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 www.thatcham.org.



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

Voices
voices
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Application Support Analyst / Junior SQL Server DBA

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...

    Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

    £600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

    The benefits of being in Recruitment at SThree...

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

    Test Analyst - UAT - Credit Risk

    £280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried