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Car insurance for new drivers

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Car insurance is more expensive for new drivers because you’ve got less experience to show insurers you’re a safe driver. You won’t have any years of no-claims to get a no-claims discount either.

That’s why it’s important to do your research and compare quotes – so you can find the right cover for you at the best price.

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Can I get insured on my parents' car insurance policy?

You can be added to your parents’ car insurance as a named driver, even if you’re learning to drive or you’ve recently passed your test.

It might make their policy more expensive because the insurer will take your inexperience into account. You also won’t earn your own no-claims bonus and if you have an accident, your parents could lose their no-claims bonus.

As an alternative, you could take out your own insurance so you can build up a no-claims bonus of your own.

Find out how much it’ll cost to add a named driver >

Taking out your own policy

You could take out your own policy on your parents’ car, or your car if you have one.

If you're the main driver, you could even add your parents to your insurance policy as named drivers. It might even make your premiums cheaper, thanks to their experience.

To avoid any potential issues with claims, it’s best to make sure that each driver is only insured on the car once – either with their own standalone insurance, or as a named driver – but not both.

Whether you take out your own insurance or you’re a named driver on your parents’ policy, you must be absolutely honest about who the main driver, legal owner and registered keeper of the car is – lying about these is called fronting and it’s illegal.

Find out how much it’ll cost to take out your own policy >

Do new drivers need car insurance?

Regardless of your level of driving experience, all road users must have car insurance.

Car insurance is there to protect other road users and pedestrians, not just your own car. That’s why third-party car insurance is the bare minimum you legally need.

Driving without insurance is illegal. If you’re found to be driving without insurance you’ll be fined £300 and get six penalty points on your driving licence. If the case goes to court, you face an unlimited fine and a driving ban.

What are the levels of car insurance?

There are three levels of car insurance available to new drivers:

Third party only (TPO)

Third-party only (TPO) car insurance only covers injuries caused to others and damage to their vehicles in the event of a motoring accident.

Third party, fire and theft (TPFT)

Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) policies cover third party injuries and damages, as well as damage to your car due to fire or theft.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive cover includes everything under TPFT, but it’ll also cover damage to your vehicle and injury to yourself if you’re involved in an accident.

How much does new driver insurance cost?

If you’ve just passed your test, your car insurance will usually cost more than an experienced driver’s. When insurers calculate the risk you pose, inexperience tends to push the price up.

First-time drivers pay £872 on average for their car insurance in their first year on the road.*

The cost can be particularly high for new drivers under 25, because statistically 17-24 year old car occupants have a higher accident fatality rate than 25-74 years olds.

The good news is your insurance should get cheaper the more experienced you gain. That’s assuming you don’t have to claim, and you build up a no-claims bonus (NCB).


*Average cost of annual comprehensive car insurance for policies bought through GoCompare in 2018, 2019 and 2020 when the policyholder is 17.
How much does car insurance cost for new drivers?

Will a black box make my insurance cheaper?

Black box insurance 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 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.

You might also be able to reduce the cost of your insurance if you:

  1. Don’t auto-renew: One-in-10 of our customers would have paid 64% more if they'd auto-renewed.[2] Compare quotes to find insurance prices from different providers.
  2. Compare prices for different levels of cover: Don’t assume TPO cover is cheapest. Compare quotes for comprehensive and TPFT to find which is the best value for your needs.
  3. Add an experienced driver: If you share your car with someone that has more experience your policy could be cheaper – but always be honest about who the main driver is on the policy.
  4. Avoid modifying your car: Modifications that alter the manufacturer’s standard will make the car more expensive or difficult to repair, and that makes a claim more costly for the insurer and your insurance more expensive.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

[2] 10% of customers were quoted annual car insurance premiums of £239.50 or less and 10% of customers who provided their car insurance renewal price saved up to £153.49 with GoCompare (1 Jun 2020 to 30 Sep 2020). Giving an average saving of 64% on GoCompare new quotes versus renewal quotes.

What other insurance options are there for new drivers?

Pay as you go

Pay as you go car insurance charges 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 example, it can’t be a commercial taxi or more than 15 years old.

More about pay as you go car insurance >

Low mileage

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 7,400 miles according to the Department for Transport 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.

More about low mileage car insurance >

Short-term

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. Temporary insurance can be for a few days, weeks or months and can work out cheaper than an annual policy. But you won’t earn a no-claims discount to help reduce your premiums in the future.

More about short term car insurance >

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 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 around 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.

More about named driver insurance >

Frequently asked questions

  • Will a driving course make my insurance cheaper?

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

  • Do I need insurance if I’m not using the car?

    Yes. If your car is parked up on the road it still needs at least TPO insurance. If you can park your car in your garage or driveway, you might want to consider making a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) and comparing SORN insurance instead.

  • Can I drive other cars on my insurance?

    That depends on whether your insurance cover you to do so. Check the cover details before you buy to find out what the insurer’s policy is for driving other cars.

  • Is it cheaper to pay for my insurance monthly or annually?

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

  • What’s an excess?

    Car insurance policies usually include an excess. This is the amount you agree to pay towards any claim you make.

    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.

  • Do I have to tell my insurer about an accident, even if I’m not going to claim?

    Yes, if you have an accident you need to tell your insurer. Even if you don’t intend to claim, they need to know about incidents that could increase the risk of you needing to claim in the future.

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Plus, if you buy car insurance before 15 June, you can also get a car MOT for just £10. Find out more.

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^Participating garages only. Geographic restrictions apply. MOT must be booked by 30 June 2021. Full T&Cs apply.

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[1]Based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence during 1 October to 31 October 2020: 51% of consumers could achieve a saving of up to £240.64 with GoCompare car insurance based on a comparison of 31 companies.

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