Car insurance for young drivers – why is it so expensive?
Getting your hands on cheaper car insurance for young drivers can be tricky, but we've got a few hints and tips that might help you out.
- Young drivers' car insurance is notoriously expensive, and is usually costly due to inexperience, reputation and risk
- Driving without insurance is illegal, and you risk having your licence revoked
- Follow our tips for help in getting the right cover and keeping the price affordable
As a young driver, getting car insurance at the right price and with the right level of cover can be frustrating.
The cost of young drivers' insurance can be high, but cutting corners could mean buying a policy that offers inadequate protection.
A further spanner in the works is that not all insurers will give you a quote.
In 2016, the casualty rate for young car drivers, aged 17-24, was higher per billion miles driven than other car drivers (995 for young car drivers and 306 for others).†
Over four out of five fatal casualties for young car drivers happened on rural roads. The riskiest time for collisions was between late evening to early morning, especially on the weekends.
We don't want to worry you, but statistics like this are part of the reason why car insurance for young drivers is so high – insurers see this age group as high risk.
With this in mind, we've cobbled together some info to try and help you find a better deal on your car insurance quote.
According to Matt Oliver, GoCompare's car insurance expert: "There are ways to try to reduce the cost as you build up a safe driver record and no-claims discount.
"Your first car insurance policies may not be the cheapest, but your quotes should still be competitive, and offer you a breadth of choice and protection."
Can you get cheap car insurance for young drivers?
Cheap? Not likely. Cheaper? Of course – we're not called GoCompare for nothing!
If a quote seems too good to be true, that's because it probably is. Fake insurance brokers have cost young drivers £164,993 over four years according to the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, so watch out for dodgy dealers and try comparing car insurance with us.†
There are three main reasons why young drivers have to pay a lot for their car insurance: inexperience, reputation and risk.
Inexperienced young drivers
Driving experience is a major factor when it comes to getting a car insurance quote. The more time you spend on the road, the better your driving's likely to be.
Drivers with more experience have a proven track record so long as they stay conviction and claim free.
As a result, they get a no claims bonus, which is a discount on the price of their car insurance.
Your reputation precedes you
Young drivers have a reputation for causing more accidents than any other age group. And this is backed up by statistics from the Welsh government.†
Need more information?
The data revealed that out of 1,064 people that were killed or seriously injured in car accidents, 235 of these were young drivers, aged between 16 to 24.
This means insurance companies pay out more in claims for young drivers, and so charge more for insurance cover.
Young drivers present a greater risk on the road
Car insurance premiums are based on risk – in other words, how likely it is that an insurer will have to pay out on a claim.
Insurers will look at your quote details: eg your claims history, the cost or type of the car you drive, where you live, your driving experience. They'll then decide what to charge.
Young drivers have more accidents and experience more car security issues, such as theft and vandalism.
They are therefore seen as a greater risk, and this is reflected in the high price of premiums.
How young drivers can reduce their car insurance premiums
While higher prices are the norm for younger drivers, there are some things you can do to lower your insurance costs. Check out our top tips for cutting the cost of car insurance. But here's a few things young drivers may want to focus on:
Choose a small car
Get a car with a small engine – for example a 1.1 litre rather than a 1.6 litre – which is in a low car insurance group.
You'll also pay less Vehicle Excise Duty (often called road tax) if your car has a small engine capacity.
Modifications (upgrades to styling, audio or performance) may look good, but for the younger driver they may mean a big increase in the price of car insurance.
Alloy wheels, body kits and performance upgrades make vehicles more attractive to car thieves. Modified cars also tend to be more expensive to fix than ordinary cars.
Did you know...?
- Adding an experienced driver to your policy could reduce your premium...
- ... but if you're not honest about who the main driver is, you're committing fraud – known as fronting
Adding another driver with a clean licence and several years' claim-free driving to your policy could reduce your premium.
Just make sure you get consent from the person(s) who you'd like to add. That way, they'll know to declare that they have access to another car when getting their own insurance.
Also, if you're the main driver, make sure you're noted as such on the policy.
If you say the other person is the main driver because they have a better driving history, you're committing fraud. This is known as fronting, and you could invalidate your insurance, at the very least.
Limit your mileage
If you only drive at set times of the year, perhaps during term time, then let your insurance company know.
To lower the risk of having an accident, avoid driving in rush hour and limit your annual mileage.
Consider a telematics policy
A telematics car insurance policy works by using an installed black box, plug-in or mobile phone app to monitor your driving. It then uses data gathered as the basis for setting your insurance premium.
Such policies are available for drivers of all ages, but are thought to be especially beneficial for safe, young drivers who are struggling to find competitive quotes.
The feedback you receive could also be seen as a valuable form of education to help improve your driving.
The easiest way to reduce your car insurance costs is to improve your reputation and driving record by staying conviction free, avoiding speeding, and building up a no claims discount
Matt Oliver, GoCompare's car insurance expert
Agree a curfew
Some insurance companies may reduce your premium if you agree to limit your driving to certain hours of the day.
Consider improving your vehicle's security. Fit an alarm or immobiliser and – if you have alloy wheels – invest in locking wheel nuts.
Park with care
If you can, park your car in a safe spot overnight. Parking off the road can lower the chance of your car being vandalised or stolen. Read more in our article on overnight parking and car insurance.
Increase your voluntary excess
Choosing a higher voluntary excess when you take out your policy will usually reduce the price of your insurance.
Don't choose an amount you can't readily afford though. If you make a claim, you may have to pay that excess before the garage will give your car back.
Get a Pass Plus certificate
Pass Plus is a training scheme for new drivers. Bear in mind that you'll need to pay for the course and you may not recoup the costs, but your driving should improve.
Read our article on advanced driving courses for more information on Pass Plus and other courses that may prove beneficial.
Other ways to cut costs
The easiest way to reduce your car insurance costs is to improve your reputation and driving record by staying conviction free, avoiding speeding, and building up a no claims discount. Other things you can do are:
If you can afford to do so in one whack, pay for your insurance upfront when you take out the policy rather than by monthly instalments in order to avoid interest charges.
Consider your cover
Pay close attention to the options, though. Third-party insurance generally offers much lower levels of cover, and may not necessarily be cheaper.
How to get cheap car insurance for young drivers
- You won't be surprised to hear this, but we'd suggest shopping around and reviewing prices using a comparison site like GoCompare!
Only pay for what you need
There will be a vast difference between the lowest and highest quotes from different insurers.
Choose the cover you need and compare lots of premiums using an unbiased comparison site... Like us!
Some insurers will be more competitive than others for different drivers, vehicles and regions. So bear in mind there's no such thing as a 'best young driver car insurance policy' for every driver – it's more about finding the right policy to suit your individual needs.