You’ve finally made it! You’ve passed your test and are ready to hit the open road as a new driver. There’s just one last hurdle: insurance
Insurance for new drivers
Insurance is an annoying necessity for all drivers, but it can be especially irritating for new drivers. There’s no avoiding it – new driver insurance is expensive compared to insurance for more experienced drivers. The newer you are, the more you’ll pay.
If you’re asking yourself “how much is new driver insurance?”, there’s no simple answer. Different insurers will calculate their quotes in different ways. But in early 2019, the average yearly premium was just under £1000. Ouch.
Why is it more expensive?
The less experience you have, the more of a risk you are seen to be by insurers, so the higher your premium. Insurers determine car insurance premiums based on set calculation systems, and the age and experience of the driver is one of the most vital factors.
There’s no way around it. You won’t see significant savings until you’ve had a few years of safe driving on the road. However, if you’re smart, patient and prepared to go the extra mile, you can make some savings and reduce the cost of your car insurance now. So, if you’re buying car insurance first time, here’s how to keep your car insurance costs down.
How to get cheap first-time car insurance
You don’t have a choice about buying car insurance as a first-time driver, but you do have a choice about how you go about it. There are a surprising number of ways you can bring down your quote and save money on insurance.
- Don’t settle for the first quote: The more you shop around, the more likely you are to get an idea of who has the best deals. Comparing prices will be one of the best ways to get the cheapest car insurance as a new driver – don’t forget to examine what’s included too as not all insurance policies have the same coverage.
- Make the most of online discounts: Keeping your phone in your pocket can help keep some extra cash in there too. Buying your car insurance online is often incentivised with additional discounts, so try and do everything via a website if you can.
- Increase your excess: Your excess – the amount you have to pay up from if you make a claim – can make a difference to your premium. As a rule, the higher the excess, the lower the monthly payments. Don’t forget though; you’ll have to find that amount if you did need to claim, so don’t raise it to an amount you can’t afford.
- Add a named driver: Adding named drivers to your policy can be an excellent way to bring the cost down. If you want to do this, make sure it’s a named driver who is older and/or more experienced than you. Insurers will then assume that you will both be driving the car and your higher risk will be offset slightly by theirs. Just make sure you don’t break the law by making it look like they are the main or only driver.
- Drive fewer miles: One of the things insurers will ask you is how many miles you’ll be driving over the year. The more you drive, the higher the risk and therefore the premium. So if you split driving miles with the bus or your bike, you may be able to bring an unaffordable quote down, and to a price you can manage.
- Make sure your car is safe: If your car is kept secure, then insurers will assume that it is less likely to be stolen or vandalised. You can do this inside the car – such as adding a tracker, immobiliser or alarm – or outside, by locking it in a garage or secure drive.
- Take a driving course: Since your inexperience is the main reason why insurers will charge you a higher premium, the most direct way to address this is by getting more experience. While the idea of another test so soon won’t be appealing, taking an advanced course such as Pass Plus will be looked on favourably and bring your insurance quote down – and make you a better driver too.
- Opt for a black box: Telematics – or ‘black box’ – insurance policies can save you money by showing your insurer that you’re a safe driver, while also helping to show all insurers that new drivers aren’t necessarily a risk.
- Temporary insurance: having short term car insurance is a cheap alternative when you need to use a vehicle for a limited time. Unlike regular insurance, there are no long term contracts and in you can get covered fast – even if you’re a young driver aged 18 – 25.
What is black box insurance?
Black box insurance is a recent innovation in the world of car insurance. When you opt-in, your car is fitted with a data recorder designed to track how you drive, from the speeds you go at to how well you corner and brake. It helps the insurer build up an understanding of your risk, which evolves over time. The more they can see for themselves the less they have to guess, and it could save you around £100-£150.
If you’re a young driver under the age of 25, it could be one of the simplest ways to get your new driver insurance down to a level you can afford.
Yes, you have to have car insurance
Car insurance is compulsory by law. Driving without insurance is a crime, which could end very badly for you. Recently the government have been clamping down on drivers trying to get away with avoiding paying insurance. CIE – Continuous Insurance Enforcement – is a new piece of legislation that demands that all cars are covered, even if they are not on the road. Only vehicles with a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) are exempt.
Because driving without insurance puts you and other drivers and passengers at risk, it’s taken seriously. If you are caught, you could well be fined and find yourself up in court. Your car won’t be waiting for you when you get out, either, since it could be seized or destroyed.
So don’t take a risk. Get the best value insurance sorted straight away, so you can drive without any worries.