A simples guide

18 Year Old Car Insurance

You have passed your driving test, got your licence and have access to a car. You are so close to having the freedom to go wherever you want, but the thorny problem of car insurance that is holding you back. There’s no doubt that insurance is expensive when you are 18, so let us help you find the best possible deal.

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Why are premiums so high for young drivers?

Unfortunately, statistics show that younger drivers are known to cause more car accidents. In fact, 17-24 year olds are involved in a quarter of car accidents in the UK and are much more likely to make a claim. For this reason, car insurance providers cover this additional risk with higher premiums.

Hand on steering wheel
car and coins

What types of policies should be considered?

When it comes to picking an insurance policy for your car, there are three options to consider, all of which offering varying levels of protection at different prices.

The minimum level of cover you can legally have is Third Party. This might be one of the cheaper options for you, but it will not cover the costs of any damage caused to you or your vehicle. So if you caused an accident when driving, the cost of getting your car repaired would not be covered by your insurance policy. 

However, if that accident involved another driver and you were responsible for the accident, your third party insurance would cover the cost of repairs to their car and also any medical expenses. This also goes for any passengers that may suffer injuries whilst travelling in your car too. 

The next type of policy available is Third Party, Fire and Theft. As the name states, this type of policy offers all the above as well as will protect you against any loss or damage caused by fire or theft.  However, just like third party only insurance, you would not be able to make a claim on your insurance if your vehicle was damaged in an accident, or if you got hurt.

Finally, there is Comprehensive cover, which is the only policy that will protect you as a driver and will pay out for any damage that is caused to your vehicle. This includes replacing your car if it is written off.  Comprehensive cover will give you all the benefits of the third party and third party fire & theft cover, but it will also take care of you and your car, getting you back on the road after an accident.

There are some optional extras that won’t necessarily come as standard with your policy so you’ll need to look carefully at the terms and conditions. Things like a courtesy car while your car is being repaired, breakdown cover and legal expenses cover may come as additional extras. These are not always necessary and will cost a little more, but you need to weigh up your options and decide what the right level of cover is for you.  

How to reduce the cost of car insurance for 18 year olds?

There are many ways you can reduce the cost of your premium. The first thing is to consider the car you will be driving. If you opt for a new, expensive and much more powerful vehicle you are inevitably going to increase your premium.

On the other hand, an older model with a smaller engine is a safe bet for a more reasonable deal on your insurance. This is not only because they are much cheaper to repair, but because less expensive cars aren’t usually targeted by thieves. Always check, though, if that cheap and cheerful older car is easy to steal, then it might be more expensive than you think.

Our data shows that 18 year olds quoting on our site for a Citroen C1 receive the lowest premium The Citroen C1 is the cheapest car to insure for 18-year-olds, on average, with a quote of £960.35. The Peugeot 107 follows hot on its heels with an average price of £968.73 and the Ford Ka and Fiat 500 are other top contenders.

Our average premiums are based on all our customer quotes, from people with different age ranges, addresses and driving histories. You may find a cheaper or more expensive quote based on your personal circumstances.

Another important factor is where you will keep your vehicle when you are not driving it. By leaving it parked on a street, your chances of having your car stolen increase dramatically. A locked garage is better. A third option is to add an older driver with more driving experience to your policy but make sure they use the vehicle. To the insurer this implies that you will spend less time behind the wheel, reducing the chances of an accident. But remember, if you are using the car most frequently you will need to be listed as the main driver of the vehicle.  By having another person pose as the main driver for you on the policy, you are committing a crime called ‘fronting’ and could face prosecution.

Overall, the best way to lower your premiums is to prove you are a safe driver. 

You can now get telematics car insurance where the insurance company would be able to track your driving performance giving you a chance to prove to them that you are a safe driver. This works by having a small device installed in your car (or an app downloaded on your phone) that tracks your acceleration, braking and cornering. The device would then use this data to give you a score. If it’s acceptable, the insurance company may offer a discount to you.

Finally, after a year, if you don’t claim, you would automatically earn a no claims bonus when you renew your insurance. That’s when you really start noticing a difference in your premium.

Ultimately, the best way to make sure you’re getting the best price for your car insurance is to shop around. By comparing car insurance quotes you can make sure you’re getting the right level of cover for you at the right price.

All average price amounts and cheapest quotes based on comparethemarket.com data in February 2016.

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