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.
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.
Will your credit card rewards be scrapped following new EU rules on charges?
Derek Pain: Whitbread's high share price is an unnecessary extra hurdle
What would happen if you put a statistician in a casino with £1m?
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
Simon Read: 'The fight must go on over equality on expat pensions'
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...
£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...
Day In a Page
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
Surrounded by the Western fells, this five-bedroom Georgian home retains many original features including panel-plastered ceilings, sash windows and fireplaces.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B, subject to change of use permissions.
A former period coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
This four-bedroom home has exposed brick chimneys and a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining - the doors open to the patio and garden.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads