Good car insurance for first time drivers
- Men vs women and car insurance costs
- Tricks and traps: How to get better car insurance offers
- Blackboxes - Pay how you drive
- Pay when you drive
- Dos and Don'ts
- Want to see prices now? Use our car insurance checker HERE.
- Can I pimp my ride or drive a fast car?
- Parents and fronting: Remember the small print
- State Car Insurance Requirements
- Optional Coverages
- Car Insurance Rates and Premiums
- Car Insurance Limits
- Car Insurance Deductibles
- How to Shop for Insurance
- Research Car Insurance Companies
- Getting Car Insurance Quotes
- Tips to Find Cheap Car Insurance
- Manufacturer-backed young driver insurance deals
- Where should I look for cheaper car insurance?
- What is black box car insurance?
- Can my parents help to lower my car insurance quote?
- What’s the best car to buy to get cheaper car insurance?
- Do I have to pay for my car insurance up front?
- Car insurance jargon explained
- First Cars on Auto Express...
Car insurance costs are on the up, after it emerged that following a steady period of declining prices, premiums have now gone up for the first time since June 2011.
Drivers can expect to fork out a hefty £582 a year for cover, according to car insurance provider Confused.com
But for the under 25s, that is a drop in the ocean – on average youngsters now pay about £1,911 for car insurance - although this is down by £792 since this time last year.
Despite that high cost, many younger drivers still want the freedom of being behind the wheel. We explain how they can try to beat the high insurance cost trap and we also reveal how it can be possible to drive something more fancy than a tiny-engined hatchback and still keep costs down.
Peeling off the plates: Insurance for young drivers comes with sky-high, we explain how to cut them.
Men vs women and car insurance costs
Until fairly recently, female drivers have been offered some respite from high costs, as they are seen as much safer - this is especially true for younger drivers. Firms have even set up with the specific purpose of offering cover to women, with the likes of insurance firm Sheila’s Wheels making the most of their better claims history.
But the days of cheaper premiums for women are numbered, thanks to a European Court of Justice ruling, which says insurers cannot charge men and women different premiums because it constitutes discrimination.
The change came into effect on December 21 2012 and the younger you are, the bigger the impact.
So, with both men and women under 25 in the same boat for the first time, here are some tips to secure your cheapest car insurance option.
- Young women's car insurance 'will rise' by £300 - but men could see a £180 drop as EU gender ruling hits
- Women's car insurance premiums to rise but a third remain 'unaware'
- Car insurance premiums driven down 2.9% in three months
Tricks and traps: How to get better car insurance offers
- Compare prices Use an online comparison service to do the hard work for you. Put in your details and check the prices that come up. You can alter the excess that you are willing to pay and the mileage you will drive and get new quotes. Also check the insurers that don't feature in comparison sites, the big two are Direct Line and Aviva. This is Money's car insurance search is powered by MoneySupermarket and will search more than 130 insurers for you. Try it out here.
- Haggle! The car insurance market is notoriously competitive. Once you've been on This Is Money's comparison and found your cheapest price (below), get on the phone and start bargaining!
- Avoid paying monthly charges - direct debit installments generally come hand-in-hand with high interest rates. An alternative is to borrow the money on a 0 per cent purchase credit card and then clear it within a year. [Check the best 0% purchase credit cards here]
- Think outside the box: An accelerated no-claims bonus, such as Admiral's Bonus Accelerator, could give you a year's no claims bonus after just 10 months.
- Or, if you've previously been insured as an additional driver on another policy, see if you can transfer a no claims bonus to your own insurance coverage. Some insurers do this, including Direct Line.
- Try for a discount by insuring two or more vehicles between friends or family members with the same firm.
BLACK BOX: SOME OF THE BEST
- Anti-theft tracker installed in your car for free
- Online drivesafe dashboard 24/7 to check your score
- Courtesy car while yours is repaired
- Dedicated UK claim line available 24/7
- Free telematics device and free installation
- Curfew and non-curfew policies available
- Locate your car if it's stolen
Co-op Young Driver Insurance
- Free box and installation
- Online dashboard to check your driving
- Telematics box to measure your driving style
- Comprehensive insurance policy including windscreen repair
- Theft tracking
- Courtesy car while yours is being repaired
Bell from Admiral
- Free tracker with 24/7 theft hotline
- Access to personalised online driver dashboard
- 24/7 accident and glass repair helpline
- Courtesy car while yours is at an approved garage
- Premium fixed for the year with no curfews and no fines
- Acts as theft tracking device
- Dedicated UK claims line available 24/7
- Courtesy car while yours is being repaired
- Free telematics box/theft tracker installed
- Driving profile saved on your personal online portal
- Comprehensive policies
Blackboxes - Pay how you drive
If you are a good driver, and are happy to prove it, you could get money off by installing a telematics device, or ‘black box’, which monitors how you drive.
As an example, The Co-op's young driver insurance policy includes fitting a box into 17-25-year-olds' cars to monitor acceleration, braking, cornering and time of driving.
It then charges for insurance every 90 days, taking into account any discounts or loadings.
Although bad driving could see your insurance cancelled, research carried out on behalf of the Co-op claims the service benefits young drivers who drive well, with 82 per cent of young drivers saving claiming a safer driver discount.
Pay when you drive
The system is simple: A tracking device is fitted to your car and the less you drive, the less you pay - another option for young drivers looking at ways to keep costs to a minimum.
iKube is aimed specifically at 17-25 year-olds, who don't often drive between 11pm and 5am, with fees charged for driving outside of hours.
Those that choose Insure The Box pick either a 6,000 or 8,000 mile per year policy, but earn extra miles by driving safely - or buy more online.
Coverbox also offers a 'pay as you drive' scheme. Although not specifically aimed at young drivers, it does offer some under 30s £50 cashback.
For low mileage drivers these schemes can cut costs, especially if you don’t drive at night (11pm - 5am), when the price per mile is bumped up.
Dos and Don'ts
DO compare prices for third party and fully comp. Although third party insurance should be cheapest for young drivers as it offers a lower level of cover, this isn't always the rule.
Check BOTH using our comparison table (below).
DO think about adding a second or even third driver to your insurance, especially an older more experienced one. This can even out the average risk - which could mean cheaper insurance of up to £1,000.
Although the obvious people to add are those with a long track record of good driving, you may be surprised - anyone that's in a lower risk category than you can help. Younger drivers with a job perceived by insurance firms to be lower-risk can shave off pounds from your premium - strangely, some claim adding younger siblings, on a provisional license, helped to cut costs.
DON'T confuse this with 'fronting', which is illegal - see below.
DO see if you can get cashback via a cashback website to reduce the cost.
DO, once you’ve tried our comparison site, check specialist young driver policies to see if they undercut them. And:
DO try a specific young driver broker. Swinton's Young Driver Insurance is worth checking out, as are A Plan, Thames City, Only Young Drivers, Adrian Flux and Endsleigh.
DO check your occupation. When you are asked to give your job title in the application process, there may be a number of options that apply to you so try them all to see if it makes a difference. But bear in mind that if you choose an occupation that couldn’t reasonably apply to you and is likely to be considered fraudulent, your cover could be invalidated.
Want to see prices now? Use our car insurance checker HERE.
Can I pimp my ride or drive a fast car?
'Wow' factor: How to avoid taking out a second mortgage to get on the road?
The more powerful your engine, and the more changes you make to your car (unless they are for security), the more you'll be charged.
But, if you are under 25 and you just can’t imagine life without your high-powered SUV, or a sporty little number,here are some suggestions to avoid insurance premiums high enough to make Donald Trump weep.
• Shop around - comparison sites can be good for standard risks, but a young driver with a powerful car will not tend to do as well on these sites, compared to a specialist broker who has negotiated a scheme specifically for this market (examples below).
• Will you only drive a few thousand miles a year? Try a limited mileage policy.
• If you've passed your test recently, get yourself a PassPlus, IAM or Max Driver qualification and then insurance firms, such as Adrian Flux could knock off up to 25% - which means hundreds of pounds for teenage drivers. Many councils offer discounts of up to 50 per cent on the price of the course. Visit Direct Gov for more information.
• Got mods? Make sure you tell your insurance firm about all modifications to your vehicle, and check how they would affect your price before you do them, even if they don't enhance performance. If you don't, your insurance could be invalidated. Some mods might even reduce your premium.
