Car insurance for 17 year-olds

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Compare cheap car insurance for 17 year-olds

If you’re 17 or 18 and have just passed your test, you’re no doubt looking forward to getting behind the wheel of your very first car. But car insurance can be expensive when you’ve so little experience under your belt. So is it possible to find cheaper car insurance at 17 and 18?

Read our guide to finding the right car insurance deal. We’ll also show you ways to reduce your premium when you’re just starting out.

Why is car insurance more expensive for 17 year-olds? 

Insurance is based on risk levels, and statistically 17 and 18 year-old drivers are at a much higher risk of crashing than older age groups.

One in five drivers crash within a year of passing their test. More sobering still, road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among people aged 15-29.

Why are younger drivers more likely to crash?

Thanks to a combination of youth and inexperience, younger drivers are at much higher risk of having an accident. The statistics make for depressing reading – according to government figures, young male drivers are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than drivers over 25. They also account for 80% of young driver fatalities.

Studies suggest that the brain’s pre-frontal cortex – the bit that oversees impulsive behaviour and ability to foresee consequences – doesn’t fully develop until we reach our mid-twenties. There are other risk factors too. Younger drivers can be:

  • Overconfident
  • Poor at assessing hazards (due to lack of driving experience)
  •  More likely to drive at night, when it’s harder to see hazards, such as animals.

How much does car insurance cost for 17 year-olds? 

How much you pay for your car insurance will depend on a range of factors, including what kind of car you drive, and where you live. Insurance providers will give you a quote based on your personal circumstances. Car insurance for younger drivers doesn’t come cheap, but it can pay to shop around - 51% of young drivers could get a premium of up to £1,672 [2] when they compare with us.

[2] 51% of young drivers between 17-24 years old could achieve a quote of up to £1,671.33 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in June 2023.

What types of insurance are available to 17 year-olds?

There are three types of cover available to young drivers, with each offering different levels of protection. It’s worth taking time to consider which is most suitable for you and comparing a range of policies, as the most basic cover isn’t always the cheapest. 

  • Third party  is the minimum level of cover you need to drive legally. It covers you for any damage you cause to other people or their property. It won’t cover you if you’re injured or your car is damaged.
  • Third party fire and theft  offers the same protection as third party, but also covers you if your car is stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Fully comprehensive car insurance  gives you all the benefits listed above, but also protects you as a driver. It can also pay out for any damage to your car.

How can I get cheaper car insurance for 17 year-olds?  

While  young driver  car insurance isn’t always cheap, there are ways to bring down the cost of your premium. 

Looking for cheaper car insurance? Here’s a few dos and don’ts.


  • Add an older, more experienced driver to your policy – consider adding a parent or grandparent to your policy if they plan to use the car too. That way you’ll be spending less time at the wheel, reducing your risk of having an accident. This could help lower your premium. But never list the more experienced person as the main driver if that isn’t the case. This is known as fronting and is illegal.
  • Take an advanced driving course – if you’ve passed your test in the past year, consider taking a Pass Plus course. This takes six hours to complete and teaches you extra skills. Some insurance providers may reduce your premium if you successfully complete a Pass Plus course.
  • Choose your car wisely – the more powerful and expensive your car, the higher your premium is likely to be. Buying an older model with a smaller engine could give you a better deal on your insurance. Check out the cheapest cars to insure to find out more.
  • Consider a black box policy - telematics insurance rewards you for driving well. A small device is installed in your car, or you can download an app that tracks your speed, acceleration, braking and cornering. Your insurance provider uses this information to decide how well you drive. If you drive safely, your premium could be reduced.


  • Modify your car – cars with a new stereo system or alloy wheels are more attractive to thieves, making them more likely to be stolen. Some insurance providers refuse to insure modified cars, and those that do will likely charge higher premiums.
  • Park off the street – if you can, keep your car on a private driveway. If you leave it on the street, insurance providers consider it more likely to get damaged or stolen, so may raise your premium.
  • Increase your excess – excess is the amount you’ll pay towards the cost of an insurance claim. There are two types - compulsory excess is set by the insurance provider and voluntary excess is an amount you choose to pay. Agreeing to pay a higher voluntary excess will reduce the cost of your insurance, but you’ll need to be able to afford to pay it if there’s a claim. It pays to shop around and look at a range of policies before committing to one.

What are the cheapest cars to insure for 17 year-olds? 

If you’re looking for a cheap car to insure, check out compact models in the low car insurance groups, such as the Volkswagen Up! Citroen C1 and Hyundai i10.

What other costs are involved in getting my first car? 

Insurance isn’t the only cost you have to think about when you buy a car. Unless you go electric, you’ll have potentially steep petrol costs to consider, as well as parking, road tax, and if you live in London - the congestion and ULEZ charges. You’ll also have to consider regular servicing, MOT, and maintenance costs.

You can get an idea of how much a year of driving could cost you by using our young drivers tool.

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Frequently asked questions

How can my parents help me get cheaper car insurance?

By adding your parents - who’ve likely been driving far longer than you have - to your policy, you’re reducing your time spent at the wheel, lowering the perceived risk by your insurance provider.

If you’re 17 or 18, insurance providers see you as higher risk because you don’t have much driving experience. However, never add a parent as the main driver if this isn’t the case. This is known as car insurance fronting and it’s illegal.

Do driving courses reduce the cost of insurance for 17-year-olds?

Yes, many car insurance providers will offer you a discount if you have a qualification such as Pass Plus, or one of the other forms of advanced driving courses.

The main reason car insurance for 17-year-olds is so expensive is because you’re seen as much more likely to be in an accident and make a claim. Passing an advanced driving course proves you're a safer driver.

Is it cheaper to spread the cost of car insurance?

No, if you can afford to pay annually in one lump sum, you’ll normally find you save money on your car insurance.

There are pros and cons to either paying your car insurance annually or monthly. Monthly payments spread the cost of your car insurance, which can be useful, but you’ll usually end up paying more overall as the insurance provider will charge interest. 
If you can only afford (or need) insurance for part of the year, consider temporary car insurance. But you’ll usually find this is more expensive compared to a monthly rate. Having temporary cover will also prevent you building up a no-claims discount.

Where can I compare car insurance for 17 and 18-year-olds?

We independently compare car-insurance providers to give 17 and 18 year-old drivers great value car insurance.

We’ll show you policies based on price, policy cover level, add-ons and annual or monthly payment terms – helping you compare policies based on your needs.

Compare car insurance quotes in minutes to see if you can save.

Page last reviewed on 12 JANUARY 2023
by Julie Daniels