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Car insurance for new drivers

Don’t pay more than you should - compare cheap car insurance for first-timers

What's it going to cost?

If you’ve just passed your test, your car insurance will cost a lot more than experienced driver’s. As a new driver, you’ll pay more for your cover for two reasons - risk and inexperience.

We checked, and car insurance for first-time drivers costs about £1,000 in their first year of driving.[*]

As you become more experienced on the road, your premiums will go down. That’s assuming you don’t have to claim and build up a no-claims discount (NCB). You’ll need to be the main driver on the policy to build up an NCB.

If you’re a first-time driver and under 25, expect your insurance to cost even more.

That’s because younger drivers are significantly more likely to be involved in accidents than those who are 25 and over, according to the ABI.

The good news is your insurance should get cheaper as you get older, particularly once you’re over 25. Older new-drivers can expect to pay a lot less in their second year of driving.

But even older drivers who’ve just passed their test notice higher premiums, partly because insurers base the cost of car insurance on how likely you are to claim.

[*]Average price paid annually for comprehensive car insurance purchased in 2018, 2019 and Jan to April 2020 via GoCompare when the policyholder is 17

How does car insurance cost for new drivers?

New drivers spend a whopping £4,275 on their first car[3]
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Black box insurance for new drivers

Black box insurance (telematics) lets you prove to your insurer how well you can drive. If you drive well, you’ll be rewarded with cheaper insurance.

It’s a good option for new drivers as it can work out much cheaper - as long as you drive safely and don’t travel too far.

A small box is fitted to your dashboard to monitor things like how fast you’re driving and how frequently you’re braking hard.

Your mileage and when you drive counts too. Avoiding rush hour and late-night driving could also see you save more with a telematics policy.

Other options for first-time car insurance

Pay as you go

Pay as you go car insurance will charge you by the hour or mile and you’ll pay a subscription fee on top of that.

It could work out cheaper than a standard policy if you only drive short distances.

Your car will have to meet certain requirements though - for instance, it can’t be a commercial taxi or more than 15 years old.

Low mileage

If you’re racking up a high annual mileage on your car, your insurance will probably be more expensive.

But if you only use the car for short distances, you might be able to knock down the price.

The average mileage for a UK driver is around 7,000 miles, so if you’re driving less than that annually, you could save money.

But always declare your mileage as accurately as possible, as underestimating it could void your cover.


Only using the car for a limited time?

Short term car insurance can be ideal for young drivers who sometimes use their parent’s car.

It can last up to 28 days and can work out cheaper than an annual policy.

One drawback is that you won’t earn a no-claims discount to help reduce your premiums in the future.

Named driver insurance

If you drive someone else’s car, it might work out cheaper to be added to their policy as an additional named driver than to take out your own policy.

This is especially likely to work out cheaper for you if they’re an experienced driver with a few years no claims bonus.

They just need to notify their insurer to set it up, but there might be an admin fee to make the change.

It works the other way round too - if someone more experienced sometimes drives your car you can add them as a second driver.

Just make sure you’re always honest about who the main driver of the car is so you’re not guilty of fronting - lying about who the main driver is to get cheaper premiums.

Join over a million customers with free £250 excess cover[†]

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If you do need to claim, you'll have to pay your excess first, and then we'll refund up to £250 after your claim's settled.

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[†]Up to £250 refunded after claim settled. Car insurance purchases only. Excludes breakdown, windscreen and glass repair/replacement. Full T&Cs apply.

How to get cheaper car insurance if you’re a new driver

There are a few ways new drivers can reduce the price of their car insurance:

  1. Limit your mileage

    Cutting down on how much you drive could save you cash. Because you’re not on the road as much, you’re less likely to have an accident

  2. Pay annually

    A lump sum almost always works out cheaper than monthly payments because interest is factored into monthly direct debit payments

  3. Tighten up security

    Alarms and immobilisers can help push the cost down because they show the insurer you’ve taken steps to protect your car from theft and vandalism

  4. Increase your excess

    If you offer to pay a higher voluntary excess, the insurer usually reduces the cost of your premium. But make sure you can still afford to pay it if you’re in an accident

  5. Choose a small engine

    The bigger the engine, the more you’ll pay for your car insurance. Powerful cars are faster, so considered by insurers to be at a higher risk of being in an accident

  6. Take a driving course

    Pass Plus and other courses can drive the cost down because it gives you extra experience behind the wheel. It gives the insurer evidence that you’re a safe driver and less likely to make a claim

  7. Avoid modifications

    No tinted windows or flared wings - they’ll push the cost up. Some modifications that alter the manufacturer’s standard will make the car more expensive or difficult to repair, and that makes the claim more costly for the insurer

  8. Build up no claims discount

    If you don’t claim on your car insurance, you’ll get a discount when you’re shopping around for a new policy. The discount grows the longer you don’t make a claim

  9. Add a black box

    A telematics policy could see you saving. The insurer monitors your real-world driving habits to calculate your premium. Your policy makes no assumptions based on the habits of drivers your age or driving a similar car

  10. Shop around

    Always compare policies to get a great deal on your insurance

Car insurance guides

[3]Between 18 and 24 October 2018, One Poll conducted an online survey among 1,000 randomly selected British adults with children aged between 17 and 25 who can drive

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