• If you've been riding a moped, scooter or other motorcycle, ask if you can transfer your no claims bonus to your car policy.
• Are you in an owners club or online forum? If not, think about joining one. From an insurer's perspective, people who are enthusiastic about their car and learn all they can about it will take better care of it. Even better, discounts can be as much as 15 per cent.
• Keep your car garaged if you can. Fitting a security device such as an alarm or an immobiliser will also lower your insurance bill, sometimes substantially.
• Don't be a teen racer The more points you have on your license, the higher the cost of your insurance. One speeding conviction could bump up your premium by around 10 per cent, but two may cost you up to 25 per cent more. If you have a conviction for using a mobile phone while driving, it can increase your premium by a whopping 50 per cent.
• Don't go for a modern car if you want something a bit less ordinary Insurance premiums for 'classic cars' are often discounted, although running costs may be higher.
For example, managing director at insurance consultants Osborne & Sons David Button, recently charged £677 for a young driver's two-litre Westfield sports car.
The driver, a 23-year-old from Norfolk, was prepared to drive no more than 3,000 miles a year. He could also have been entitled to a 10 per cent discount for being an owners club member.
However, Button was keen to make clear all circumstances are different.
Classic car insurer Footman James has recently launched its young enthusiasts policy. If you can prove you are not just looking for a cheap policy and you have a genuine interest, those as young as 17 can get a cheap insurance policy on their classic.
So, despite the challenges, reasonable prices for modified or powerful vehicles are achievable; quotes provided to this Is Money by specialist car insurer Adrian Flux also demonstrate that investing in your street cred doesn't have to decimate your bank balance.
ADRIAN FLUX: CORSA VS A BMW FOR A 24-YEAR-OLD
24-year-old with four years' NCB, no accidents or convictions and living in a 'medium rated' area.
For a Vauxhall Corsa 1.0
Comprehensive cover: £550 with £400 excess
Third party fire & theft (TPFT): £370 with £250 excess
For a BMW 320
Comp: £900 with £500 excess
TPFT: £580 with £350 excess
Spokesperson Matt Ware adds: 'Anything that increases the power output of the car will attract a commensurate increase in premium. Examples would be chipping, exhaust systems, air filters etc. So if you increase the power by 20%, expect a 20% load.'
Other examples include HIC Insurance's modified car quotes, below.
HIC: MODS ON PEUGEOT 306 XSI
Peugeot 306 XSi
Modified: Alloy Wheels,
Exhaust, Lowered Suspension,
Car value: £3,500
3 Years NCB
£533 fully comp
HIC: MODS ON FIAT PUNTO
Modified: Alloy Wheels,
Body Kit, Clear Lights,
Rear Roof Spoiler
Car value: £4,000
1 SP30 conviction
Parents and fronting: Remember the small print
- Unsuspecting mums and dads looking for cheap deals could find themselves facing court proceedings for ‘fronting’ – WHICH IS ILLEGAL - if they falsely declare to insurance companies that they drive their car more than their son or daughter.
The consequences can be serious as fronting invalidates insurance and can lead to prosecution.
Insurance companies may even refuse point blank to add a youngster to a policy if they believe he or she is intended as the main driver. It could also cause huge headaches if a claim is made - with some firms refusing to pay out.
- One option for parents looking to cut costs is to add under 25s to insurance policies on a temporary basis - from one day to a few months - if they are visiting or at home from university. Short Term Car Insurance Under 25, offer tailored policies for young drivers, but the AA and eCar Insurance also offer good short-term options.
Learner drivers: What are the costs of insuring them?
LEARNER DRIVER INSURANCE
Learning to drive puts enough strain on the parent/teen relationship as it is - and that's before they knock the wing mirror off your prized BMW.
One way to ease the strain is to take out a specific provisional driver policy, rather than adding a learner driver to parents' or friends' car insurance which can up the cost, and put no claims bonuses at risk.
Provisional Marmalade and Endsleigh do just this. Provisional Marmalade also has a logbook scheme which you can complete to get a £100 discount if you move to Young Marmalade when you’ve passed.
State Car Insurance Requirements
Before you hit the road, understand that nearly every state requires some form of financial responsibility from drivers. Most states require a minimum amount of car insurance, though some states allow drivers to prove financial responsibility via other means, such as filing a surety bond of a certain amount.
Liability insurance is a two-fold type of coverage:
- Bodily injury coverage: This covers injuries suffered by another person during an auto accident.
- Property damage coverage: This covers damage to another person's property during an auto accident.
Note that liability insurance doesn’t cover you or your car—unless you’re the injured party (and even then, it’s the other person’s insurance that covers you). Thus, it’s important to consider other types of optional coverage (see “Optional Coverages” below).
Because your car insurance provider is licensed to sell insurance in your state, your agent is schooled on your state’s minimum liability insurance requirements; still, you can prepare yourself by choosing your state in our section on Car Insurance.
There are many different kinds of additional coverage you can add on to your car insurance policy, and you can discuss additional coverage types with your insurance agent, who will talk with you about your specific needs.
Below are three of the most common types of additional coverage that drivers request.
1) Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
Generally, collision and comprehensive coverages are optional―unless you leased or financed your vehicle and your lender requires these coverage types until you pay off your loan.
Where liability insurance covers damages to other people's property, collision and comprehensive is considered physical damage coverage and protects your property.
- Collision insurance: This insurance covers damages to your own vehicle in the event of a collision.
- Comprehensive insurance: This insurance covers damages to your vehicle in the event of theft, vandalism, natural disasters, animal collisions, and weather conditions.
Purchasing these two types of coverage is a good idea even if you're not required to do so. It can be especially useful if you live in a large metropolitan area, or you often commute in heavy traffic.
However, if your vehicle is older, collision and comprehensive insurance might not pay off; in the long run, you could end up paying more in premiums than you would to repair your vehicle.
If you are like many first-time drivers, your first car will probably be second-hand or low-value, so you might want to avoid these coverages. Also, remember that this may be just another reason to avoid that flashy new car. A cheaper car probably doesn’t need as much coverage, so you’ll save money on the purchase AND on your insurance!
2) Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects you in the case that you get hit by a driver who doesn’t have coverage to pay for your damages and/or injuries.
- Underinsured motorist coverage: This insurance protects you if you're involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have high enough insurance limits to cover the damages sustained.
- Uninsured motorist coverage: This insurance protects you if you're involved in an accident with a driver who has no coverage.
3) Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Similar to underinsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection (PIP insurance) is a medical coverage that covers the cost of your own medical expenses related to an accident, whether or not you were at fault.
PIP insurance coverage allows you to get your medical bills paid without having to wait for the conclusion of a lengthy accident investigation.
PIP is also referred to as no-fault coverage, and is required in some states. Check our Car Insurance section to see what types of insurance you must buy in your state.
There are multiple other types of coverages. These include:
- Medical payments coverage.
- Rental reimbursement coverage.
- Towing and labor coverage.
- Emergency roadside assistance coverage.
Visit our Auto Insurance Coverages section to learn all about the types of coverages available from most car insurance companies.
Car Insurance Rates and Premiums
Your car insurance rate, or premium, is the payment you make to have car insurance coverage.
Rates vary from provider to provider, but some of the most common factors car insurance companies use when determining your insurance rates include:
- The amount and type(s) of coverage you want (and need).
- Your driving record, also known as a motor vehicle record (MVR). Your MVR is a record of your driving history and helps car insurance companies determine the risk involved when insuring you. MVRs provide information including your:
- Current driver license status.
- Any traffic violations (including the associated driving record points).
- Any at-fault accidents in which you’ve been involved.
- Your vehicle. This includes factors such as:
- The make and model.
- How at risk the vehicle is for being stolen or vandalized.
- How much it would cost to repair the vehicle.
- How many (if any) safety features the vehicle has installed.
- The vehicle’s overall safety rating.
- Where you park your vehicle (specifically, how safe the location is).
- Where you live. Vehicles in urban areas notoriously are more expensive to insure than those in rural areas.
- How often you drive. Vehicle owners who don’t drive much tend to get lower rates than those who spend a lot of time behind the wheel.
- Your credit score. Many auto insurance companies determine factors such as how likely you are to make payments on time or file a complaint based on your credit history.
- Some personal information, such as your age and gender.
- For example, females 25 years old and older tend to get lower premiums because they belong to two groups less likely to become involved in accidents: women and drivers over 25.
Again, because providers’ rates vary, it’s important to shop around for car insurance coverage. Get quotes from a variety of companies before choosing the best insurance policy and rates for you.
See “How to Shop for Insurance” below for more details.
Car Insurance Limits
Your car insurance limit is the highest amount of coverage your company provides on a specific coverage.
For example, if your collision limit is $10,000 and you incur $15,000 in damages to your vehicle, your car insurance company will pay $10,000 and you’ll be responsible for the remaining $5,000.
Sometimes, you’ll see policies written with two numbers, such as 50/100. For example, if your bodily injury liability coverage is written as such, it means that it will pay:
- $50,000 maximum for bodily injury to a single driver in an accident you cause.
- $100,000 maximum for bodily injury to multiple people in an accident you cause.
Increasing your limits means your car insurance company will cover more of the costs, but increasing your limits often means increasing your rates, too. Make such a decision based on how much you can reasonably afford to pay in premiums.
Car Insurance Deductibles
A car insurance deductible is the out-of-pocket amount of money a driver pays before his car insurance coverage will kick in to pay a claim.
For example, let’s say you have an accident and rack up $2,500 worth of damage to your car. If your deductible is $1,000:
- You pay $1,000 toward the damage repair.
- Your insurance company picks up the remaining $1,500.
Typically, the higher the premium, the lower the deductible, and vice versa.
Although choosing a higher deductible so you can get a lower premium seems like a good idea, it’s not always financially responsible. Why? You might have to pay that deductible some day, and if it’s too high (especially depending on where you are in life), you might no be able to afford it.
Always be mindful when choosing your deductible about whether you can reasonably afford to pay it if you get into an accident.
How to Shop for Insurance
You probably already know you can directly shop for car insurance online or in person, but did you know there are even more thorough ways to go about it?
For example, you might use an agent or a broker when shopping for auto coverage.
Generally, car insurance agents work with specific companies; on the flip-side, brokers (sometimes referred to as independent agents) work with several different insurance companies. As such, brokers tend to give you a more well-rounded view of your options. However, they might charge you a broker fee.
Additionally, agents might be more knowledgeable about the companies they work with, including discounts provided by those companies!
Research Car Insurance Companies
Whether you use an agent or broker or go it alone, it’s crucial to research car insurance companies before applying for quotes and choosing a provider.
Ways to dig a little deeper into companies include:
- Check with your state’s Department of Insurance for consumer complaint ratios.
- Learn about the provider’s financial standing.
- Reputable companies that can help you do this include J.D. Power and A.M. Best.
- Look up the company’s rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- The BBB rates businesses from A+ to F and provides a wealth of specific information including customer complaints and how long the provider has been in operation.
- Find the provider’s social media accounts (such as Facebook and Twitter).
- Reach out and ask specific questions about coverage options and cost. Gauge responses and determine the quality of customer service.
- Talk with family members and friends about their auto coverage providers.
- What kinds of experiences have they had? Are they pleased? Why or why not?
Getting Car Insurance Quotes
Now that you have a handle on a few possible companies, it’s time to apply for car insurance quotes.
In addition to some of the tips and discount information listed below, it’s important to never limit yourself to one company. Always get at least three quotes from three different providers. This is easy to do in today’s market, as you can get multiple quotes online at one time.
You will need to have some information on hand, such as:
- Your Social Security number.
- Your VIN number.
- Your car’s make and model.
- Your daily mileage.
Giving yourself as many options as possible opens the door to better coverage, more affordable rates, and a multitude of discounts.
Tips to Find Cheap Car Insurance
You know that getting as many quotes as possible is one way to find more affordable coverage. Now try some of these tips for first time drivers on getting discounts and the best car insurance rates:
- Ask about multi-line coverage.
- Also known as “bundling,” insuring multiple properties (such as vehicles and houses) can get you a discount on both lines of insurance.
- Look for good-driver rewards programs.
- Some companies provide drivers with discounts after a certain period of accident- and violation-free time.
- Complete driver’s education or driving training courses.
- Even if they’re not required in your state, some insurance providers offer discounts for successfully completing these driver-training classes.
- Keep a clean driving record.
- Car insurance companies are notorious for hiking up rates if you have a history of license suspensions, traffic violations, and at-fault accidents.
- Learn about discounts for teen drivers.
- Teen drivers are among some of the most expensive to insure, but many companies provide discounts to those who’ve completed Driver’s Ed or bring home good grades each semester.
- Choose a safe vehicle for your first car. Safety features get you discounts and keep you protected!
Understand, this isn’t an exhaustive list. You can—and should—always ask each car insurance provider about discounts for which you might be eligible.
Learning to drive is an expensive business. Booking lessons with a driving school or instructor costs a pretty penny, and if you're being taught by a family member, learner driver car insurance can be nearly as expensive as having professional lessons. And once you've passed your test, the expense simply continues.
If you're a first-time driver but are a named driver on somebody else's policy, that'll be pretty expensive, and you'll face the same expense if you buy your own car - it's likely that the cost of your first car could be far outstripped by the insurance. And that's before you've even factored in the usual running costs associated with owning a car. Add it all together, and the expense could put you off driving for life!
However, there are ways of cutting insurance costs for new drivers. A quick search online reveals that some insurance companies offer schemes that are designed with young drivers in mind, and in general the require policyholders to have their every move tracked by a little black box and satellite GPS. Such schemes can save worthwhile amounts of cash, but not usually enough to take the sting out of getting covered. The truth is that any form of young driver insurance has the potential to be prohibitively expensive, which is one reason why youngsters aren't as keen as they used to be to get behind the wheel.
• Best first cars for young drivers
But are sky-high insurance costs for new drivers fair? Well the insurance industry thinks so, with figures showing that one in five UK drivers will have an accident in their first year on the road, while 25 per cent of all accidents involve at least one driver under the age of 24. But while the safety statistics prove that girls are safer new drivers than boys, EU regulations outlaw the provision of cheaper premiums based on gender.
Whoever you are, you need to be armed with as much knowledge as possible to ensure your first insurance policy offers the best value possible. And the following guide gives a rundown of the best young driver car insurance options available...
Manufacturer-backed young driver insurance deals
Car makers need sales, and getting a new driver behind the wheel is one way of doing it. But the high cost of insurance, let alone the cost of buying a brand-new car, is going to put most new drivers off going to their local dealer, unless they have the bank of mum and dad to help cover the costs.
If that's the case, there are plenty of tempting finance deals that offer affordable ways to drive off in a new car, and the manufacturer will sometimes help to insure young drivers, too.
Ford offers a contribution of up to £500 off Marmalade insurance if you buy a new Fiesta, for example, as long as you fit it with a black box (explained below). You must be between 17-24, and the offer is subject to all the usual eligibility criteria.
Where should I look for cheaper car insurance?
The quickest and easiest way to find the cheapest car insurance quote is to go online to one of the various comparison websites.
Simply key in a few details about yourself and your car, and you’ll bring up a long list of options to choose from. Remember that this will not be an exhaustive list, and quite often going to a broker or directly to the major insurers that aren't signed up to the comparison websites can get you a better deal.
There are a few pitfalls to be aware of when using comparison websites, too. First, be careful to check the details. For example, to reduce the premium in order to rank higher on the sites, insurance companies will often include a higher compulsory excess, which may not suit your needs.
Consider ringing up the insurer directly, too. They’ll sometimes be able to beat the online quote, as they won’t have to pay the fee that the comparison site charges. Don’t assume fully comprehensive cover will be more expensive than third party, either. Sometimes the fully-comp deals come out less expensive, because insurers believer that somebody who is willing to pay for comprehensive cover is going to be a more thoughtful and conscientious driver.
What is black box car insurance?
Telematics or 'black box' car insurance is an emerging market that continues to offer young drivers a way to get cheaper premiums.
The technology – in the form of a black box - is fitted to your car. This then gathers driving data, such as your speed, distance travelled and at what time of day, and this is then fed back to the insurer to generate a more accurate premium for individual drivers. If you keep a good record, then your premium will be adjusted accordingly, and you will earn rewards in the form discount vouchers for shopping and eating out, for example.
If you’re a safe driver you’ll also be rewarded with bonus miles or may get a discount at renewal time. Choosing a policy with telematics as part of the deal will almost certainly reduce your premium as a young driver, so it's well worth considering.
Can my parents help to lower my car insurance quote?
When filling in your insurance details, there’s no benefit to bending the truth. If you insure a vehicle in your parents' name, with you as a named driver, rather than putting yourself down as the main driver, it might not be in your best interests. Not only is it illegal, but in the event of an accident it would invalidate your cover altogether. However, there are some simple ways that parental help can get you a cheaper annual insurance premium.
• History of the UK driving test
Consider doing the opposite, and add a parent as a named driver on your insurance policy, even if they only drive the car occasionally. You must list yourself as the owner and lead policyholder but there’s nothing wrong with using an additional experienced driver to help cut costs.
Similarly, if your parents have insurance cover on their own cars, consider getting a multi-car policy. Larger insurers will offer a discount for insuring a fleet of family cars, and as a result your individual insurance quote will be less.
Car insurance is affected heavily by location as well. Clearly we’re not suggesting you move house to get a cheaper insurance deal, but getting your car off the road and onto a driveway or into a garage will help lower your risk and subsequently reduce your premium. Fitting an alarm or immobiliser to your car will help, too.
What’s the best car to buy to get cheaper car insurance?
Young drivers who’ve just passed their test all want a flash car to show off to their mates, but as a general rule, the flashier the car, the more the insurance. There’s obviously the purchase price to think about, but even if you can find the funds to buy that dream car or you’ve been given the cash as a present – you might not be able to insure it.
• Cheapest cars to insure
Nearly half your premium is dependent on what type of car you’re driving, so as a young driver starting off on the road you want a car that’s in one of the lowest insurance groups. A car will often fall into a lower insurance group if it’s got a cheaper list price and smaller engine.
Another way to avoid paying over the odds is to avoid modifications. Adding a spoiler or a bodykit may look good to boy racers, but insurers may take it as a cue to charge you more. Check out our top 10 list of the cheapest cars to insure to help you with your decision.
Do I have to pay for my car insurance up front?
Paying a lump sum up front for a whole year's worth of car insurance can be daunting, and for young drivers it will often be more than the value of their car, but it’s often cheaper than paying by a monthly Direct Debit.
Many insurers will offer monthly repayment plans or split the cost into two six-monthly payments, but the reality is you’ll end up paying more in the long run. Some insurers add up to 10 per cent onto the quoted premium if you pay monthly, while others charge interest on a monthly direct debit. If you can find the cash upfront, it’s the most cost effective way to pay.
Car insurance jargon explained
Inevitably, there's a lot of jargon attached to the car insurance market but our handy guide will explain some of the key terms...
This is the amount you’ll have to pay if you make a claim before the insurance company will pay out. If you have a claim for £1,000 and your excess is £400, you’ll pay the first £400 with the insurer picking up the tab for the rest. Compulsory excess is what the insurer sets while voluntary excess is decided by you. Setting a higher excess will reduce your annual premium.
These policies offer the most complete level of car insurance protection available. With comprehensive car insurance, you can claim from your insurer for accidents that are your fault or when fault can’t be proven such as in a car park.
It’s the minimum amount of protection you can buy. It covers you against damage to another vehicle or structure, injuries to a third party or your own passengers and medical treatment cost and legal cost claims against you. Third party, fire and theft cover adds protection against someone trying to steal your car or set fire to it.
Tell us your experiences or trying to get car insurance as a young driver in the comments section below...
First Cars on Auto Express...
Everything you need to know about learning to drive, getting your driving licence and choosing your first car...
Learning to drive
- How to get your driving licence
- What is the highway code?
- Best intensive driving courses
Passing your driving test
- Driving theory test: everything you need to know
- Hazard perception test: what to expect and how to pass
- Driving test 'show me, tell me' quesions: hints and tips
- Practical driving test: how to pass
- Driving test pass rates explained
- Driving test aids product test
- History of the UK driving test
Getting your first car
- Best first cars for young drivers
- Cheapest cars to insure
- Cheaper car insurance for young drivers: our top tips
For all the latest car news, features, tips and advice, follow Auto Express on Twitter and like us on Facebook...