Five Questions About: Young drivers


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The Independent Online

They're a danger to themselves, aren't they?

That's what the Association of British Insurers thinks. It proposed this week that drivers aged under 25 should have a minimum one-year learning period, restrictions on night-time driving and that the alcohol limit for drivers should be reduced.

That sounds extreme. Is it likely to happen?

Most agree that something needs to be done. While only one in eight drivers are under 25, young people account for a third of all road accident deaths. As a consequence, insurance costs for youngsters are staggering.

How much does it cost a young driver for cover?

It can easily be £2,000 to £3,000 and getting even basic motor insurance can cost a youngster more than their actual car. Until the number of accidents young drivers have falls, premium costs will remain very high.

Can't they be added to parents' policies?

If a young person is only driving their parents' car occasionally, that's fine. If they are the car's main driver but it's insured under a parent's name to cut costs that's called "fronting" and is illegal.

So what happens next?

The ABI has been lobbying MPs with its proposals. The ideas of a graduated licence or longer learning periods have the best chance of being adopted.

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