You just can’t beat the feeling of freedom you get from having your own set of wheels - but finding cheap car insurance for young drivers isn’t easy.
It can be frustrating, but don’t be surprised if your annual premium costs more than your car. That’s because it isn’t just based on your car’s value, but also on things like how you drive and your driving experience. The harsh truth is that young drivers don’t have much experience, so they’re more likely to crash and cause injury, which leads to expensive claims and generally higher premiums.
It is, of course, important to make sure you have the right cover so there won’t be any nasty surprises if you need to make a claim. And there are some things you can do to reduce your premium in your first years of driving. Here are some suggestions:
Prove you’re a safe driver
Before you even pass, you can start to build up your own no claim discount by becoming a named driver. Aviva offer an introductory named driver discount if you’ve driven claim-free on someone else’s Aviva policy, so it’s worth mentioning this if you get a quote.
Put your driving to the test through app-based technology, which gives evidence of your good driving habits to insurers. Our free Aviva Drive app monitors your driving over 200 miles and awards the safest drivers a discount off their car insurance. Safer drivers, who scored 7.1 plus on our Aviva Drive app, saved an average of £112 on their Aviva comprehensive car insurance – a saving achieved by 37% of them*. You can even collect driving skills badges along the way and share them on Facebook and Twitter.
Get a multi-car quote
If you live with your parents, a multi-car policy could be a good way for the family to save money. That’s because the car with the lowest premium will get a discount. With Aviva MultiCar, for example, you could save up to 1/3 by insuring a second car or van (we expect 20% of our customers to achieve the maximum saving of 1/3**).
Each vehicle’s no claim discount (NCD) is kept separately, so you can build up your own NCD. If a claim is made on one vehicle, the NCD on the other isn’t affected. If you’re studying away from home and need student car insurance you can still benefit as long as the vehicles are registered at the same address.
Adding other drivers
If anyone else is going to use your car, you can add them as a named driver so they have the same level of cover as you. It’s worth thinking about who you add because insurers will take their risk into consideration and reflect it in your premium. Adding someone older with a clean licence could lower your premium, but anyone with points could increase it.
It’s important to make sure that if you are the main driver of the car, the insurance is in your name and you’re not just a named driver, or this is called ‘fronting’. ‘Fronting’ has serious financial and legal implications. If detected, a claim could be rejected which would mean that the young driver will be treated as being uninsured and the costs could be recovered from both the driver and the policyholder. So, if you’re a student and have a car at university, make sure you’re listed as the main driver.
Carefully consider the questions in your quote
It’s really important to answer all questions accurately when you get a quote for young drivers’ car insurance, but think carefully about the answers as they could affect your premium:
- Usage – what you use your car for affects the amount you pay. If you have a part-time or full-time job you’ll need to tell your insurer if you use your car to commute to your place of work. If you’re a student, you’re likely to drive mostly for social reasons so, if that’s the case, say so as it could lower your premium.
- Mileage – if you’re only going to use your car for short trips, you can cap the mileage on your policy to reduce your premium. This means stating the maximum mileage you think you’ll drive in a year e.g. 6,000/year - but make sure it’s accurate or you could invalidate your insurance.
- Parking – keeping your car on your driveway or in a garage will reduce the risk of it being stolen or damaged and could reduce your premium.
- Excess - an excess is the amount you pay towards any claim you make. Most insurers have a minimum excess chargeable for young drivers. You can reduce your premium by increasing your excess, but make sure you’ve calculated the total amount you’d have to pay in the event of a claim so you know you can afford it. For more information on policy excess, watch this video.
Check you have the right cover
Although finding a low premium is important, make sure you know what you’re buying so you have the right cover if you need to make a claim. Look out for independent ratings, such as Defaqto, and check Aviva who share genuine customer reviews, provided by customers who’ve made a claim or bought car insurance.
Think carefully about your car and the cover you need
Your first car is unlikely to be a high-performance sports car, which is good news as smaller, less powerful cars generally have lower premiums.
When buying your car, look for any vehicle modifications such as body kits, alloy wheels and even audio equipment that weren’t made by the manufacturers as they can increase your premium. You’ll need to tell your insurer of all the modifications that have been made when you take out an insurance policy. Also think about its running expenses such as road tax, servicing, the MOT, fuel consumption and even the finance to buy it.
The next thing to think about is whether you need comprehensive or a more basic third party, fire and theft cover. Third party, fire and theft may be a cheaper option, but it won’t cover damage to your car if you have an accident; it will only cover damage you cause to other vehicles, persons or property in an accident, plus damage to your car caused by fire or theft.
Driving comes with many responsibilities and one of those is car insurance. Never be tempted to drive without insurance – not only will your future insurance premiums be more expensive but it’s illegal and could result in a heavy fine, enough penalty points for an instant ban, your vehicle being seized by the police, getting a bad credit rating, reducing your employment prospects and worse of all prison, if you kill somebody whilst driving uninsured (even if it’s not your fault).
Keeping safe at the wheel
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)^, 17-20 year old male drivers are almost 10 times more likely to be killed or injured than more experienced drivers. As a young driver, there’s a lot you can do to keep safe at the wheel while you increase your driving experience. Here are some tips:
Think about when you drive. The early hours of the morning are the most risky time for young drivers.
- Always wear a seat belt and never drive under the influence of drink or drugs – you’d be breaking the law and putting yourself and others in danger.
- Never assume that country roads are safe because they’re quieter. Take care around sharp bends as it’s easy to lose control.
- Drive more slowly and allow longer stopping distances in wet or icy conditions.
- Don’t get distracted when driving – hands-free phones, music, food and drink, smoking and friends’ chatter can be dangerous as they take your focus from the road.
- Driving safely also has financial benefits. Accelerating, braking and steering smoothly will be more fuel efficient and cause less wear and tear on your car, which means a better deal for your pocket.
- Never leave valuables on show in your car – it could result in an avoidable break in and claim.
- Consider using a “P” plate to warn other road users that you are an inexperienced driver.
Here are some sites that will help you build your confidence and drive more safely during your first few months and years on the road:
Enjoy your new-found freedom
Once you’ve got your first car and found the best young driver insurance for you, drive safely and enjoy your new-found freedom!
* Based on policies bought direct from Aviva between 1 August 2014 and 31 July 2015. Discount is available on first car per policy and depends on score and price - minimum £200. Discount does not apply to optional extras. Data charges may apply.
** Up to 1/3 off applied to the cheaper of the two vehicle insurance prices. Discount does not apply to optional extras. Maximum 1/3 discount available on policies with either one driver, or two drivers who are domestic partners using their vehicles only for social domestic and pleasure.
^ Data correct as of June 2014