We know how it is. You’re 17. You’ve just passed your driving test. You can’t wait to get on the road. But you’re worried about the cost of your car insurance.
Should you be? How much is car insurance for a 17-year-old? And what can you do to keep the price down?
Our average motor insurance quote in the UK costs £595 a year. But for 17 year old drivers, this rises to more than £2,029**.
Why? Because data shows it’s more risky to insure young drivers. They’re involved in more accidents. They’re more likely to make a claim, and their claims cost more. The price of car insurance reflects this.
But fear not. There are a number of things you can do to pay less. Here’s our guide to cheaper car insurance for 17-year-olds.
Choose your car wisely
The type of car you drive affects the cost of your insurance. So do some research before buying your car.
UK insurers group all car models into one of 50 car insurance bands, depending on their likelihood of being involved in a claim. Put simply, the bigger and faster the vehicle, the higher the car insurance group – and the more you’ll pay.
Tell the truth
Lying on an insurance application is fraud. It’s simply not worth fudging the truth to save a few pounds. Your insurer could cancel your policy, and refuse to pay out for a claim. You could even be prosecuted for driving without valid insurance.
The same applies if you fail to keep car insurance companies updated about any change of circumstance – from any modifications you make, to a change of address or job. Getting insured after a policy has been cancelled by your insurer could prove difficult – and expensive – for the rest of your life.
Add a driver
As a 17-year-old, you’re seen as a high risk. But you can reduce the average risk on your policy by adding another driver – someone who could share the car with you and is considered a lower risk, maybe your mum or dad.
The better the driving history of the second driver, the cheaper your premium could become. But remember: don’t put somebody down as the main driver if they’re not, and don’t put them as an additional driver if they’re never actually going to drive the car. Remember what we said about fraud?
Pay as you drive
Do you stick to the speed limit? Do you brake and accelerate smoothly, and negotiate corners safely? If so, a telematics policy could potentially save you hundreds of pounds a year.
Also known as ‘smart box’, ‘pay-as-you-drive’, ‘usage-based’ and ‘black box’ insurance, telematics involves fitting a device to your car that monitors how well you drive. Insurers analyse the results, and adjust your premium over the course of the policy (either on renewal or at quarterly periods).
The sums are complex, but the equation is simple: drive safely and your premium will eventually reflect this. Tear around and you’ll probably pay more. If you want to save money, slow and steady definitely wins the race.
Check your level of cover
Want to know the difference between third party, third party fire and theft, and fully comprehensive? And what might it all mean for the cost of your car insurance?
Third party covers damage you cause to somebody else’s vehicle while driving. The ‘fire and theft’ element adds in protection should your car be stolen or broken into, or catch fire. Fully comprehensive covers the above plus damage to your own car in the event of an accident.
As third party offers the lowest level of cover, logic suggests that it’s cheaper. Right? Well, no. Not always.
Believe it or not, third party can sometimes cost you more than fully comp. So always check the cost of all three levels when comparing car insurance quotes.
Take a course
Some insurers are willing to reduce your premiums if you complete the Pass Plus training course.
Pass Plus is run by the government’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). It takes around six hours to complete the six modules, which cover driving in town, on country roads, at night, on dual carriageways, on motorways and in different weather conditions.
There’s no test, but you’ll be assessed during the course, and must reach the required standard in all six modules to pass.
Spread the cost
You can avoid forking out hundreds of pounds upfront by paying for your policy by monthly direct debit. This will generally cost you more overall (the average monthly premium costs £984, compared to the average annual premium of £892**), as most insurers charge interest for this. But not always, so you might want to factor that into your car insurance comparisons.
Flex your voluntary excess
Car insurance policies come with an ‘excess’ – that’s the amount you pay towards any repairs you claim on you policy. Excess is split into two parts, compulsory and voluntary. Compulsory is the excess is set by your insurer which you can’t change. Voluntary excess is something you can set yourself when you apply for your cover. This can range from £0 to £1,000 or more.
It is said that, the higher the excess, the cheaper the policy. Some insurers will bring down premiums substantially for policies with an £1,000 excess. Make sure you can afford the excess you sign up for, though, just in case.
So now you know what can affect the cost of 17-year-old car insurance. But how can you put this to good use, and get the best deal for you?
Simple. Just click the button to compare car insurance with comparethemarket.com. Pick and choose from the available options, and we’ll list out your cheapest quotes from a panel of insurers.
Try comparethemarket.com today, and see how much you could save.