First time drivers – how to reduce your insurance premium 

Learning to drive and passing your driving test is one of the most exciting things to happen when you’re a teenager, with you finally being able to get your own independence! However, this independence comes at a huge cost! Unsurprisingly, due to a number of factors, there has been a 20% reduction in the number of young people passing their driving test in the last decade. Do you know how much on average it costs for a young driver to pass their test? Well, an hours driving lesson costs about £24 and drivers are recommended to have 47 hours of paid tuition and a further 73 hours with someone else, i.e. a parent. Once you’ve paid for your provisional licence (£34) theory test (£23) and driving test (£62) you’re looking at a whopping £1247! That’s without the car and insurance on top.

I think it’s safe to say any ideas on how to cut costs will be useful, so we’ve written the below blog to hopefully give young drivers some advice on how to save money when insuring their vehicles.

Why is insurance so high for first time drivers?

I am sure this is a question most people have asked themselves! It’s all down to risk calculations that insurance companies calculate when offering a price. Quite simply, the newer the driver, the higher the risk of an accident. Whilst this might seem frustrating, I am sure we can all understand this methodology. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) the average insurance premium of someone who is 18-20 years old is £972. Compared with someone aged 56-60 who has been driving for a long time, their premium on average is £277. All is not lost, there are ways in which you can save money on your insurance, just keep reading!

How could young drivers save money on their insurance?

Whilst we’re not promising to be miracle workers, we have some tips that will hopefully give you a cheaper premium.

Have you heard about Black Box Car insurance?

There has been a lot in the press recently about younger drivers not feeling that the ‘Black Boxes’ are fair when it comes to recording how they have driven, but essentially Black Box Car Insurance is designed to reward younger drivers when they display safe, responsible driving. The Black Box is fitted into the vehicle and records driving behaviour. Quite simply, the safer you drive the more likely you are to be rewarded at renewal with a cheaper premium.

Pay a higher excess

Whilst this may not be ideal and may not reduce premiums in every case, it’s worth looking at. When purchasing your insurance, you will be asked how much excess you would like to contribute in the event of needing to make a claim. The higher you set the voluntary excess, the more this could decrease your premium. Just make sure that you are selecting an affordable amount, you don’t want this amount to be unachievable should you need to make a claim.

Add a named driver

Another option would be to add a parent to your first insurance policy as this may reduce the policy premium. The reason being by having an experienced driver on the insurance that will be using the vehicle also, reduces some of the risk and the insurer is likely to offer a cheaper price. It is important that the other driver does intend to use the car, as if they don’t, the insurance could become invalidated at a later date.

What are the cheapest cars for first time drivers to insure?

Another way to reduce your premium is to buy cars that are known to have cheaper insurance premiums for first time drivers. Research by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed that young drivers spend on average one-tenth of their salary on car insurance. This is before you factor in the cost of fuel and actually buying the vehicle! Therefore, any saving will be greatly received. If you or someone you know is about to, or just passed their driving test, research by insurance aggregator websites claim that the cheapest cars for first time drivers are the following. Keep in mind this is based on 17-24 year olds.

Car

Insurance average £

Fiat 500X

£1,040.39

Vauxhall Adam

£1,189.14

Seat Mii:

£1,191.77

Volkswagen Up

£1,210.58

Skoda Citigo

£1,212.87

Fiat 500

£1,258.32

Vauxhall Viva

£1,259.76

Kia Rio 3

£1,265.39

Ford Ka+ Zetec

£1,267.06

Citroen C1

£1,267.24

What are graduated licences?

You may have seen in the press recently the government talking about introducing graduated licences for first time drivers, but what does this actually mean? Government statistics suggest that a quarter of newly qualified motorists are involved in an accident in the first two years of passing their driving test, with 400 young drivers either being killed or seriously injured on the roads in the UK each year. Not only are these statistics alarming, they offer insight as to why young driver insurance prices may be so high.

If introduced, graduated licences would mean that new drivers will be banned from driving on the roads in the UK at certain times. Similar schemes are currently in place In Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the US, meaning drivers under the age of 25 are banned from driving at night time and restricted to lower maximum speeds. Other restrictions that could be implemented are to the engine size and the power output of cars that first time drivers are able to purchase. If implemented, these changes would hopefully reduce the number of accidents first time drivers have on the roads.

Some younger drivers may feel that this is unfair or may make their lives difficult, but similar laws are already in place in other countries. For example, new drivers in Northern Ireland have to display amber ‘R’ plates on their vehicle for the first year and are not able to travel over 45mph. In Ireland ‘N’ plates have to be displayed on the vehicle for two years, highlighting there is a new driver behind the wheel. Furthermore, the drink drive limit is lower than motorists with more than two years driving experience. If you live in Australia, New Zealand or some parts of the US new drivers are not allowed to drive at night and may face restrictions on the number of passengers they can carry.

Could technology cut my insurance premium?

There are technologies available on the market at the moment that could reduce first time driver insurance premiums, but what are they? We touched on probably the most well-known technology earlier within this article, black boxes, but there are others that you might want to be aware of. For example dash cam policies.

What is a dash cam policy? Quite simply, a mini video recorder is supplied and fitted to your vehicle for free, acting as a third eye should an accident occur. It’s important to note that this is not a telematics policy and therefore does not monitor your driving style, it simply acts as evidence should you be involved in an accident. The reason dash cam policies were set up was due to the fact that in some cases drivers were being blamed for accidents due to them being a new driver. Therefore, by having the dash cam, people cannot be blamed incorrectly. However, if you did have an accident and the dash cam highlighted that it was your fault, then there is no hiding from this. It is also considered that by having the dash cam present in your vehicle, it’s likely to improve your driving behaviour, simply because you know it’s there. Who can get a dash cam policy? To buy a dash cam policy, some insurers insist that you need to be 21 years of age with a least one year’s driving experience.

It’s claimed that first time drivers aged 17-21 receive a higher discount and benefit from using a telematics policy when they first past their test and therefore should move onto a dash cam policy is desired when turning 21. It is claimed that savings of up to 40% after the first full year of driving could be achieved, as long as they have been a good driver.

So whilst there is no denying, passing your driving test is going to be expensive, hopefully this blog has given some insight into how you might be able to make things just a little bit cheaper.

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