Cheap car insurance for 17-year-olds
If you’re 17 or 18 and you’ve 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 such little experience under your belt. So, is it possible to find cheaper car insurance at 17 and 18?
Read our simple guide to finding the right car insurance deal and ways to help 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.
Drivers aged between 17 and 19 were involved in 9% of fatal and serious crashes, even though they only accounted for 1.5% of UK licence holders. And drivers under the age of 19 are a third more likely to die in a crash than drivers aged 40-49.
According to road safety charity Brake, a combination of youth and inexperience put younger drivers at higher risk. Characteristics of many younger drivers can include:
- Over confidence
- Poor assessment of hazards due to lack of driving experience
- Risky behaviour such as speeding, drink and drug driving, not wearing seat belts and using mobile phones while driving.
What types of insurance are available to 17-year-olds?
There are three main options of cover available, and they all offer varying levels of protection at different prices. Take time to consider which is the most suitable for you and compare a range of policies, as the most basic cover isn’t always necessarily 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 will not cover any injury to you or damage to your car.
How can I reduce the cost of car insurance for 17-year-olds?
While young driver car insurance isn’t always cheap, there are ways to help bring down the cost of your premium, including:
- Avoid car modifications – cars with a new stereo system or alloy wheels are more attractive to thieves, so the risk of theft is higher. Some insurance providers may refuse to insure a modified car, and those that do, will most likely charge much higher premiums.
- Add an experienced driver to your policy – consider adding an older, more experienced driver to your policy if they’re planning on using the car too. It means you’ll be spending less time at the wheel, and the risk of having an accident is reduced. This could help lower your premium. However, you must never put forward the more experienced person as the main driver if that isn’t actually the case. This is known as car insurance fronting and is illegal.
- Take an advanced driving course – if you’ve passed your test in the last year, consider taking a Pass Plus course. It takes six hours to complete and teaches new drivers additional skills and how to drive safely. Some insurance providers may reduce your premium if you successfully complete a Pass Plus course.
- 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 to your phone that tracks aspects of your driving such as speed, acceleration, braking and cornering. Your insurance provider then uses this information to decide how well you drive. If you drive safely, your premium could be reduced.
- Choose your car wisely – the more powerful and expensive your car, the higher your premium is likely to be. An older model with a smaller engine could get you a more reasonable deal on your insurance. Check out our top picks of the cheapest cars to insure and our Young Drivers report for more information.
- Park off the street – if you can, keep your car on a private driveway or in a secure garage. If you leave it on the street, insurance providers consider it more likely to get damaged or stolen, so may raise your premium shop around – it pays to shop around and look at a range of policies before committing to one.
Frequently asked questions
How can my parents help me get cheaper car insurance?
At 17 and 18 years old, car insurance providers view you as a much higher risk, because you have minimal driving experience. By adding your parents, who will likely have been driving much longer than you have, to your policy, you’re reducing the time that you’re at the wheel, lowering the perceived risk by your insurance provider.
Never add your parents to your policy as the main driver if that 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?
The main reason that car insurance for 17-year-olds is so expensive, is because you are viewed as a much higher risk, deemed more likely to be involved in an accident and therefore need to claim. A great way to lower the cost of your car insurance, is to prove to them that you’re a better driver, and an advanced driving course qualification can help you do that.
Many car insurance providers will offer you a discount if you hold a qualification such as Pass Plus, or one of the several other forms of advanced driving courses.
Where can I compare car insurance for 17 and 18-year-olds?
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