to be the cheapest insurance option for a young driver.

Compare car insurance now and get £35 cashback when you buy a policy through Independent Finance Offers

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: HR Benefits Manager

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

    £30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

    Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

    £250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

    Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

    £230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower