Young drivers’ car insurance is likely to be very expensive and as a new driver it’s good to know about different coverage levels and what affects how much you pay. Here you can find out everything you need to know about new driver car insurance, how to get the best deal and reduce your premiums.
The amount you pay for your car insurance is called a premium. Insurance companies will take all sorts of information from you in order to work out what your monthly or yearly premium will be. This includes:
● Personal details, such as age and postcode
● Information about the car you will be driving
● Level of cover you’re looking for
● Miles you think you’ll be driving each year
● Previous car insurance claims
● Criminal convictions
● No claims bonus – the number of years you’ve been driving without having made a car insurance claim.
This information allows the insurance company to build up a picture of how ‘risky’ you are, and they will calculate your premium based upon this. The higher the company deems the risk is, the higher the premium will be.
When it comes to car insurance, one of the first things you will need to think about is what kind of cover you want. There are three levels of cover to choose from – third party, third party, fire and theft and fully comprehensive.
If you would struggle to replace your car if it was written off in an accident, it’s best to go for the highest level of cover – fully comprehensive. Third party cover might be the best option if your car is only worth a few hundred pounds.
However, fully comprehensive cover often costs less than third party, so it’s worth checking the price of both.
Car insurance for young drivers is always going to be expensive, but there are some ways to reduce your premiums.
Your choice of car is important. Each car is assigned an insurance group number from one to 50, with one being the cheapest to insure and 50 the most expensive. Driving a car in a low insurance group is the easiest way to reduce your premiums.
Adding a second, low-risk driver can also lower the costs of insurance. Parents are a good bet, but they can’t pretend to be the main driver – this is called ‘fronting’ and is illegal.
The fewer miles you drive, the lower your insurance costs. When applying for insurance you will be asked about how often the vehicle will be used and what distances you expect to cover. Less miles and less frequent use can result in lower premiums.
The best way to get cheaper car insurance for new drivers is to shop around for the best deal. Comparison sites are a great place to start, but there are also forums and social media groups who can offer advice as well. You can also search online for specialist young person’s car insurance providers.
Once you have a couple of good quotes, call an insurance broker and ask them to beat it (it’s free, they’ll do the leg work and call you back).
It is also worth paying for 12 months’ insurance all at once. If you pay in monthly instalments you will have to pay interest as well.
Paying a higher voluntary excess on top of your compulsory excess will reduce the cost of car insurance for new drivers and more experienced ones. The problem is you will end up paying more yourself if you need to make a claim.
Make sure you don’t get caught out by unexpected and unnecessary insurance add-ons. Breakdown cover, for example, is useful and can be included in an insurance quote. However, it might be cheaper to buy it separately.
To get significant reductions in your car insurance premiums, you need to think longer-term.
Not getting into accidents means you will start to build up a no-claims discount, driving down premiums. Driving safely also means you avoid getting points on your licence, which can make insurance more expensive.
You can also think about taking an advanced driving course, but check with your insurance provider to find out if you will definitely get a better deal.
Another option is to get your name on the policy of somebody else as a second driver. This way you can benefit from a named driver no-claims discount, but make sure they are aged over 25 and have a good driving record.
Sometimes referred to as telematics insurance, these policies involve fitting a device to your car to monitor acceleration, braking, cornering, miles covered and what time of day you are driving.
The price of your insurance then goes down if you prove you are a good, safe driver.
However, there is a downside because bad driving can see your premiums go up and your insurance could even be cancelled.